WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MAY 08, 2023
TOPIC: TRUE LEADERSHIP IS SERVICE
BY T. O. BANSO
“And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all’” (Mark 9:35 New King James Version).
Leadership is a call to service and not a platform to lord it over those that one leads. True leaders give of themselves. Bible-based service is not selfish but selfless. True leadership involves inconveniencing oneself to make things better for those one is leading. “The measure of a man is not the number of his servants, but the number of people he serves.” This statement is attributed to God’s servant, D.L. Moody.
Everybody wants to be great but few people want to serve, yet the road to greatness is service. Serving another person does not always mean that he is better than one or will become greater. When a leader feels too big to serve those under him, he has come to the peak of his leadership ladder and a decline of his influence and power sets in.
Paul said, “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (1 Corinthians 9:19-22 New King James Version).
The Bible tells Christians, in Galatians 5:13, to serve one another in love. Where there is no pride and ignorance, it is usually not difficult for people to serve one another. Also, where people feel secure, it is easy for them to serve others.
In John 13:1-17, Jesus, the Son of God, washed the feet of His disciples, a duty usually that of slaves in the Jewish society. Peter did not see that as something he was prepared to do when Jesus wanted to wash his feet and initially didn’t want to allow Him to until Jesus said if he did not wash his feet, he had no part with Him.
After washing their feet, Jesus said, “You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:13-15 New King James Version). Peter learnt this servant leadership style from Jesus and taught the church elders later. He told them, “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:2-3 New King James Version).
Pride or self-exaltation is not the way of the kingdom of God. The ladder to greatness is humility from which flows the desire to serve. It is not through selfish competition. Humble yourself (James 4:6b, 10; 1 Peter 5:6; Philippians 2:3).
God is against self-exaltation, which is one of the major reasons many people don’t serve. However, whoever exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted (Matthew 23:12; Luke 14:11; 18:14). A man’s pride will bring him low but the humble in spirit will retain honour (Proverbs 29:23).
Philippians 2:5-7 says our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. Verse 8 says being found in appearance as a man, Jesus humbled Himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!
What was the result of this servant-attitude of Jesus and His death on the cross? Philippians 2:9-11 says, “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (New International Version).
Never consider service in the house of God, business, family, or social setting degrading. It is your pathway to greatness. Joshua served Moses and the Lord promoted him. Elisha was Elijah’s servant and received a double portion of Elijah’s spirit.
Use your leadership position to serve; don’t use your title or office for material acquisition or to lord it over people. In Matthew 20:25-26, Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant” (New King James Version).
True leadership is service. Jesus said, “And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— ‘just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many’” (Matthew 20:27-28 New King James Version). He spoke further to His twelve disciples thus: “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all” (Mark 9:35b New King James Version). Are you actively serving or are you just occupying a leadership position? Are you a leader in name only or a true leader? A leader is more than a title. Be a servant to those you lead. True leadership is service. Serve.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to have the same attitude that Jesus had, taking the nature of a servant. Help me to use my leadership position not for selfish benefits but to serve with humility. I will not lord it over those I lead but be a servant to them in Jesus’ name.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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