NOTE: Please listen to the message by clicking on the link to our sermons, just to the right of this blog entry. This is a passionate plea to the church to seek Jesus Christ’s servant heart.

[SW067] 11/11/12 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2012
“The Servant Heart”

Matthew 20:28 “. . . just as  the Son of Man  did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Much is said by the church about servant hearts.

We have borrowed the term “servant leadership” from the business world.

We define it as “working to be a servant to all” and we feed the hungry and fight against social injustice, like many secular organizations. This is laudable, and I applaud the work that is being done. I give to the work that is being done (just so you know I’m not some kind of curmudgeon).

We serve out of a sense of moral rightness and our deep caring for human beings, like many secular organizations.

Our leaders say, “Seek to be admired by your community.”

We quote Wesley out of context, saying, “There is no holiness without social holiness. The true context? Classes and bands, where Christians bared their souls to one another and confessed their sins and sought to be filled with the Holy Spirit, sanctified through and through, hearts made pure!!!

The Lord wants to speak to your heart about this, dear Christian. Something needs repair that only God can do.

How is the church different than the moral ones in the world, if all she is able to do is what they do?

We are supposed to be so different than the world that the world must admit “God is with you!”

Like the world, we put bandaids on people, but the wound is never healed!

Jeremiah 8:11 “They  heal the brokenness of the daughter of My people superficially,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
But there is no peace.

O church, Christ wants to use you to fully heal, to serve as He served!

The condition of your heart is the key issue that keeps you from serving entirely differently than the world serves.

How does Jesus define “the servant heart? He served by dying — He came for that purpose.

I believe He said this to me: “My church can only serve when she tells Me she wants to be selfless, like I am, and asks Me to kill the selfish ‘old man’ in her.”

Then you are filled with the Holy Spirit:
— the absolutely essential Third Person of the Trinity
–who must rule and reign in Christ’s church,
–the One who gives us His holiness, without which you will not see God.

Then you have a servant heart as Christ defines it.

Then your heart is filled with God’s actual love and you serve out of His love.

Then we preach and live the pure gospel, regardless of the world’s violent hatred toward it. We seek to please God, not man. That is true, life-giving, heart-changing service!

Then your service is supernatural in nature:
–not simply good works that any moral person can do but
–“God works” that only God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit can do.

Then all that we do, we do for His glory and not ours. And then His glory will manifest through us to others!

Then we don’t have divisions among us, those things which always give God the Father and God the Son a bad name.

Then we no longer demand our rights because we have given up our right to ourselves.

Jesus served by dying. This is the Scripture I was meditating on when the Lord spoke to me:

Matthew 20:28 “. . . just as  the Son of Man  did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Do you see it? His service was to give His life.

You must have a servant heart like His. Therefore, your selfishness must die.

The song the Lord gave me says, “How strange, my Lord, that you were born in humble manger, yet a King . . . how unexpected, God-designed, that we must come just as You came.”

Humbly recognizing your spiritual selfishness, you must ask Him to make your heart like His.

Your humbled heart, His Spirit will fill, and not until.

Here is the context of Matthew 20:28 —

Matthew 20:17    As Jesus was about to go up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and on the way He said to them,  18 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man  will be  delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, 19 and  will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on  the third day He will be raised up.”

And then Jesus says,

Matthew 20:28 just as  the Son of Man  did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His  life a ransom for many.”

That is His definition of a servant heart. He served by giving His life as a ransom for many (for all who would come), that they may be saved from being under God’s wrath and become children of God.

He did not come to be served.

Why does He speak Matthew 20:28 to His disciples?

Because of what they had asked, right after He prophesied His crucifixion.

Their actions define “spiritual selfishness:”

Matthew 20:20    Then the mother of  the sons of Zebedee came to  Jesus with her sons,  bowing down and making a request of Him.  21 And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She  said to Him, “Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine  may sit one on Your right and one on Your left.”  22 But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able  to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They  said to Him, “We are able.”  23 He  said to them, “ My cup you shall drink; but to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give,  but it is for those for whom it has been  prepared by My Father.”

His disciples displayed their selfish “old man.” How?

They asked Jesus to serve their ambitions by seating them in highly influential positions with Him, where they’d have Jesus’ ear in what they supposed was a kingdom in earthly Israel.

They wanted the world to admire them.

Quite naturally, their fellow self-serving disciples were indignant, demanding their rights, too.

They wanted Him to do something for them, to serve them (rather than them serving Him). So He had to teach them about God’s kingdom, where a servant dies for the sake of many.

Jesus’ kingdom is not of this earth. It is established in a heart whose purpose is to die so Christ may live and rule and reign there. His kingdom is also the kingdom of heaven.

“We are able to drink Your cup,” James and John said, without understanding what Jesus meant.

And He said, “You will.”

Did He mean they’d literally die because they were Christians?

John was never martyred. No, He was not speaking of literal death.

Jesus knew that the day of Pentecost would come for them.

When that day came, James’ and John’s “old man” would die, and the Holy Spirit would purify their hearts, giving them Jesus Christ’s servant heart.

The Lord rebuked them after they asked for special treatment and the rest were indignant.

He told them what it would be like for them when Pentecost happened in their hearts and they received His servant heart:

Matthew 20:26 “It is not this way among you,  but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as  the Son of Man  did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His  life a ransom for many.”

They were looking for glory and honor, influence and recognition. They were seeking to be served by Him. It is not to be this way among you!

If they had his servant heart, they never would have asked Him to give them positions of influence.

This is His heart — He did not come to be served. He came to die:

John 10:17 “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I  lay down My life so that I may take it again.

John 12:27   “ Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘ Father, save Me from  this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.

How is it to be for us? The same! Listen to the Interlinear Bible:

Philippians 2:1 Then if any comfort in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any compassions and pities, 2 fulfill the joy of me, that you think the same, having the same love, one in soul, minding the one thing, 3 nothing according to rivalry or self-glory, but in humility esteeming one another to surpass themselves, 4 not looking at their own things, but each also at the things of others. For think among you [have the mind] which was in Christ Jesus, who . . . 8b humbled Himself, becoming obedient until death, death even of a cross.

O church, fulfill my joy! Have this same mind, that you are willing to have the selfish “old man” die in you and be replaced with the nature and mind of Christ, so you have His attitude, His servant heart, His selflessness — no more self-glory, no more rivalry.

Matthew 10:38 “And  he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.  39 “ He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his  life for My sake will find it.”

Matthew 16:24   Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.

Deny (533), deny utterly, disown. Your “self,” your selfishness, your desires, your plans for your glory. That is your “cross.”

Follow (190), be in the same way, follow on a road, accompany Me.

Come after (2064), fall out (of the line you’re standing in now), come, enter!

But your old man cries, “there’s an ‘if’ in Matthew 16:24. It’s optional to take up my cross!”

Look at Matthew 10:38. He who does not do so is not worthy of Him.

Take up your cross. Go to Calvary, Ask the Lord to kill off that selfish old man. Gain His servant heart.

You can only serve in this way. This is your act of spiritual service. This is how you worship God:
Roman 12:1 [KJV]  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Do you truly want to serve Christ and His people? Then offer all of you, a whole burnt offering, to Him.

You will become selfless, as He is.

You will gain His servant heart.

Do it for the same reason He emptied Himself of His glory to give His literal life — His selfless act gave life to many (all who would come to Him).

All ministry will then flow from your new and right heart, His servant heart, with right motives, not for your own honor and glory.

And when you have His servant heart, many will receive life, seeing the life of Christ in you.

Cry out with King David:

Psalm 51:10    Create  in me a  clean heart, O God,
And renew a right spirit within me.
11  Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You.

Psalm 51:13 is your purpose here. You will only accomplish it when you have His servant heart.

Author: Susan Wynn, servant of Jesus Christ

Healed by Jesus Christ of MS in 2001, in the middle of the night! Proclaiming His gospel, His healing, His heart. Author of From Death To Life--A True Story of Healing, Hope and Being Set Free. Our ministry: My Father's Place, a ministry without walls, proclaiming Jesus Christ to the world.

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