Friday, February 24, 2012

A Servant’s Relationship with God

“Behold! My Servant whom I uphold,

My Elect One in whom My soul delights!

I have put My Spirit upon Him. Isaiah 42:1 (NKJV)

In the above verse, we read of God directing our attention to His Servant. We have to understand what Isaiah means by the term ‘servant’. The definition in my Bible dictionary/Concordance* tells us: servant-one who responds to the needs of others.

Behold! The Lord God speaks through Isaiah to draw our attention to His Servant, Jesus. God tells us this is important and we need to pay attention. A small child sees something that enchants him. He screams, “Looky!” As our son grew up, if I wanted to make a point to our son, I’d start our by saying, “Look.”

My Servant: This one who responds to others’ needs belongs to God. He works for God as he carries out His earthly tasks. In the United States we have people who work for the various levels of government; the government calls them Civil Servants. When we eat in restaurants, those that wait on us are servers.

Whom I uphold: God stands behind His servant and gives approval of the servant’s actions. The servant takes His direction from the Father. We see people who stand behind their children or their friends when there is strife in their lives.

My soul delights: God finds joy in His Servant. This Servant honors God. Did you ever hear a small child giggle in response to a knock-knock joke? The boy or girl finds joy in hearing the silliness of the play on words.

My Spirit upon Him: God places his inner part of Himself, his persona, into The Servant. Do you find yourself saying something just like one of your parents? When I have done this, I chuckle and think to myself, “I have become my mother.” I also have had the experience of “becoming my father.” My goal in my Christian walk is to say things that God would say. He did this with Jesus. Christ told the disciples, “If you have seen me you have seen the Father.” (John 6:46, NIV)


* Guideposts Family Concordance © 1982

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Servant’s Character

“Behold! My Servant whom I uphold,

My Elect One in whom My soul delights

I have put My Spirit upon Him;

He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.

He will not cry out nor raise His voice,

Nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.

And smoking flax He will not quench;

He will bring forth justice for truth.

He will not fail or be discouraged,

Till He has established justice in the earth;

And the coastlands shall wait for His law.”

Isaiah 42:1-4 (NKJV)

Several years ago, I was told I had a servant’s heart. I heard this from different people. When one person told me this, I didn’t know how to take it. How can we define a servant’s heart? When God spoke to Isaiah, he heard some benchmarks that apply to Jesus Christ and to God’s servants in today’s world. These are what I gleaned from studying this passage.

I have put My Spirit upon Him: The servant has God’s inner qualities. Our pastor tells the story of visiting a preschool class. At the end of his presentation, a little boy asked him, “Are you Jesus?” When we model Christ like qualities, we serve God in ways that reveal His love for others.

He will not cry out nor raise His voice, The servant does not draw attention to himself. He works for God. When God put His Spirit into the servant, the Father’s spirit permeates that servant. The servant has control of himself or herself.

Nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. The servant is not boisterous. He doesn’t retaliate in kind to upheaval. Jesus usually always spoke in gentle tones. Present day servants of God need to remember to approach as many situations as they can with a gentle voice. It says in Proverbs that “A gentle answer turns away wrath. . . .” (Proverbs 15:1)

A bruised reed He will not break. The servant of God is gentle. Jesus did not chide the woman who reached out and touched His garment. He didn’t mock the woman who was seemingly caught in adultery. Today’s servants of God attempt to apply Jesus’ example to their responses when they are faced with uncomfortable circumstances.

He will not fail or be discouraged. God’s servant will be certain of his path in life. Jesus knew he had to go to Jerusalem and He knew what awaited Him there. Once He allowed God to have His way, Jesus was assured of what had to transpire.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...