Creflo Dollar - The Pathway to Success - Part 3
If you have your Bibles, go with me to the Book of Mark chapter 10. Mark chapter 10 and verse 45; Mark 10:45. We're talking about "Servanthood: The Pathway To Success". "Servanthood: The Pathway To Success". Now, one of the things that I am sure about is that if you're going to achieve the success that God has intended for you, you will not be able to neglect the pathway that takes you to success. If you try to achieve success by going to other pathways, you may get to a point where it's successful, but it just won't last. It won't last, because I'll show you a Scripture today that, you know, if you do it out of your own situation, then you're just gonna be a base. I mean, if you do it out of pride, it won't last long. "Pride cometh before the fall".
And so, one of the things we see here is the fact that Jesus modeled servanthood for the purpose of us doing it. You will see in Scriptures that the reason why he washed feet is because he wanted to show and model what it would be like to serve humanity, and he wants us to do that. Now, we can't just decide, well, you know what matters to Jesus, it doesn't matter to me. And yet, that's how people think. You can't just decide, "Well, you know, this is 2021 or 2022," whatever year it is, and you think "Well, bless God, we don't need to do that. We have, you know, we're doing things differently". This is one thing that won't change. See, the Word of God won't change. It's the same yesterday, today and ever. It won't change, but so many people wanna change it. And you know, you have to understand the importance of servanthood.
So, let's look at this. Mark chapter 10, verse 45. Let's get into this. Notice, what he said in verse 45. He says, "For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many". Now, the word "minister" here is translated "servant" or in other words, he says, "For even the Son of Man". Even the Son of Man came not to be ministered to. He didn't come to be saved but he came to minister, or to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Now look at that same verse of Scripture in the NLT. He came to serve. Verse 45, he says, "For even the Son of Man came not to be served," okay, minister. That's what the word "minister" means. And you wonder why we referred to most preachers as ministers? Because they should all take on the identity of servant. Jesus came not to serve but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom, as a ransom for many.
So please understand that the life of Jesus was characterized by the quality of unselfish servanthood. The life of Jesus was characterized by this quality of unselfish servanthood. I mean, in 1 Corinthians chapter 11 and verse 1, if you're going to be a follower of Christ, you're going to follow him based on servanthood. I mean, look at what he says in 1 Corinthians chapter 11, and verse 1. He says, "Be ye followers of me," Paul is talking. "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ". Now, if you are a follower of Christ, you are a follower of servanthood. You can't be a follower of Christ and not be a follower of servanthood. And then also notice in 1 Peter chapter 2:21. 1 Peter chapter 2:21.
You see, we wanna see that we're followers of Christ, but if you're not following Christ where servanthood is concerned, you're not a follower of Christ. And look what he says here in 1 Peter 2:21. He says, "For even hereunto were you called because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example," "leaving us an example that you should follow his steps". "You should follow his steps". "Leaving us an example that we should follow his steps". And following his steps just simply, you know, means that you're gonna give up some things in your life. Let's read the next one. You're gonna release some things in your life by following his steps. He says, "Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth". So please understand something: to be a follower of Jesus is to be a follower of servanthood, that even Jesus, God in the flesh, came to serve and not to be served.
So for everyone who says I'm a follower of Christ but you're not a servant, you're not a follower of Christ. "What, oh, you're just getting too deep". No, I intend on showing you today that if you've not submitted yourself in the form of a servant, you are not a follower of Christ, because the identity that Jesus carried, was the identity of a servant. But it was not only Jesus. I mean you will be shocked a number of people in the Bible that understood this enough to identify with Jesus as a servant. In Luke 1:38, Mary, the mother of Jesus called herself a servant. In Philippians chapter 2:7, of course, Jesus called himself a servant. In Romans 1:1, and Galatians 1:10, and Philippians 1:1, and Titus 1:1, the Apostle Paul called himself a servant. In Revelations 1:1, John called himself a servant. In 2 Peter 1:1, Peter called himself a servant. In James chapter 1:1, James called himself a servant. In the book of Jude 1:1, Jude called himself a servant. In Philippians chapter 1:1, Timothy was called a servant. In Colossians 4:12, Epaphras was called a servant. And then, here's the thing that blew my mind to allow me to boldly say what I just said in the book of Acts 2:18, chapter 16:17, 2 Timothy chapter 2:24, 1 Peter 2:16, Revelation 7:3. Revelations 10:7, Revelations 19:2, 19:5, Revelations 22:3, Revelation 22:6: all believers are called servants.
So how do you just kind of, just drop the subject? How did we get here? How did you come to the place where we have completely forgotten about servanthood and forgotten about that Jesus became, even Jesus became a servant, was reduced to a form of a servant, chose to be a servant. And now, all of a sudden, some Christians going around and talking about, "No, no, no". I don't agree with that. Nobody cares what you agree with. You've got to understand this is what the Bible is saying, and if you are a follower of Christ, if you are Christian, the Bible says your identity should be a servant. And so, let's get into this and look at some things that I believe will be life-changing. It is the pathway to success. It is a pathway for you being successful in accomplishing the will of God for your life. And Jesus's life was characterized by unselfish servanthood. Now, let's go to Philippians chapter 2, verses 4 through 8. Philippians chapter 2, verses 4 through 8.
Now, listen to me carefully as you turn there. We're gonna look at this in the King James and the New Living Translation. There is no question that if we as Christians are going to grow and if we as Christians are going to mature in Christlike character, there's no question that we must experience progress in giving of ourselves in ministering to and for others, that if we're gonna grow and if we're gonna mature, then we must experience progress in our lives in giving ourselves in ministry to and for other people. If there's anything that can define "immature Christian," it is the lack of giving yourself to and for others, the lack of giving yourself to and for others. And I believe with all my heart that the Bible is just clear on this issue, that we got to grow, and we've got to mature in servanthood. We've got to begin to understand that cannot be the neglected part of the Christian life.
In Philippians chapter 2, first of all in the King James, verse 4 through 8. Look at this. He says, "Look not every man on his own thing," or on his own interest, "but every man also on the things of others," that if you're gonna be a servant, you can't just be looking at your own interest, but you got a look at somebody else's. He says, "Let this mind," or attitude, "let this mind," or attitude, "be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus". So he said, here's the attitude Christ Jesus had, "who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God". Here's the attitude he had. Next verse. He says, "But he made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant". This is the Son of God. This is God on the earth who took upon him. I mean, he could have, you know, spent time with his equality with God, but he says, "No, I'm gonna take on the form of a servant". And he says, "And he was made in the likeness of men". This is powerful. "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself".
See, he had to humble himself to be in the form of a servant. Are you willing to humble yourself to be a servant? "And became of obedience unto death, even the death of the cross". Now, look at this in the New Living Translation. Same verses. He says, "Don't look out only for your own interest". See, a servant is not looking out only for his own interest. Don't look out only for your own interest. Are you looking out only for your own interests? 'Cause the Scripture says, "Don't look out only for your own interest, but take an interest in others". When was the last time you took an interest in somebody else besides yourself? Take an interest in others. He says, "You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had". And the attitude Christ had was that of a servant. Servanthood is an attitude.
You wanna evaluate your leadership, well, look at your servanthood, because if you are a rotten servant, you're going to be a rotten leader. And the Scripture says, "Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as someone to cling to," but watch this, "instead, he gave up his divine privileges and he took the humble position of a servant, or a bondslave, and was born as a human being when he appeared in human form. He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal's death on a cross". Now, the thing that gets me is Jesus took on the form of a servant. Who do we think we are to take on any other form except that of the servant? What are you? "Now, I'm gonna try to redefine Christianity". You're now gonna try to redefine what matters to Jesus. And what matters to Jesus is that we have this attitude that he had where servanthood is concerned. And this is where we grow. This is where we begin to mature as we begin to serve other people.
Now, here's the thing I want you to hear. Now, this is so important. I want you to write this down if you can, "Servant living stands opposed to the primary concerns that we see today where the focus of our culture and the focus of our society today, is more on our own personal happiness and comfort". That's the focus of society today. It's focused on the individual, your own happiness and comfort. And we can hardly think about serving anybody else because we're focused on what matters to me. And what matters to the individual is my happiness and my comfort. It's all about always about your happiness and your comfort. And so, you're so busy focused on your happiness and your comfort, you're not focused on what matters to God. Somebody says, "That's not Scripture". "Yes, it is".
Go to Philippians chapter 2, verse 21. I was pretty amazed to see this in Scripture and yet it's something that needs to be shared. In verse 21 he says, "For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's". Now, look at this in the New Living Translation. They all seek their own. Everybody's seeking their own. They're not trying to seek what matters to Jesus Christ. The NLT says, "All the others care only for themselves". Doesn't that sound familiar today? "All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ". See, the issue is, is that we should be caring about what matters to Jesus. And what matters to Jesus is servanthood. Let's just get it on down. What matters to Jesus is servanthood. And what happens in a life of people, and Christian people, and the church when we no longer are concerned about what matters to Jesus Christ? We haven't even exulted our comfort and happiness and what matters to us above what matters to Jesus Christ.
And if that's the case, then why are you even saved? What do you expect if what matters to him doesn't matter to you? In fact, look at 2 Timothy chapter 3, verses 1 through 5. Again, I wanna read this in the King James and the NIV. 2 Timothy 3, verse 1 through 5. Now, Jesus, you know, spoke of the Apostle Paul reconfirmed what was gonna be like right before Christ returns. He gave a lot of signs and signals, what would it be like before Christ returns. And he mostly talked about the darkness that was on people. 2 Timothy, chapter 3, verses 1 through 5 in the King James. Now, he begins to speak here, and he says, "This know also, that in the last days," so if you wanna know if this is the last days, listen to what he says. "In the last days, perilous times shall come". Verse 2, "For men shall be lovers of their own selves".
And when you lovers of yourselves, you're gonna see, "covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affections, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God". Verse 5, "Having a form of godliness," oh, you can look like you godly, you can come to church, "having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof: from such," he said, "turn away". Now, look at this in the NIV. The whole point is that there was a wounded of prophecy. Prophecy, God is saying something before it happened. This was said before it happened, but know it's happening right now. Our society could be perfectly described by this prophecy that was given. And if that's the truth, then we know that we are in the last days.
Verse 1, he says, "You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving, unforgiving. They will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends. They will be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that". This is prophetic. This is something that's going on right now. And there is no way that these type of characteristics can ever enter into servanthood. These characteristics stand opposite of what servanthood is all about, which is what matters to God. And so, you can look in our world today and you can probably understand, "Well, where are servants? Where's the attitude of servanthood".
Well, look at what you have here? And when you have people that are focused totally on themselves and not on anybody else, it completely goes against the intent and the plan of God, the plan of God that says, "I want servanthood in place because through servanthood I plan on blessing the world and the church at the same time," and here we are. We're here. And I realize I'm teaching on something in a time where all of this exists, because at least I pray that just by teaching this, it may wake some people up and say, "Wait a minute, I'm going down the wrong path". So understand, affection and attention directed solely at self, takes you out of the position of having that same attitude of servanthood that Jesus said that he wants us to have.
Now, in today's society, a focus on satisfaction has become society's goal, and I would even say it's become the religion. This society's religion has turned into a focus on satisfaction. I mean you can see just the mindset that over the years have been going on, slogans that have put in there to kind of make it all right. "Be all you can be". Slogans like, "Experience your potential". Everything that gets you focused off others and gets you focused only on you. So, there is more of a concern for self-fulfillment in today's time versus serving God and others as seen in the life of Jesus. Society, I mean worldwide, focused on self-fulfillment instead of focusing on what matters to Jesus. So what is servanthood? After talking about that and I'm sure there are some people are just a little, "Oh my god, I can't believe you just said that".
Let's define servanthood. Let's take some time and look at the definition of servanthood from different perspectives. So what is servanthood? Servanthood, first of all, as I've said already, it's an attitude. It's an attitude, it's a state, a condition, or quality of one who lives as a servant submitted to God first and foremost. Servanthood is submitted to God first and foremost. As a servant, I want to serve God. I want to serve the kingdom of God first and foremost. That's gotta be priority. If that's not priority, any type of servanthood where God is not the priority. and you're not serving God first and foremost, I guarantee you it will end up in hypocritical servanthood. A servant in submission to God will now seek to meet the real needs of others or of the person whom he is serving. That's a guy who's submitted to God, wanting to meet the needs of others. Servanthood is the condition, or the state, of being a servant to others.
Notice, "others" keep coming up. You can't be the servant Jesus talked about if it's just you and you're never ever concerned about others. And so, servanthood is the condition, or the state, of being a servant to others, of ministry to others, rather than service of self. It can't be service of self. You know what grieves the Holy Spirit? Go to Ephesians chapter 4:28 and 31. You know what grieves the Holy Spirit? Most people think, well, sin grieves the Holy Spirit, and it definitely doesn't make God happy. But in context, when it talked about "grieve not the Holy Spirit," what grieves the Holy Spirit is how we treat one another. What grieves the Holy Spirit is how we deal with one another. And to not to do deal with others in servanthood, that absolutely grieves the Holy Spirit. Look at what he says in 28. He says, "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing, which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth".
Notice, he starts this off by servanthood. You know, serving someone that needs it. Look at verse 29. He says, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying," building other people up, "that it may minister grace unto the hearers". Verse 30, check this out, "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption". Now, notice, at the first part of this, it's talking about how you treat one another. "Don't grieve the Holy Spirit of God". It's talking about how we need to serve one another and don't grieve the Holy Spirit of God. And then he goes in verse 31 and he says, "And let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice". He's talking about don't use these things against other people because that grieves the Holy Spirit. How are you treating other people? How are you serving other people? You're wondering where is the Holy Ghost in your life and what's happening here? How are you treating one another?