Serving Others With Humility

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Serving Others With Humility
January 8, 2023
Summary: Jesus shows us how to live our lives, with humility and servanthood.
Philippians 2:3-11
I remember going to so many Pittsburgh Pirate games when I was a young kid. Seldom able to afford a ticket, but me and my friend would hang around out side Forbes Field and try to get
autographs from our favorite players. We get a few here and there and they would sign the backs of our baseball cards. If I only knew then what I know now, I would have held on to them.
That was then! Now, many players don’t sign autographs, they charge you for them at sports memorabilia shows. Some don’t want to be bothered with autographs, and I can appreciate that. After all, most of the superstars can’t walk into a store or restaurant and not get mobbed.
Haven’t we seen pictures of and videos of those same stars that get paid because we buy tickets to games or merchandise the sponsor, refuse to sign autographs and getting into arguments with fans who want a picture.
Women over a certain age will remember the real rock, Rock Hudson. When he was just becoming popular in Hollywood, his agent took him to lunch at an expensive high profile Hollywood restaurant. The purpose was to be seen by fans. When Hudson finished his meal, he placed his silverware on his plate and folded his napkin, and put it on the plate, so the waiter could easily take it away.
His manager rebuked him, saying ~ “It’s not your job to clean up after yourself. You’re not a busboy. You’re a movie star. You need to act like one.”
In a way, that’s what we expect from celebrities, to have an attitude that says, “I’m rich and famous, I’m a star, and it’s everyone’s job to serve me, to wait on me.”
We live in a culture that worships celebrity — whether they’re politicians, athletes, musicians, or actors and actresses. Our fascination with fame distorts our perception of what greatness really is. And it distorts our perception of what kind of person we should admire and aspire to be.
The title of our message today is 'Serving Others With Humility'.
Our Scripture is taken from: Philippians 2:3-11
Philippians 2:3–11 NLT
3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. 5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. 6 Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. 7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, 8 he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. 9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
As believers we should be striving to be more like Christ, but, I ask you, how can you be like Him, if you don't know Him? We need to know at who Jesus is, what He was like, what He came to do,
Oh and what He expects of us – His followers.
We know that Jesus is — God in the flesh. He was not created or some distorted illusion, but He really left the joy and perfection of heaven and lived among us. He suffered and died and rose again. He did that so we can find true life, eternal life, when we say YES to Jesus and eternal life when this life passes away.
Today we’re going to look at an aspect of Christ’s character that anyone can imitate. Of course, there are many things about Christ we can’t copy ~ You’re not pre-existent; you didn’t create the universe; you can’t die for the sins of the world; you’ll probably never walk on water, unless it’s frozen and so on.
But there is one aspect of Jesus’ character you can fully and completely imitate. To do this, you won’t be a celebrity, signing autographs, yet, if anyone deserved rock star treatment, it was Jesus. If anyone deserved to be treated like a celebrity, waited on hand and foot, it was Jesus.
But that’s not what happened. John tells us in the Book of John Chapter 1 verses 10 and 11 ~ John 1:10-11
John 1:10–11 NLT
10 He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him.
Jesus could have demanded to live like royalty during His time on earth — but He didn’t. Instead, He came to show us what true greatness looks like — and what true greatness does.
When we look to Jesus, we get an idea of what our own lives should look like. In the final hours of Jesus’ life, He said to his disciples… in Luke 22:27
Luke 22:27 NKJV
27 For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.
He also said … in verse 28
28 . . . the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Matthew 20:28
Jesus’ ministry was a ministry of humility and humble service.
His disciples witnessed amazing things — more miracles than they could count, people healed of every type of affliction, including two who were raised from the dead. They saw the forces of nature obey Him, and the demons tremble at His name. They heard Jesus teach with authority and they saw the power of God at work through Him.
There was nothing about Jesus that was weak or timid, and yet, in the midst of all this power, there was an underlying attitude of humility and servanthood toward others.
Let’s look at some events in Jesus’ life which reflect an attitude of humble service.
The Christmas story shows us that from the very beginning, Jesus’ life was all about humility. He could have announced his birth to King Herod, or to the religious leaders of Jerusalem, or to Caesar Augustus, Emperor of Rome. He could have announced His birth to the greatest of the great, but that’s not what He did.
His birth was announced to a a young teen-age girl who was about to get married. And then to her bewildered fiancé.
And then to some astronomers — who traveled for months to find Him.
And then to a group of shepherds — minimum wage workers on the bottom of the social ladder.
And the King of Kings was born – – not in a palace, but in a stable. Not surrounded by servants, but surrounded by barnyard animals.
His birth tell us, there’s nothing pretentious about Jesus. No sense of entitlement, no expectation of special treatment. If anyone had the right to say, “This day is all about me and I’m going to do it in style,” — Jesus had that right.
Jesus wasn’t impressed with power and prestige. He didn’t seek the approval of the elite.
Through the birth story of Jesus, we learn — God has called each one of us to live a life with no special sense of entitlement. No expectation of special treatment. No chasing after prestige.
When you demand that you be given special treatment from others, you’re demanding for yourself something that Jesus never demanded for Himself. This should be our attitude, as well.
Then look at how Jesus approached public recognition.
Matthew tells us ~
Matthew 8:2–4 NKJV
2 And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” 3 Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4 And Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
In the very next chapter, Jesus was walking down a road and 2 blind men followed Him and cried out for Jesus to heal them,
Matthew 9:29–30 NKJV
29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.” 30 And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, saying, “See that no one knows it.
And Jesus sternly warned them, “See that no one knows about it.” – Matthew 9:29-30
In Mark 7 Jesus healed a man who couldn’t hear nor speak. The man came to Jesus in a crowd, but Jesus took him aside, away from the center of attention, and He completely healed him, then Mark tells us ~
36 Jesus charged them to tell no one. – Mark 7:36
Mark 7:36 NKJV
36 Then He commanded them that they should tell no one; but the more He commanded them, the more widely they proclaimed it.
In Mark 5, one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus, came to Jesus to heal his daughter, but while enroute she died. Yet, Jesus brought her back to life, then told them ~
43 And he strictly charged them that no one should know this
{{SHOW ONLY}} – Mark 5:43
Mark 5:43 NKJV
43 But He commanded them strictly that no one should know it, and said that something should be given her to eat.
We see this again and again in the gospels: Jesus performs a miracle, and tells them “Don’t tell anyone.” It’s believed Jesus didn’t want His ministry to just be about gawkers coming to see Him heal others. He wanted faith, belief and trust in who He was.
Can you imagine a celebrity preacher or a celebrity politician doing something good for someone — and not using it to further their agenda? No, you know It would be all over the news, from coast to coast!
We crave recognition and have to post every accomplishment on social media.
We need to create the buzz. Of course, there is a healthy tension in all of this. It’s great to get the word out about the mission of Christ, but if it’s only for the buzz, then we’ve missed what we are really called to do and who we are called to be.
When Jesus healed a hurting person, He was not doing this for self-promotion or fame. He healed people because of His compassion and because He cared and loved the people. He was able to demonstrate God’s power and grace.
We learn that we can do good for others, not because of any benefit that might come back our way, but simply because the other person is worth it — whether we get recognition or not.
If anyone had the right to say, “It’s all about me,” Jesus had the right.
If anyone had the right to demand his way and say, “Do you have any idea who you’re talking to?” Jesus had the right.
If anyone had the right to demand preferential treatment, Jesus had the right — — but He never used it.
Instead of seeking a life of comfort and fame, Jesus demonstrated sacrificial service to others. We see it in His attitude. This is why, in the book of Philippians, the Apostle Paul wrote ~
Philippians 2:3–11 NKJV
3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
In each verse Paul discussed how it related to who Jesus was and is. Especially in verse 3-4, that image Paul talks about for you and I is the life that Christ lived! Can we do the same?!
Jesus showed, if you want to be great, learn to be the servant of all.
You will never be more like Jesus than when you’re serving others. And, in this way, you can be just like Jesus.
In closing, I opened by speaking about how most stars of today, don't sign autographs or have time for there fans. But yesterday as I watched some of the National High School East West football game, there it was young stars of the game, signing autographs. One young man took of one of his gloves, signed it and gave it to a young fan leaning over the wall around the field. Then a few minutes later the cameras showed another young man signing a jersey that a fan handed him.
Last Monday night the Nation, no the world watch a young Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills football team, drop dead on the field in the first quart of the game. To witness the players and a nation humble themselves and pray for his recovery. People us to seeing players hurt but this was different. Never before was CPR performed in the middle of a football field with the world watching. But God, had a plan ...
2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV
14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
This those watching in the stadium and on TV, did and are still doing, today. They (we) humbled ourselves and prayed and we continue praying for this young mans recovery, today.
Humble yourself and pray as you serve the Lord though His people.
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