“If you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded”. –Matthew 10:42 (NLT)
The world may define greatness in terms of power, possessions, prestige & position. God however, determines our greatness by how many people we serve, not how many people serve us. He shaped us for service, not self-centeredness.
-Real servants make themselves available to serve. If we only serve when it’s convenient for us, then we aren’t real servants. Ask yourself:
Are we available to God anytime? Can he mess up our plans w/o us becoming resentful?
-Real servants pay attention to needs. Servants are always on the lookout for ways to help others. When they see a need, they seize the moment to meet it. We miss many occasions for serving because we lack sensitivity & spontaneity. Great opportunities to serve never last long—we may only get one chance to serve that person, so take advantage of the moment.
John Wesley’s motto: “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.” That is greatness. Begin by looking for small tasks that no one else wants to do. Do these little things as if they were great things.
-Real servants do every task with equal dedication. The size of the task is irrelevant; the only issue is, does it need to be done? We will never arrive at the state in life where we are too important to help with menial tasks. God will never exempt us from the mundane. Jesus specialized in menial tasks that everyone else tried to avoid. Nothing was beneath him, because he came to serve. It wasn’t in spite of his greatness that he did these things, but because of it, and he expects us to follow his example.
No task is beneath us when we have a servant’s heart. Great opportunities often disguise themselves in small tasks. The little things in life determine the big things. Don’t look for great tasks to do for God. Before attempting the extraordinary, try serving in ordinary ways. There will always be more people willing to do “great” things for God than there are people willing to do the little things. The race to be leader is crowded, but the field is wide open for those willing to be servants.
-Real servants are faithful to their ministry. Can you be counted on by others? Are there promises you need to keep, vows you need to fulfill, or commitments you need to honor? God is testing your faithfulness.
-Real servants maintain a low profile. You may be serving in obscurity in some small place, feeling unknown & unappreciated. Know that God puts you there for a purpose. He will let you know if he wants you somewhere else.
The difference between prominence & significance: We have several prominent features on our body that we could live without; it is the hidden parts of our body that are indispensable. The most significant service to others is often the service that is unseen.
Don’t be discouraged when your service is unnoticed or taken for granted. Even the smallest service is noticed by God.
Question to Consider: Which of the 6 characteristics of real servants offers the greatest challenge to me?
* We will be writing about what inspires us from each consecutive chapter of Warren’s Purpose Driven Life. If you read along with us, please share your inspirations. There’s no need to catch up, just jump right in.