Our brothers and sisters in the persecuted church offer a pure example of servanthood. They serve God with their lives because they have seen Him. They certainly do not seek glory or fame, for attracting attention brings the risk of death. Yet, these saints serve by simply loving Jesus and bearing the consequences of doing so. In America, loving Jesus whole-heartedly has different costs but the heart is the same:
And whatever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Colossians 3:17
Marilyn Davis exemplified servanthood in this rural community. Looking on her life allows us to see an American servant in action. A Sunday school teacher for 69 years, Miss Marilyn was the picture of servant we hold in our minds. Her life demonstrated even more of the servant heart. All that she did testified to her love of Jesus Christ. She followed the Word with faithfulness and fervor. She kept her word--even to the point of living without electricity or running water because of a promise to her dad before his death. She was a diligent, faithful worker--at her job, in her home, in her community and in her church--for the glory of God. She was generous with her time, her skills and her possessions. She lived with confidence in God’s plans and provisions--and in doing so, encouraged others to do the same. Everywhere she went, she was a testimony of Jesus Christ. Her life was lived as a servant of the most High God.
As Miss Marilyn’s life revealed, God never intended to confine servanthood to church work. Servanthood opportunities are in every word and deed spoken by the ones who bear Christ‘s name. Servants produce a vision of God for those who are touched by their lives. The Christian word of encouragement given to the mom who is frazzled and discouraged can lift her eyes to the glorious purposes of God. The restrained word when a co-worker shifts the blame for shoddy work onto you offers a taste of mercy. The care given to a body or soul in need because Jesus has met your own need inspires more than just the recipient. Servanthood is a lifestyle that is to be lived in every circumstance…motherhood, workplace, nursing home or prison.
Servanthood is not about an activity or a project; it is about a heart totally sold out to Jesus Christ. Are you His servant or a slave to something much less?