Bible Society of South Africa
Xanthe Hancox

Fruit of the Spirit – Day 1

Biblical servanthood

Bible text(s)

26Whoever wants to serve me must follow me, so that my servant will be with me where I am. And my Father will honour anyone who serves me.

John 12:26GNBOpen in Bible reader

45For even the Son of Man did not come to be served; he came to serve and to give his life to redeem many people.”

Mark 10:45GNBOpen in Bible reader

4And look out for one another's interests, not just for your own.

Philippians 2:4GNBOpen in Bible reader

Servant leadership is a buzzword that has been around for decades. It is a leadership philosophy and set of leadership practices that put the needs of others first, and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. However, long before organisations and psychologists hit on the concept of servant leadership, the Bible had a great deal to say about servanthood.

Unselfish servanthood is a quality that so completely characterised the life of Jesus Christ, the greatest servant of all. Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). The apostle Paul added to this focus when he wrote, “Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but the interests of others as well” (Philippians 2:4). When we give Jesus Christ his rightful place as Lord of our lives, his lordship will be expressed in the way we serve others. We demonstrate our love for God in the ways in which we show our love for others. As believers, we are all called to a life in ministry. That does not necessarily mean we all called as preachers, pastors or church workers, but it does mean we are all called to be servants for the glory of God.

A retired army general is quoted with saying, “Rank is given you to enable you to better serve those above and below you. It is not given for you to practise your idiosyncrasies.” God has served us by sacrificing Christ on the cross for our sins and we should serve others by giving the gospel and our lives to them. Those who desire to be great in God’s kingdom must be the servant of all. Over the next while, we will be looking at different aspects of servanthood in the Bible and how we can develop a servant’s heart.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.21.9
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