Joyce Meyer - Becoming a Servant - Part 2
Well, thank you for joining us today on "Enjoying Everyday Life". I pray that you will receive something from God's word that will really make your life better. That it will make you happier, and bring you closer to God. We're teaching right now on "What makes a great man, great". I think most of us would say that we wanna be a great man of God or a great woman of God, but our idea of greatness and God's idea of greatness, are very often, two, totally different things. From a viewpoint of a human being, greatness might be your social standing, what kind of clothes you wear, how much education you have, what kind of car you drive, how many important people you know. But those things are really not what make us great.
Jesus said that "The greatest among you must be a servant". Well, to be honest, that's not overly exciting to most of us because in the world, servanthood, or people who quote, "Just serve," it's not looked at as an important position, but it is very important to God. Jesus came and made himself a servant. Now, get that. Jesus, who is God, himself, came to earth, took on a human form, and made himself a servant. I like the, made himself a servant. I know, like, for me, I am not naturally gifted or called into the helps ministry. Well, I am, but not the way I should be. I love it if everybody helps me. But I'm not a person who "Naturally," in the natural, looks for what all I can do for everybody else. But I've learned to do it on purpose.
I love those two words "On purpose". And I think, if we're ever gonna be obedient to God, there's a lot of things that we're gonna have to do on purpose. We have to get over thinking that we have to feel like doing everything that God wants us to do. It doesn't matter whether I feel like it or not, if God says it, then I need to do it. And if God says it, then you need to do it. And Jesus gave a great example in John 13. Today, we're gonna talk about how great men wash feet. Now, in the Bible days, the roads weren't paved like they are today. And men and women wore sandals. And so, as they walked along the dusty and dirty roads, their feet got very dirty.
So, it was very customary when you went to someone's home, they would have one of their servants wash the feet of their guests. Wasn't considered a very "Enjoyable" experience. I mean, who wants to wash dirty feet? I said, "You don't have to wash mine, just rub my feet". I don't know about you, but I love to get a good foot rub. Matter of fact, I know that God is alive and well, because after being married to Dave for 54 years, and asking him many times to rub my feet, and most of the time, him telling me, "No", 'cuz it's not something he likes to do, about a week ago, I was sitting in my recliner working on a book, and without me asking him, he came over and rubbed my feet. And then, he actually, kissed one of 'em, and I thought, "Well, that is so sweet". I'm still kinda shocked.
We need to be willing to serve other people and do things that we don't, particularly, like to do ourselves, but something that they would enjoy. That's what it means to serve other people. You do for them, what they enjoy, not what you enjoy doing. And I have to ask, what I asked yesterday: "What are you doing for somebody else"? We all wanna be happy, and you cannot be selfish and happy. So, I believe that, on purpose, honestly, those are two of my favorite words. On purpose, we need to do things for other people, every, single day of our lives. And so, sometimes, you have to think about it. "What can I do for this person? How can I be a blessing to this person"? Well, Jesus, certainly, was a great man. There would be no argument about that. And Jesus washed the disciples feet. What a wonderful example.
John 13:3-17: "Jesus knew that the father had put all things under his power", so, he had all power, "and that he had come from God and was returning to God". So, first thing we wanna realize here, is that Jesus knew who he was, he knew where he came from, and he knew where he was going. He was truly confident. And I'll tell you, we cannot serve other people unless we know who we are in Christ. If you're insecure at all, you're gonna want some kind of a high position to make you feel good about yourself. But if you already feel good about yourself because you know who you are in Christ, then you can do what Jesus did, and you can put on a servant's towel, and you can "Wash feet". And of course, wash feet here, doesn't necessarily mean to get a basin of water and kneel down and wash people's feet physically. It could, but really, this is a reference to just doing things for other people, and perhaps, things that would be in the natural, distasteful.
Somebody just told me, during the break, that they were gonna go mow their grandmother's lawn, this Saturday. And it wasn't really what they wanted to do, but it needs to be done, so they're going to do it. And if we're gonna serve God, we're gonna need to be willing to do things for other people that aren't necessarily things that our flesh loves to do, but they're still things that need to be done, and we're willing to do them. Five of the greatest words you can say is, "How can I help you? How can I serve you"? Sometimes, we're afraid to say to somebody, "How can I help you"? Because they may want us to help them in some way that we don't really, particularly, care for. But if you're gonna be a servant of God, you don't get to pick and choose what you'd like to do, you just do what you believe God wants you to do: obedience.
Jesus knowing who he was, where he came from, where was going, "Got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel", a servant's towel, "Around his waist. And after that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him". Now, can you just imagine how they felt? You know, their leader, Jesus, "What are you doing, Jesus, washing my feet? I should be washing your feet". Well, when "He came to Peter, Peter said to him, 'Lord, are you going to wash my feet'? And Jesus replied, 'you don't realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand'. 'no,' Peter said, 'you shall never wash my feet'. And Jesus answered'", now, this is very important part of this message today, "'unless I wash you, you have no part in me'".
And wow, what is that saying? Unless we do things for one another, we have no real relationship. Wow. Let's say, in a marriage, most marriages, after a short period of time, each one looks at the other one thinking, "Well, you should be doing this for me. You should be doing that for me. Why aren't you doing this for me? Why aren't you doing that for me"? And it should be the exact opposite. We should be thinking, "What can I do for you? How can I serve you? How can I be a blessing to you"? I mean, the divorce rate would be cut down to almost nothing if people did that. If you're grown and you have parents, that are maybe, a little bit older now, you should be doing things for them. You should be helping them. You should be calling them and saying, "Is there anything you need? Is there anything I can do for you"? That's very important for relationship.
Remember what I said. In order to have good relationships, we have to do things for one another. Few years back, I realized that I had a lot of relationships that were one-sided relationships, where people just kinda stood back and expected me to do everything for them. I always paid for lunch. I always paid for coffee. I was the one they were always asking for a favor, but I realized they weren't doing anything for me. And it was during a period of time when we were having a campaign here at the ministry, asking people to give, financially, to help us build this building. And so many people that we had supported and done things for, for years and years, didn't respond at all, to our request for help. They wanted us to do things for them, but when they had an opportunity to do something for us, they didn't. And I just kind of made my mind up that I didn't want any more one-sided relationships.
Now, I will do anything that God tells me to do for anybody, whether, they're doing something for me or not. But I just don't think it's a healthy relationship, if it's all one-sided. And that's kind of what Jesus was trying to tell Peter, "This is not just about me doing things for you, but you need to do things for me, and I need to do things for you". I hope that helps somebody in relationship. What are you doing for the people that you're in a relationship with? Think about it. Don't just listen to this today, and say, "Oh, all that was a great teaching," and then, turn your TV off and never think about it again. The best way to get the most out of a teaching is to continue thinking about it. In Mark 4, the Bible says, "The measure of thought and study that you give to the truth that you hear is the measure of virtue", which is power, "That will come back to you".
So, the more you think about this, the more you make it personal and you begin to think аbout: "Who are my friends, and what am I doing for them? What am I doing for the members of my own family"? Sometimes, we feel like slaves, in our own home, like, "All I do is wait on the kids, and wait on my husband, and who does anything for me"? But what we need to do is, do everything that we do "As unto the Lord," remembering that it is from him that we get our reward. That's found in Colossians 3. "Do everything you do as unto the Lord, remembering that it is from him that you will get your reward". "'Unless I wash you, you have no part in me'". I love that. Well, "'then, Lord,' Peter replied, 'don't wash just my feet but my hands and my head as well'. Jesus answered, 'those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet: their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you'". And he was talking about Judas, who he knew was going to betray him. But I had a question, in my heart, about this statement: "You are all clean, except for Judas".
Well, how can he say that to Peter, who was going to shortly after this, deny that he even knew him, and to these other disciples who couldn't even stay awake long enough to pray with him, for one hour, when he was suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane? And I wondered about that for a long time, but then, I heard a statement that answered the question for me. There's a big difference in wickedness and weakness. And see, Peter was not wicked, he just had weaknesses. And the disciples weren't wicked, they just had weaknesses. And God knows that we all have weaknesses and he knows what they are before he ever invites us into relationship with him. "For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said, 'not every one of you is clean'. When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place".
You see, a true, great man can have a key leadership position and he can take off his leadership mentality and put on a servant's towel, which is a servant's attitude, and go do some little, maybe, insignificant thing for somebody, and then, he can come back to his leadership position and pick right up where he left off. We need to be servant leaders and that means, we lead by example. You can't just teach other people to be givers if you're not a giver yourself. You can't teach other people to spend time in the Word of God, if you're not spending any time in the Word of God yourself. If you're a teacher, or a leader, in the body of Christ, always ask yourself, "Am I doing what I'm telling other people to do"? "You call me 'teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that i, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, then you should wash one another's feet". He was saying, "I did this an example".
And here, again, it's not about physically washing somebody's feet, it really represents doing maybe unpleasant, little things, or big things, but a lot of times, just little things, for people. You know, sometimes, something little can mean more to somebody than something great big. "Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him". Now, listen to verse 17. Here it is. "Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them". Wow. See, it doesn't really matter how much I have underlined in my Bible, and there's a lot, because I've been using this one a couple of years, so see, I got it all marked up, and colored in, and some is pink, and some is blue, and I've got circles around stuff. You know, I could look at this and feel real spiritual. "Wow, man, I really study the Bible a lot". But it doesn't matter what I think I know. And today, you know, our whole world is chasing after knowledge, and they're so proud of what they know.
The Bible says, in Daniel, that in the last days men will be going to and fro searching for knowledge. And we all wanna just get all the knowledge we can. We wanna know everything that's going on. But Jesus said, "Knowing these things, blessed are you if you do them". You see, there's no blessing in just knowing it, the blessing comes in, when I do it. So, here, again, I say to you respectfully, "What are you doing"? Are you a generous giver? Do you study the Word of God on a regular basis? Do you pray regularly? Do you pray for other people, or do you just pray for the things that you want? Are you a person who does, maybe, seemingly, insignificant things for other people? Do you purposely ask God what you can do for other people? Jesus, knowing who he was, began to wash their feet. An insecure person without confidence cannot serve others because they're always seeking a position to make them feel good about themselves.
I remember, years ago, when I used to do the interviewing and the hiring of the employees here, at the ministry. Thank, God, now, I don't have to do everything. But in the beginning, when the ministry was quite small, we didn't have the money to hire somebody to do everything: Dave and I did it all. I mean, we picked the mail up, we opened the mail. I would sit at my little typewriter and answer the mail, interview all the applicants for jobs. And I remember one person, who sat in my office, and they just, kept wanting to know what their title was going to be. You know, I ended up not hiring that person just because of that. I thought, "If you are that concerned about what your title's gonna be, then you are an insecure person that's gonna give me problems, later on, if I hire you".
Don't be so concerned about what kinda title you're gonna have, or if you're gonna have your name on your office door, or things like that. Be concerned about how you can be a blessing everywhere that you go. When you go out your door, in the morning, start asking God, "Show me who I can be a blessing to". Jesus put on a slave's apron which represented putting on a servant's attitude. Philippians 2:4-7, "Not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of other people". Now, this doesn't say that we can't do things for ourselves. It doesn't say that we can't have interests that we pray about. The Bible says, "God will give you the desires of your heart," and just about every morning, when I pray, I tell God what some of the desires of my heart are, and that I'm waiting on him to meet those desires. But I also, ask him what I can do for other people. And he says here, "Don't just be merely or only interested in your own interests, but each of you think of what the other person is interested in".
One of the ways you can serve somebody is by talking to them about what they're interested in, not just what you're interested in, but what they're interested in. Another way you can serve someone is, let's just say that they're a talker, they just love to talk, and you're not one who really likes to listen to a lot of stuff that doesn't really interest you. You know, one of the ways you can serve somebody is just by keeping quiet and listening, just let 'em talk, let 'em talk, let 'em talk, let 'em talk. One of my children, the other day, was with somebody who just loves to talk. And they told me, it was funny, "I just let him talk for almost a half a day and he was almost giddy by the time we left each other".
You know, for some people, the best thing you can do for them is just listen to them. Everybody has a love language, and it's good to find out what other peoples are. Do they feel loved when you give them a gift? Do they feel loved when you give them time? Do they feel loved when you give them a hug? How do they feel loved? We usually want to give people what we wanna receive, but we need to find out what other people want and give them what they want. "In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ: who, being in the very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage". He was equal with God because he was God, but he had no problem with laying that aside and taking on the job of a servant.
"But he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, and being made in human likeness". He was concerned with helping and blessing other people, and we should be, too. Jesus made himself of no reputation. I love that. He was not the least bit concerned about his reputation. You see someone who "Just" serves other people might think it's gonna hurt their reputation. People are gonna think they're not important. But if you already know you're important to God, then you don't have to be concerned about what other people think of you. We waste so much time being concerned about what people think of us, or what they're saying about us.
If you know who you are in Christ, you don't need to be concerned about those things. "He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant being made in human likeness". He was not concerned about his reputation: he was concerned with helping other people. He took upon himself, the form of a servant. He did the things that servants do. Well, you know, we legally have the name of Jesus because this goes on to say, "Therefore [because he stooped so low] God has highly exalted him and has freely bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that in and (at) the name of Jesus every knee (must) bow, in heaven on earth and under the earth".
This is so powerful because he stooped so low, God exalted him. And the Bible tells us, "If we'll humble ourselves God will promote us, and he will exalt us". Well, we've been given that name of Jesus, too. And the more obedient you are to God, the more power there is in that name, for you, when you speak it. Let's think again, before we close, about John 13:17, "If you know these things, blessed and happy and to be envied are you if you practice them," if you do them.
Now, we have some more teaching along these lines that we want to get into your hands. And so, every day, we offer the Word of God, on this program. I never apologize for that because that's the only thing that's going to change your life. Three teachings, just called, "Do Unto Others". You'd be amazed at how many scriptures there are in the Bible about others. And then, a book, "Loving God, loving yourself, and loving others". Very important subjects. Get these resources. Use them. Listen to them over and over, let it get way down, deep, be rooted and grounded in this thinking: "What can I do for somebody else"? Thank you for joining me today. God loves you. He has a good plan for your life, and you have a great rest of the day. God bless you.