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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

ON SERVANT LEADERSHIP
(Part 136)

A FAITHFUL AND PRUDENT SERVANT


August 31, 2017

Today’s readings:
1 Thessalonians 3:7-13
Psalm 90:3-17
Matthew 24:42-51


Our call as servant leaders is to be a “faithful and prudent servant” (Mt 24:45a). Why? Because we do the very work of the Master, who relies on His servants to accomplish His will in the world. Servant leaders are those “whom the master has put in charge of his household to distribute to them their food at the proper time” (Mt 24:45b). God feeds His people materially and spiritually, and does this through His designated servant leaders.

How might servant leaders fail in this task?

  • There are those who are not active or proactive in doing their work. They become lazy, thinking the Master will not be taking them to task any time soon. Such a “wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is long delayed’” (Mt 24:48).
  • There are those who become co-opted by the world rather than being set apart for the work of their Master. They “eat and drink with drunkards” (Mt 24:49b). They are busy with their own rather than the Master’s agenda.
  • There are those who are quarrelsome with their fellow servants, and who become envious, competitive, unappreciative, maligning and the like. Such a one “begins to beat his fellow servants” (Mt 24:49a).

Rather, how should servant leaders act?

  • They hold those they serve in their hearts in prayer, desiring their growth in faith. “Night and day we pray beyond measure to see you in person and to remedy the deficiencies of your faith.” (1 Thes 3:10).
  • They strive to lead those whom they serve to holiness. They desire for them “to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father” (1 Thes 3:13b).
  • They work to strengthen the hearts of those whom they serve, to help them endure and persevere through difficulties and pain. They work “so as to strengthen your hearts” (1 Thes 3:13a).
  • They help build up the body in fraternal love, thus resulting in peace and unity in the body. They pray “the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all” (1 Thes 3:12a).
  • They are thankful and joyful for the privilege to serve others. “What thanksgiving, then, can we render to God for you, for all the joy we feel on your account before our God?” (1 Thes 3:9).
  • They willingly suffer in order to be life-giving to others, finding their consolation in the well-being of those whom they serve. “Because of this, we have been reassured about you, brothers, in our every distress and affliction, through your faith.” (1 Thes 3:7).
  • They accompany their people until the end, making sure no one is left behind. Together they look to “the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones.” (1 Thes 3:13c).

With such challenges in their service, servant leaders know they cannot be effective without God and His abounding grace. They strive with all their human might, but in the end know that good fruit can be provided only by God. They are constantly on their knees in prayer. “May the favor of the Lord our God be ours. Prosper the work of our hands! Prosper the work of our hands!” (Ps 90:17).

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