Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Greatness of Humble Servanthood

Last Sunday morning (August 30th) the Spirit of God was clearly active in the hearts of many in our church family at Arrowsmith; there were a number of people who came forward after the message, and many shared with me that they had responded in their hearts. I am always greatly humbled to somehow be involved when God powerfully moves and works in the hearts and lives of His people. Yesterday I found out that last Sunday John Piper and I had both preached from the same text - Mark 10:32-45 (I also added verses 46-52). While our emphasis was somewhat different – the foundational concepts of greatness, humility servanthood were the same. Here are a few quotes from Dr. Piper’s sermon – Click here to read/listen/watch the whole thing.

Humility agrees and is glad that this servanthood is true greatness. Verses 43-44: “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.” So to sum up,

1. Humility is glad that God gets all the credit for choosing us so that we boast only in him and not man.
2. Humility happily admits that everything we have is a free gift from God, so that we can’t boast in it.
3. Humility is glad to affirm that God sovereignly governs our heartbeats and safe arrivals, or non-arrivals.
4. The root of Christian humility is the gospel that Christ died for our sins. That’s how sinful I was. That’s how dependent I am.
5. Humility gives itself away in serving everyone, rather than seeking to be served.
6. And humility is glad to affirm that this service is true greatness.

If God would work this humility in us—O how freely we would serve each other. One of the reasons I am praying and preaching toward humility is that the church survives and thrives by servanthood. Every member of Christ is gifted in someway to serve. . . .

My point here is that without humility we won’t serve, or we will serve for the wrong reasons. It seems almost impossible to overstate how pervasive are the effects of humility in our lives. . . .

Gospel humility frees you from the need to posture and pose and calculate what others think, so that you are free to laugh at what is really funny with the biggest belly laugh. Proud people don’t really let themselves go in laughter. They don’t get red in the face and fall off chairs and twist their faces into the contortions of real free laughter. Proud people need to keep their dignity. The humble are free to howl with laughter. . . .

Gospel humility, grace-based humility, Jesus-exalting humility does not make you gloomy, or timid, or passive. It makes you joyful, and courageous and industrious.

1 comment:

  1. Your sermon was very impactful to me Leland, and I so appreciate your own humbleness. So many things came into perspective in my life Sunday morning, with my life and job at the church, and other areas. Praise GOD and thank YOU!