Lesson 39: A Call to Humble Faith
Lesson 39, Devotion 1
The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. ¾ Matthew 23:11-12
If you told your friends at school that your family had a “servant” in your household, they probably wouldn’t respond well. In fact, they might respond very negatively, and justifiably so! There is plenty in America’s history for us to be pessimistic and suspicious about the idea of being a “servant.” But the idea of servanthood hasn’t always been negative. In fact, calling yourself the servant of a great lord or lady was often a status symbol in ancient cultures. It was also used as a means of declaring allegiance to a person or idea.
But history isn’t the only reason we scoff at the idea of servanthood. Ultimately, servants do not receive the credit. Or at least that is the way it works in the world. But when we look at Jesus’ statement about servants in Matthew 23, a different light is shed on the idea of servanthood. Jesus says that in his kingdom, the servant is he who is the greatest!
Often we think of servanthood as stooping down to a low position to do something demeaning, but this is not the case. Servanthood in the kingdom of God is the action produced by humility. And Jesus is clear about what God does for those who are humble: they are exalted as Jesus is exalted. What an awesome assurance!
Don’t frown upon your calling as a servant. Instead, be the kind of servant who humbles yourself not because you have no value, but because you know the infinite value and glory of your master and seeks to be recognized by who you serve.
Think About This:
What are some things that make servanthood extremely difficult in the world we live in?
What are some daily disciplines that we can practice that will cultivate humility in our hearts?
How do we as servants of God exemplify the glory of Jesus through a servanthood lifestyle? What are some ways that you can serve God for His purposes in the world?
Lesson 39, Devotion 2
Think about people who have served you in the last week. Think about your parents, teachers, and workers at church who have given sacrificially for your benefit and growth.
Take a moment and use your journal or the note-taking app on your phone to write some of the names of those people.
Now spend some time writing notes and thanking them for their humility and sacrificial service to you as a person. Thank them for how God has used them to encourage you and teach you to serve humbly. Take the time needed to write meaningful notes to these individuals.
Once you have written 2-3 notes, write a prayer asking God to open your eyes to areas of pride in your own life and ask that He would challenge you to live humbly and sacrificially like these people. Make sure you deliver your notes to those who have inspired you.
Lesson 39, Devotion 3
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection in sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others. – Philippians 2:1-4
Take a moment and read the passage of Scripture above. Think about all the ways that Paul challenges the Philippians to live in love and humility towards one another. Reflect on how well you are doing these things in your family, your youth group, and your church. Take a moment and ask God to help you do these things. Then, read Philippians 2:5-10.
Reflect on all that Jesus gave up to become a man and die on the cross for sin. Now think about the sheer amount of love he must have for you to give up his place in heaven and die on your behalf.
Thank God for his goodness to you in Jesus and praise him for the awesome plan of redemption that He has accomplished through the finished work of Jesus!