Develop Godly Ambition!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Servanthood

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Jeremiah 45:5 And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not: for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the LORD: but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest.

J. Oswald Sanders, a Godly man and former director of Overseas Missionary Fellowship, once wrote about a position he desired. As he contemplated lobbying for the position, at one point, while walking through the city of Auckland, New Zealand, a verse of Scripture came to his mind, "Seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not!"

Sanders later said, "The words came just as though it was God speaking. There were crowds all around me, and no one else heard the voice, but I heard it all right!" He went on to say, "I believe that was a real turning point in my service to the Lord." As a result, he never sought the position, but later it was opened for him, in God's timing.

The world's standards of greatness — money, success, power and fame — mean nothing to God. If we truly aspire to greatness, we will learn from Jesus' example. He didn't exemplify His greatness by conquest or by riches or worldly success – but rather by humility, gentleness and servanthood.

If we truly want to be great in God's kingdom, we will decide to transform worldly "ambition" into "Godly ambition". We will not seek honor, but humility. We won't desire power to rule, but to become the greatest servant. Beyond everything, we will long to be great in His love…and through His love, influence and transform the world around us. These are "ambitions" worthy of our Lord and Savior, who, because of His great love and humility, was exalted above every other name, and also promised that He will humble the exalted…and, exalt the humble.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Servanthood

Learn how to teach!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Servanthood

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

2 Timothy 2:24-26 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

When the apostle Paul wrote this letter to his young student Timothy, he taught him some profound truths that I often apply in my life. I suppose when Timothy received these instructions, he was about my age – a young man still developing his skills at evangelism, teaching and instructing.

Early in my Christian walk, I grabbed hold of a passage – let no man despise thy youth, but rather be an example in word, in conversation, in love, in spirit, and in faith. This was my mantra in the first years of my walk.

Now I'm focusing on being a servant able to teach. Paul's instruction is not to "strive" — I hear him saying "be careful to teach with a proper spirit" and to avoid "trying to prove that you're right". I want to be sure that I'm not trying to force my perspective on someone, but rather instruct with meekness, gentleness, and patience.

One phrase in the verse says something about the effect of teaching in the right spirit-– "they recover themselves"! It's not our job to convince someone of the truth. We "contend earnestly for the faith" allowing the Holy Spirit to do the convincing, so that someone who is in error is free to repent based on God's conviction, and not my persuasiveness. So let's be sure we're leaving room for Him, teaching in a manner that Paul would be proud of.

We're all called as servants; so let's strive to be servants that would make our Master proud!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Servanthood

Self Conscious?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Servanthood

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Matthew 16:24-25 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

We live in a day and age that everywhere we turn, there's a "self-help" theory.  Books, videos and dvds, websites, world-renown speakers, you name it — all dedicated to helping us "feel good about ourselves".  Yet somehow, still many of us struggle with self-consciousness, even as Christians!

But here's something to consider. Did Jesus ever say "feel good about yourself"?? No. On the contrary, He said crucify yourself!

If we go around hating ourselves and even feeling condemnation over our faults and sins, what we are really doing is focusing on our self! My wife said a wise thing recently: self-consciousness is not God-consciousness! That about sums it up, I think. God doesn't want us focused on ourselves — He wants us to be focused on Him!

It's when die to our flesh, that the life we're living becomes the life He lives through us! If we crucify our self then there's no self to hate — there's no self to condemn! We are free to serve the Lord and allow him to do great things through us! 'Cause you know what we always say — there's so much work to be done!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Servanthood

You've Been Freed to Worship!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Servanthood

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

The Biblical feast of Pesach (Passover) has ended, as once again, those who celebrated recalled the deliverance of the Jewish people from the land of Egypt where they had served as slaves. The word for slaves in Hebrew is "avadim", which, interestingly, is also the same word for "servants."

Pesach recalls to us our own personal deliverance from the slavery of sin — and the amazing joy and privilege of being free to be servants of the Living God who redeemed us. The same root letters which form the words for "slave" and "servant" also give us the word "avodah", the Hebrew word for "work", which is also a word that means "worship"!

To be a freed SLAVE of our God is to be a devoted SERVANT whose WORK is WORSHIP. So, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." [Colossians 3:23-24]

Worthy Christian Devotions » Servanthood

Have a servant's heart!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Servanthood

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Matthew 24:46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

We are called to be servants, are we not? Well, what does a servant do? He (or she) carries out the will of his master. A servant doesn't tell his master what to do — he performs whatever tasks the master requests of him. A servant doesn't choose what days or times it's most convenient to serve his master. A servant's function is simply to follow and obey his master’s instructions. A servant does not develop a vision for the master either. The master is the one with the vision — and he wants his servants to be ready and available to carry out that vision and bring it to fruition.

How can we experience fulfillment in our lives? Simply by serving our Master — our Heavenly Father. The world encourages us to seek counterfeit fulfillment — power success — prosperity. The more of these things we gain, the more our flesh wants more. It is our sinful human nature. We will never find true fulfillment when we seek these things.

We must become servants if we want to experience true fulfillment. We need to become lowly, meek and humble. As God's servants we should have no other agenda, except to do His will. When we become faithful to do His will, then He will fulfill the aspirations He desires for us in our lives… and even those things we desire!

As God's faithful servant — we share in His success, we have direct access to His power and wealth and are able to walk in His authority! Let’s get our hearts in servant mode and watch how God brings about all the things we need and want.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Servanthood