A Servant’s Heart


In the Lord’s work we are called to serve.  And the greatest way to become a great servant is to develop a servant’s heart.  Paul, in this text, gives us a great example of his servant’s heart.  A servant who has a servant’s heart:

Serves with humility – v.19 – he considers his opportunity to serve a privilege and honor – we are honored to serve the Lord – when we consider what we were before we were saved, it is truly amazing that he would even allow us to be in his service.

Does what he’s told – v.19-21 – Paul was given specific instructions from the Lord on how and whom he was to serve [Acts 9:15-16] – and he did just that.

Endures the hardships – v.22-23 – it’s rarely easy to serve others – Joseph had to endure years of hardship as a slave and a prisoner – to serve the Lord you have to balance your family, work, rest and fellowship with the Lord – it can be hard to keep up with all of that.

Is not in it for himself – v.24a – he’s not interested in what he can get out of service or in making a name for himself – it doesn’t concern him that his life is spent in service [like Paul with the Corinthians, 2 Cor 12:15, “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.”]

Finishes the job – v.24b – whatever it is he has been given to do, he doesn’t stop until he has done everything that he needs to do to finish the job – he leaves nothing undone.

Finds that there’s joy in helping others – v.24c – it’s one thing to finish a job but it is altogether better to finish the job with joy – notice the joy at Calvary, Heb 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Conclusion: Paul going to Jerusalem is often characterized as disobedience – but he was never told not to go – he was told that if he went, “bonds and afflictions” would abide him – he had so developed the heart of Jesus that he was willing to endure what Jesus endured in order to do what Jesus did in attempting to see Israel saved – notice that:

  • Jesus humbled himself – Paul served with humility
  • Jesus did always those things that pleased his Father – Paul did what he was told
  • Jesus endured the cross and the contradiction of sinners – Paul endured hardships
  • Jesus laid down his life for his friends – Paul counted not his life dear to himself
  • Jesus said, “It id finished” – Paul said, “I have finished my course”
  • Jesus found the joy that was set before him – Paul finished his course with joy

You and I should develop this kind of servant’s heart!