"We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”[a] 4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope." Romans 15:1-9
We are called to be servants like Jesus Christ.
"When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." John 13:12-17
Jesus is clear. We are called to be servants.
The Time is Coming...
"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people." 2 Timothy 3:1-5
Some of the people in our society who have the biggest titles and most fame or worldly success could be described by the above passage. We can't follow world thought or embrace what the world embraces.
Actions of Servants:
"We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves." Romans 15:1
"To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some." 1 Corinthians 9:22
There is a revival going on right now in India with the "Untouchables." They are the caste in India society that Mother Teresa worked with. What happens when these people get saved? They immediately ask what they can do to share what they just received. They are blessed in lacking in material goods but having great faith.
We need to seek out the "untouchables" in our society, the ones on the fringes of society; the ones the world says don't "deserve" people's time and attention; the ones who are lost and hurting and desperately want to fit in and be accepted by someone. People need us to look them in the eye and notice them.
"Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2
"not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others." Philippians 2:4
We are here to fulfill the law of Christ. Jesus didn't wait for people to come to Him. He went to where they were. He sought the "untouchables."
"Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant," Matthew 20:25-26
Again, Jesus is clear.
"Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up." Romans 15:2
We are not here to please ourselves.
"Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification." Romans 14:19
edification: building each other up.
The Place of Servanthood:
"No one should seek their own good, but the good of others." 1 Corinthians 10:24
"Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved."
1 Corinthians 10:32-33
God said it doesn't matter what we eat or drink or whatever -- but don't cause others to stumble in your freedom. You have to know someone well to know what will make them stumble.
Single-mindedness of the Servant:
"May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 15:5-6
"Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble."
1 Peter 3:8
We're not meant to be conceited. We are here to carry the burden. Keep knocking till someone answers.
"Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God." Romans 15:7
"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Colossians 3:12-14
This is opposite of what the world promotes.
Let Servanthood be Your Joy:
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13
(If you want a copy of the study we do on Monday night that relates to the sermon from the Sunday before, click here and I will email you a copy.)