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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

ON SERVANT LEADERSHIP
(Part 55)

PAIN BRINGS GAIN

November 12, 2013

Today’s readings:
Wisdom 2:23-3:9
Psalm 34:2-3,16-17,18-19
Luke 17:7-10


Many are called to servant leadership, because God’s people need leaders, but those who are servants first and foremost. We too as CFC-FFL are called to servant leadership in the Church. We have been and are still doing much in living out our Core Value of being a servant to the Church.

Now when you serve as a true servant leader, expect to work hard and to make sacrifices, and know that your first and only priority is the Master (Lk 17:7-8). Further, because we are called to total self-giving, and because we are privileged to do the very work of God, then even as we expend ourselves, we should not expect to be thanked, recognized or extolled (Lk 17:9). We are to just serve, and after expending our best efforts, we are even to humbly recognize how far short we fall in doing the lofty work of God (Lk 17:10). We can then just appeal to God’s grace and mercy, to allow us to continue to serve Him in all our failings and shortcomings.

In doing our service, two powerful opposing forces are at work. They are God and the devil. God commands and sends us; the devil opposes and attacks us. We are God’s children destined for heaven, “for God formed us to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made us.” (Wis 2:23). The devil resents this, and knowing God’s marching orders for humankind, both to have dominion over the world and to bring the world into the Kingdom, he will strive to blunt the plan of God. And so, “by the envy of the devil, death entered the world” (Wis 2:24a).

This means suffering for the world, and especially for those servants of God whom the devil vigorously opposes. But all things work for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. So we need to see how suffering can be a great blessing for us. In fact, was that not the way chosen by God to redeem the world?

Thus, even as we withstand rigorous assaults from the enemy, God’s servants must know that:

  • “The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them” (Wis 3:1).
  • Even when they are afflicted, even martyred, “they are at peace.” (Wis 3:2-3).
  • “Even when “they seem punished, yet is their hope full of immortality” (Wis 3:4).
  • Even as they are “chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed” (Wis 3:5a).
  • Even as they are tried, God finds “them worthy of himself.” (Wis 3:5b).
  • Even as they are burned “as gold in the furnace,” God proves them (Wis 3:6a).
  • Even as they are made “sacrificial offerings,” God takes them to Himself (Wis 3:6b).

What do all these say? God is victorious, and we too will be victorious. But we need to go through the fire. There will be torment, affliction, punishment, chastisement, trial, purification and sacrifice. But in all these, we are in God’s hands, we are at peace, we hope to make it to heaven, we are greatly blessed, we become worthy of God, we are proven in our servanthood, and we will be taken to our heavenly home with God our Father.

As to God’s faithful servants, God watches over them (Ps 34:16a), listens to and hears their cries (Ps 34:16b, 18a), fights for them with regards to evil (Ps 34:17), and “he rescues them from all their afflictions.” (Ps 34:18b).

As God’s faithful servants, we have got it made! “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, saves those whose spirit is crushed.” (Ps 34:19). “In the time of their judgment they shall shine and dart about as sparks through stubble; they shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord shall be their King forever.” (Wis 3:7-8).

With a Lord and Master such as that, nothing can ever bring us down. As long as we remain centered on Christ, we will never lose our way. As long as we trust in Jesus, we shall understand truth (Wis 3:9a). As long as we are faithful, we shall abide with him in love (Wis 3:9b). Let every servant leader then say, “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall be always in my mouth. My soul will glory in the Lord” (Ps 34:2-3a).

Let those servant leaders who, by striving for holiness and to be faithful to God’s call, are afflicted, oppressed, seemingly lost, considered the least, unappreciated, rejoice. In their poverty is their blessing. Why? “Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with the elect.” (Wis 3:9c). So then, “let the poor hear and be glad.’ (Ps 34:3b).

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