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 Servanthood & Love – a lesson from China by Billy Humphrey


Years ago a friend of mine had a dream about the end of the age and the coming revival. He saw many things, but the key message of the dream was that the church at the end of the age would be known as a church of servanthood and love. These two charateristics would be important keys that would enable the church to operate in the power of God and see massive revival.

Over the years I have reflected on this dream and wondered how and when would this happen. There have been moments when I thought, this is it, servanthood & love, the church is finally loving and serving others without regard to herself. However, I don’t think servanthood and love has taken root the way that it will in the days ahead. To be honest, I think we still have a ways to go. I’m praying for myself that I would be one that lives this way, loving & serving, without regard for “what I get out of it.” Still, I am expectant that these truths will become commonplace in the church.

During my trip to China I believe I got to see, maybe for the first time, what the Lord was talking about regarding servanthood and love. The Lord used the example of the Chinese believers to instruct me as to what it looks like when believers selflessly serve out of a heart motivated by love for Jesus.

While I was there, I had the opportunity to spend several days with some leaders of the Chinese house church. These leaders have been imprisoned, beaten, and suffered greatly for their faith in Jesus. They have also been instrumental in perhaps the largest revival the earth has ever seen – to this day, 30,000 people are coming to Christ daily in China! Several of these leaders oversee churches whose members number in the millions. Yes that’s millions, with an ‘M’. Needless to say I was humbled and honored to be able to fellowship, pray with and minster with them. They are absolutely precious men and women of God.

The outstanding and striking characteristic of each of them was that they are incredibly humble. None carry themselves in a way that makes you think they are anything more than an average person. They have none of the trappings that accompany successful ministry in the West. No titles, entourages, custom suits, or “rock-star” personalities. Just brothers and sisters who love Jesus dearly.

What’s more all of these leaders serve in menial ways just as any other believer. In the West, most leaders of large ministries don’t do any ‘meaningless’ work. It might be considered below them to even carry their own bag. With the Chinese it was completely different. They had no problem clearing a table, taking out garbage or sweeping a floor. In fact it became evident to me, that they considered it an honor to serve in this way. These leaders were so servant-hearted that I was personally embarrassed at times.

After a week of being over-served by them things came to a crescendo. I was getting ready to depart China for Central Asia. I was taken to the airport by a key leader of several million believers. I got out of the van and grabbed my 50lb, American vacation-ary, suitcase. Before I could actually pick it up, this leader wrestled it out of my hand and insisted upon carrying it for me. Earlier that week a wheel had broken so the suitcase no longer rolled. He would have to lug it around this huge metropolitan airport. I protested and tried to take it back. He would not have it. In that moment it was as if something broke inside of me as I realized that this man, who leads millions of believers, has suffered incredibly for Jesus, considered it an honor to carry my bag. It was too much to take and my eyes began to fill with tears. Humiliated, I yielded, walking behind him like a dignitary behind his servant.

Later as I replayed that scene in my mind, the Lord began to teach me the secret these wonderful believers understand: In the Kingdom, privilege and honor is in serving, not in being served. It seems so simple but it is completely the opposite of how the world thinks and, to be honest, how many in the church think.

Consider these two options…sitting down to eat a four course meal or serving the one who sits at the table to eat. Which has the greater honor? Jesus used this example(Luke 22:26-27) to explain that though the world esteems the one being served, heaven esteems the one serving. From heaven’s vantage point serving is the privilege, not being served.

Take a moment and consider Jesus’ claim, He came to serve not to be served. The mentality that you work your way up the ladder until others clamor to serve you is exactly the OPPOSITE of the Kingdom of God. In the Kingdom you work your way down so you can serve as many as possible. The privilege in the Kingdom of God is on serving, not on being served.

The Chinese exemplified this truth and it rocked my paradigm. What in the world was a leader of millions of people doing carrying my bag? He was taking the position of privilege – servanthood.

What could possibly motivate someone to go lower, when he clearly has the ‘right’ to go higher? Love. Jesus became our servant, in His death, burial & resurrection, and still today He serves us by interceding for us and enabling us with grace. Why? for Love. He loves us, and therefore, to win us, He serves us. Isaiah calls him “the servant of rulers (Isa 49:7).” Jesus said of Himself that he was among us “as one who serves (Luke 22:27).” Love is the chief motivator to service. Love for Jesus is what compels the heart to esteem another above yourself. When we see Him as the Servant of all, our hearts are moved to serve as He does.

The King is the Servant, our Leader has become the Slave. How much more shall we take the lowest place? But beloved, this is where our paradigm must shift…in the Kingdom the lowest place is the highest place. Privilege in the kingdom is in servanthood, not being served.

I believe the Lord is going to transform us into a church of servanthood and love. He is going to conform us to His image. And when we look like Him in humility, servanthood and love we will operate like Him in compassion and power. Oh to be one who truly loves and serves like Jesus. This is our portion, this is who we are called to be; a people who embrace with wild abandonment the privilege of servanthood from a heart motivated by love. This is our privilege, our honor.

“But the one who is greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant” Luke 22:26

from: http://billyhumphrey.com/2012/05/01/servanthood-love-a-lesson-from-china/


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2012/6/7 16:07Profile
Elibeth
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Joined: 2011/8/14
Posts: 1075


 Re: Servanthood & Love – a lesson from China by Billy Humphrey

Greg,

This is absolutely precious !,..and the Pureness of Truth.

Help us all Lord to SEE this with our very hearts and beings !,...
And Lord give us much Grace in the desire,love for You,and the doing
of this way.

And we give you all the praises in the enabling of this work IN us.

Thank you,
elizabeth





 2012/6/7 20:31Profile
sermonindex
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Joined: 2002/12/11
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Re:

Quote:
The Chinese exemplified this truth and it rocked my paradigm. What in the world was a leader of millions of people doing carrying my bag? He was taking the position of privilege – servanthood.



They are rare in the West but true leaders are the servants of all.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2012/6/7 21:22Profile
mackaymarsh
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Joined: 2007/5/21
Posts: 132


 Re: Servanthood & Love – a lesson from China by Billy Humphrey

This has really blessed me greatly. Especially things like this:

[Quote]"In the Kingdom you work your way down so you can serve as many as possible."




I thought of our pastor when I read this as he is definitely a servant/leader.

Thanks Greg for posting this,
Wayne

 2012/6/18 14:01Profile









 Re: Servanthood & Love – a lesson from China by Billy Humphrey

This is a great testimony. A couple of years ago I went to listen to someone speak, he is well known. He spoke of a conference in Hong Kong. As it turned out, the western believers were on one side, and the Chinese believers on the other. As he spoke he noticed that every few moments there was much movement and excitement on the Chinese side. An excitable buzz and hands being thrown up. There was nothing on the western side. He said it took him several minutes to realize that it was every time he mentioned the name of Jesus that the buzz went threw the Chinese side. You see, even the very name of Jesus caused excitement to a group of people who had paid dearly for their faith. I wonder what it will take for Western Christians to be that excited about the name of our Lord? .............bro Frank

 2012/6/18 14:51
brothagary
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Joined: 2011/10/23
Posts: 1863


 Re:

how relevent is this message ,,,touched me

it think when we are able to admit that we are living a soulish christan life ,,and repent ,and offer our bodys a fresh upon the cross of the alter ,with fasting and prayer

the sword of our high priest will be able to do the work in deviding the soul and spirit a sunder

when we desire to truly experance a practal death with christ ,and not a mear interlectual understanding of the princaple

the sword of the spirit will be used by our high preist
and seperate our mingled soulish christianity with the spirt ,,that we may truly walk in the spirit ,,like many of these chinease christan

to reken our selfs dead to sin ,,this needs be come a revalation ,and not just an understanding ,or just a desire

a long season of seperation is reqiured
a renouncing of our christan walk
put on sack cloth and ashes once again

 2012/6/18 20:10Profile





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