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As we continue with our series of Matters of the Heart, the Lord laid upon my heart to discuss the importance of following Jesus’ example.  Jesus was a servant-leader.  How would you define a servant-leader?  It is a heart filled with humility, devotion and submission.  Jesus did not come for His own glory nor to fulfill His own agenda.  He came to bring honor to God the Father.  His heart’s desire was to be in the will of the Father not His own.

In John 13: 15-17, Jesus states to the disciples “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.  I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.  Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”  Jesus instructed His disciples to follow in His example and we are called to do the same today.  What does the example of Jesus look like?  Philippians 2:5-8 gives us a greater revelation.  It states, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!” Jesus’ example reflected the heart and attitude of humility, devotion and submission.

The first step in having a servant-leadership heart starts with our attitude.  How many times do we judge or criticize others based upon limited information we have of them or circumstance that involved them?  Or how often do we do we allow our first impression of someone to be based upon their appearance rather than coming to understand the true person they are?  Are we so quick to esteem ourselves better or above another when they do not measure against our standards?  How many times has God given us a responsibility and we have lost sight of the true mission?  We can allow our minds to become filled with selfish ambition and impure motives.

In order for us to obtain a servant-leadership heart we must have humility as a key characteristic within our hearts and attitudes.  Humility does nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit.  Humility is neither boastful nor proud.  Humility does not assume.  Jesus Christ, who is the King of kings and Lord of lords, could have required for those around Him to recognize and honor Him, but He didn’t.  He chose to express humility and love towards others.  In a society that claims “it’s all about me,” Jesus is making a more profound statement – it’s all about the Father.

Jesus expressed the second characteristic in obtaining a servant-leadership heart, a heart full of submission.  According to Scripture, it states Jesus took “on the very nature of a servant.” A servant is one who wants to understand his Master and fulfills what the Master had called him to do.  A servant is one who listens to the direction of his Master.  A servant is one who provides for the needs of others without complaining or grumbling.  Jesus submitted to the Father’s will in the service God the Father had called Him.  In John 4:34, Jesus states “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”  Jesus was not only about expressing humility and love, but was also about walking in submission to the call on His life.

Yet, we are called to be His disciples and follow in His example, but do we?  Do we know what God the Father desires to accomplish in and through us?  Are we off making our own agendas and plans?  The only way we will ever know the will of the Father is by spending time with Him.  Do we listen to the direction God is giving us, or are we off trying to manipulate a situation so it will turn out the way we want it to?  Do we provide for the needs of others without complaining or grumbling?  Or are we using the gift of time to service our own desires?

God desires to take our self-centered hearts and transform them into a servant-leader heart.  God can’t use our lives when we are focused on “me.”  When we are about His business, He can use our lives to alter the lives of those around us.
The last characteristic of a servant-leader Jesus expressed was a heart of devotion.  Philippians states Jesus “humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!”  Jesus was committed to fulfilling the work of the God the Father even to the point of giving up His life to walk in obedience to what God desired.  We may not be asked by God to give up our lives as Jesus did, but He does expect us to walk in devotion to Him.  Devotion is not just an act of prayer and worship to Him.  Devotion is learning to push past our fears and doubts.  Devotion is being determined to thrust forward despite our frustrations and self defeat.  Devotion is being committed – no matter the cost!  Devotion realizes the importance and purpose of the call.

I love the fact Jesus was the perfect example for us to follow.  Being a servant-leader is fulfilling the call God has on each of our lives.  In order for us to do so, our hearts have to reflect humility, submission and devotion.

So perhaps, God is using this teaching to have you reflect upon your own walk with Him.  Let me ask you, do you need an attitude adjustment?  If so, ask God to help you to have an attitude like His Son Jesus.  Or perhaps, God is revealing to you this day the need for you to be devoted to Him no matter the cost.

How I pray the Lord will bless you and keep you.  May His face shine upon you and give you peace.

In Him,
Melissa Pearce

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