Greetings my Brethren. Let us continue to look at the “Principles of Service” as it relates to the call of God on our lives.  Service to God and man is to be a fruit in our lives as we work for the LORD.  It is not we are to be served by God and man, but we are to give of ourselves in service to God and man.  The standard Jesus announced in Mark for the disciples is the same standard that must be present in our lives.  Here in Mark Jesus was checking out the disciples to see if they had the ability yet in them to be servants to all.  John and James asked to be seated on Jesus’ right and left hand in glory, “But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?’  (Mark 10:38) and of course they glibly replied as we all do, “we can.”  They never understood the heart of God’s call in our lives and ministry is service to God and man not being served by God and man, but laying down one’s life in servant hood. Jesus corrects their vision and gives them the standard, “But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. 43  But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: 44  And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. 45  For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”  (Mark 10:42-45)  Did you get that? If you want to be the greatest you must be a slave to all.  Sadly this seems to be missing from the Body of Christ today.  Many want to be served, but not too many Christians want to be slaves which is a heart condition that must be worked in us by God’s dealings and judgments in our lives.  As God is allowed to reveal our attitudes, intentions, and motives to us He will be able to change our heart and make us a willing servant (slave) to all.  I really believe the desire not to be a servant is the biggest reason why there are problems in most churches today.  Our flesh exalting itself against the knowledge of Christ wanting the preeminence. Maybe the people rebelling against the pastor or even the pastor sees himself as one who is seated at the right or left hand of Christ all causing great harm to our Godly witness and to the Gospel message today.  For us to allow God to work in our lives we must be led by the Spirit of God.  Last week we looked at the singleness of purpose of the “Living Creatures” well so too is the leading of the Holy Spirit.  It is the leading of the Holy Spirit not our own ambitions and preferences that provides our desire for  service to God and man.  Man in himself does not want to be of service to anyone or anything, but wants to be served seated at the right or left hand of Christ.  Talking of the “Living Creatures” in Ezekiel we read,  “And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went.”  (Ezekiel 1:12) It was not their decision to go or return, but it was the direction of the Holy Spirit in obedience they went.  For us to be able to serve God and man we must have the ability within us to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in our lives.  Now this is a critical point. Now man does have ambitions and preferences, but if they are not channeled into what God wants for our lives and in God’s call for our lives then all we do will be done not according to God’s plan and purpose, but according to our will and purpose.  When the disciples replied “we can” to Jesus they never thought in their wildest imagination all of the things they would have to do that would reward them the opportunity to be seated (as they asked) at the right and left hand of Christ in glory.  I wonder if they thought of the humiliation  and loss they would have to suffer?  I am sure Jesus’ words (time and time again)  “can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?’ rang loudly in their ears with each test and  tribulation they faced, with each time they had to swallow their pride, with each time they had to prefer their brother or sister ahead of themselves.  How do we drink of the cup (not the same cup) Jesus drank of? By hoisting the  cup of bitterness, confusion, misunderstanding,  and yes even guile to our lips and swallow hard knowing that it will work a greater weight of glory in our lives as we are conformed into the icon (image) of God’s precious Son Jesus Christ, our example of being a servant.

Next month we will continue looking at the “Principles of Service”  as they relate to our slothfulness lingering in our indecision. Can you hear Him now?