17 Apr ServantHood is God’s Call
“Behold my servant whom I uphold, My elect one, in whom my soul delights, I have put my spirit upon him” Isa. 42: 1
Here God calls Israel “My servant”. It is interesting that God emphasizes servanthood to a people who are in exile. Instead of encouraging them to fight for political power, God is advising them to practice servanthood. That time they were under the captivity of Babylon. Israelites were very much ill treated there as slaves. They were humiliated and living under the cruel rulers of the Babylon. Their hearts were broken and hurt. But God is advising them to serve their enemies. The Israelites, as Abraham’s descendents, were entrusted with redemptive plan, for saving the world and bring blessing to the Nations.
Servanthood is the God’s call for the believers. It may be unfashionable in these days. But it is God’s definite call. It is mandatory on the part of every believer to be a servant leader.
Servant –hood means to serve and to give.
“Servant” is chosen by God. (My Elect One.) The true servant of God is not self appointed but divinely appointed. God is delighted and pleased in it.
“In whom I delight” means, God is very much pleased in the person who practices Servant – hood.
It is very difficult to be a servant in our ego-centered, selfish and unkind world, where human values are deteriorating. But God promised, “I will uphold him”. God, who upholds the whole universe will definitely, uphold those who are committed to be servants.
Humanly speaking it is impossible to love our enemies who have done damage to our lives. “I have put my spirit upon Him” this is God’s promise to us. So we can be confident that the Spirit of the Lord fills our heart with love and heals all our past wounds. Holy Spirit enables us to do this as we willingly and unconditionally submit to Him.
Jesus’ teachings are very clear about servanthood as a lifestyle. In Mark 10:42. Jesus emphatically explained about this. In God’s kingdom there is a complete reversal of earthly values. In Heaven Gold is used as road metal where as we give so much value to it on earth. Jesus called His disciples to Him and said – you know which are accounted to rule over gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them”.
But Jesus in Mk 10:43, turned down the earthly values. He said,” you should not be like that”. It is not an advice but a command of our Lord. Further He explained “but who ever will be great among you, shall be your minister”. Leader must be everybody’s servant. In Cor. 4:5, Paul says “and ourselves your servants for Jesus sake”. In Mk 10:45, Jesus said “the son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many.”
The leaders who are qualified to lead are those who have learned to serve.
So servant –hood means to serve and to give. Jesus demonstrated the same in His life. He emptied Himself. He left all rights, prerogatives and privileges as second person in the God Head. He took the form of a servant. He served others. He went about doing well. He washed the feet of His disciples.
He loved His enemies. Servant hood is seen in His incarnation, in His life and in His death. As His followers we need to follow the foot- steps of our Master. We have to start this life of servant hood right from our home, then in our fellowship, our place of work and in college campuses.
Servant hood is not a natural quality. It has to be acquired and practiced with the help of God the Holy Spirit. Then only we can be real servants. Servant hood is not an office. It is a life style and it is our calling. Servant hood is freely chosen and needs no training. But it is the matter of will, commitment and dependence on God.
EXAMPLES OF THE SERVANT HOOD LEADERSHIP:
As students we observed this great quality in our fore fathers. We learnt more from their lives than from their teachings. Life of simplicity in Prof. Enoch, life of servanthood in the lives of Dr. T.N. Sterret and Br. Deenabandhu are remarkable and challenging to the young graduates. Dr. T.N Sterret gave an inspiring leadership by setting a model in doing very lowly jobs like cleaning toilets. He always encouraged team-work. He always desired to see others to excel. John Martin, a great Bible teacher says, “I’m what I’m today is because of the training given to me by Dr. T.N. Sterret as a Bible Teacher. He gave opportunity to me to exercise my gifts. Sterret usually said , “I’m only a facilitator and let others shine”. A servant leader is not possessive of positions, property, places and persons. Dr. Sterret moved in 40 places in his ministry. He always emphasized, “God’s work must be done in God’s way and God’s work done in man’s way is devilish.” People who moved with him felt neither inferior nor humiliated. He preferred to travel by 2nd class. He gave Highfield to UESI as a gift which costs crores of rupees.
In a world where self-centered egoism dominates, where relationships are measured in terms of clock and coin, High field symbolizes self denial, acceptance, simplicity and learning from others. Approachable, adaptable, affectionate are the supreme marks of servant hood.
Our forefathers have practiced it and left a legacy for us to follow. Every graduate is a servant to his co-graduate and to students. The leaders who are qualified to lead are those who have learned to serve. This is a missing jewel in our constituency today. That is why UESI has announced
‘Mentoring Servant Leaders’ as the thrust area for these two years.
CONTROLLING OTHER PEOPLE’S LIVES IS NOT A GODLY WAY, SERVING OTHER PEOPLE’S NEEDS IS WHAT THE LORD CONSIDERS GREAT. DISCIPLESHIP WITHOUT SERVANT HOOD IS COLD. SERVANT HOOD IS THE EXPRESSION OF OUR LOVE
Mr. M. N. Ravi Kumar is an active graduate from Nellore retired as Principal from a college in Kavali. Married to Mrs. Gezia.
They are blessed with three married daughters.