One of the most popular devotional songs is the one that asks God to "Make me a servant."
Make me a Servant Lord, make me like You
For You are a servant, make me one too.
The melody is beautiful and the words pierce through to the very core of the character of Jesus and the Christian faith. When we sing this song do we know what we are asking?
- We are asking that Jesus make us like He was, a servant. Sounds good but do we really want this? Servants are obedient without grumbling; servants do the hard work; servants are responsible and accountable; servants do not get the praise and rewards of men; servants do service, that is what they are about. One thing for sure: servants are not "cool."
- The song says "do whatever has to be done" in order to make us servants like Jesus. Again, sounds easy but do we realize some of the things that may happen to us in the fulfilling of that request?
Our pride might have to be broken through suffering and trials in order to become like Him. We might have to learn new tasks. We may have to give up old positions, friends, comfort, zones, habits; in other words change, really change our character and our lives.
It may mean we have to sacrifice time, money and effort to reach this objective: sacrifice means pain. Becoming a servant like Jesus may cause us real pain. Do we want this?
Most songs today talk about love (looking for it or losing it) but this song talks about wanting something everybody in our society is trying to get away from, humility and service.
I think when people sing this they are doing it to honor God and praise Jesus with a beautiful song about how He was a servant, not so much about us wanting to be servants. Like many songs we sing, we are not totally conscious of the meaning and impact of the words. But if we are, if we do mean it, here are some things to do that will accomplish in your life, the ideas expressed in this song:
1. Pray that God will prepare you for service
When we study the lives of the men and women of the Bible we see how God prepared them in various ways for the service they would eventually render to Him: Moses trained to survive in the desert; David trained for war; Esther prepared to be queen; Paul trained in the Law.
The first step is to ask God to prepare us for service, and He will. Prepare us spiritually by dealing with our sins and helping us develop our gifts. Prepare us emotionally and physically by providing us with the resources to equip us for service. God answers a legitimate request to prepare us to serve Him more, or more effectively.
2. Be sensitive to opportunities for service
We sing the song but ignore all the needs crying out for our help; ignore the announcements for volunteers to teach, serve, visit and give. The church never lacks opportunities for service. It is servants we do not have enough of.
If you want to be like Jesus, open your eyes and see that the fields are truly "white unto harvest" in opportunities for servants.
3. Remember that the servant does receive a reward
The problem with servanthood is that it receives no honor or respect from the world, and that is difficult to bear. But this is not to say that there is no honor at all. The servant is honored by God, not by man. The servant receives glory when Jesus comes, even though his/her position is low now. The servant also experiences peace of mind and the joy that this produces.
The great rewards of servanthood in Christ; honor from God, glory with Jesus, peace of mind now, make up for whatever sacrifices that Christian service requires and far surpass whatever rewards the unbelievers may experience for a short time on this earth.
Do you really want to be a servant like Jesus, or are you just singing a song? If you do then the first step is to become His disciple through repentance and baptism.
For those disciples who have just been singing the song but want to do more, I encourage you to begin praying that God prepare you and provide you with an opportunity for service.
- What skill or ability do you use the most in service to others? Which skill or ability do you use least? Why?
- In your opinion, why did God appoint men to be deacons and not women?
- Name an area of ministry in your congregation that needs help. If put in charge what would you do to improve it?
- Identify one circumstantial and one spiritual obstacle in your life that prevents you from more effective service to the Lord.
- Break the groups down into three person teams. Have each team identify two new ministries that could be established in their congregation. Feedback with details to the group.