Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Servant of the King (I Corinthians 4:1)

SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 4:1 (TM)
So a person should think about us this way—as servants of Christ and managers of God's secrets.

A number of years ago, Dr. Waltke, a seminary professor, and three pastors, one of which was Charles Swindol toured the mother church of the First Church of Christ Scientist in downtown Boston. The four were unknown to the elderly lady who was going to give them a tour. They didn’t tell her who they were, at least not at first. She showed them several interesting things on the main floor. When they got to the pipe organ she began to talk about their doctrine and especially their belief about no judgment in the life beyond. Dr. Waltke waited for just the right moment and then very casually asked: "But, Ma’am, doesn’t it say somewhere in the Bible, ’It is appointed unto man once to die and after that, the judgment?" The scholar could have quoted Hebrews 9:27 in the Greek, but he was so gracious and tactful. Swindol confessed he was thinking, "Go for it Bruce. Now we’ve got her where we want her!" Without a pause, the lady simply ask, "Would you like to see the second floor?" Dr. Waltke said, "We surely would, thank you." She smiled, somewhat relieved, and started to lead the men up a flight of stairs. Swindol recalled he couldn’t believe it. He was thinking, "No, don’t let her get away. Make her answer your question!" He pulled on the scholar’s arm and said in a low voice, "Hey, why didn’t you nail the lady? Why didn’t you press the point and not let her get away until she answered?" Swindol said he replied, "But, Chuck, that wouldn’t have been fair. That wouldn’t have been very loving, either- now would it?" Swindol said, "Wham, the quiet rebuke left me reeling. I shall never forget that moment. And to complete the story, you’ll be interested to know that in less than 20 minutes he was sitting with the woman alone, gently speaking to her about the Lord Jesus Christ. She sat in rapt attention. He, the gracious servant, had won a hearing by being kind.

When others think of us what image first comes to mind? What personality character? What noted trait? If they were to write a story of our life how would it start and how would it end? Would it start and end with the idea of being a servant?

Being a servant is never an easy path to follow. It can be extremely demanding and is often found to be filled with challenges beyond our capacity… and yet, that is the very role that God asks us to fulfill in this life. Hmmmm…

The “manager of God’s sercrets” we’ve got that. That particular portion of being a disciple is a lot easier. A job description can be written without much trouble. We can wrap our minds around that one without much forethought, but servant? Really?

It takes a graciousness to be God’s servant. It requires that we place everyone ahead of ourselves. It demands that we walk humbly through this world. If we draw attention to ourselves it is only for the sake of the King of the Kingdom.

When people think of us what is the first thing that comes to mind?

Make me a captive, Lord, and then I shall be free, Force me to render up my sword, and I shall conqueror be. I sink in life’s alarms when by myself I stand; imprison me with in thine arms, and strong shall be my hand.  “Captive,” servant … not much difference is there Lord. 

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