Mature Class Study, teacher Edith Tolbert.

A servant does the bidding (orders) of someone else.  God wants us to do what he wants in this present world. The master could just look at his servants’ eyes and point where they needed to go.

Psalm 123:1-2 Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us.

We need to serve without any expectation to get something in return for ourselves. When the prodigal son came home, he just wanted to be a servant. We have to serve without prejudices. There are all kinds of cultures coming to our area. We have to adjust to other cultures so we can win them to Christ. If we just criticize people and find fault because they’re not like us, they won’t come to the Lord. Jesus had no prejudice when the Samaritan woman came to the well. The Sadducees and Pharisees wouldn’t have anything to do with the Samaritans. Prejudice causes a lack of compassion for others. We have to get rid of prejudices so we can work with people in a kind and loving way. When Jesus said “let him be your minister,” it means let him be your servant. Let him be your servant meant let him be your servant or slave. To minister means to serve.

Matthew 20:25-28 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Jesus was willing to be interrupted from what he was doing so he could help and serve others. Are we willing to stop what we’re doing when Jesus points at a need? Self centeredness will keep us from having compassion to stop and help someone. Edith was going into a business, she met someone who warned her to “be careful you don’t get your head bit off.” The person inside the business she referred to was someone professing to be saved, but they were grouchy, complaining, and finding fault. They weren’t going boldly to the throne of grace to get help with their need. You’ll be grouchy and irritated so you may bite someone’s head off if you don’t have grace. You won’t be a servant like God wants.

Matthew 20:29-34 And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed him. And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David. And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David. And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you? They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.

Perfectionism where everything has to be just right has to go if we’re going to be a servant. If we’re just looking for the  perfect time, we won’t be able to be interrupted so we can help someone in need.

Ecclesiastes 11:4 He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.

We need to meditate right because it will determine whether we are a servant.

Philippians 2:4-5 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Paul was in prison so he lost his family and his home. He counted everything as dung so he could win Christ.

Philippians 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

Paul said he lost everything but all the palace heard the gospel because he was in prison.

Philippians 1:12-14 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

Paul had to forget a lot of things so he could be what God wanted him to be. Our meditation is important. God doesn’t want us to be a prisoner of the past. The past refers to a place of reference, not a residence. The past is for learning, not living there. If you don’t leave the past in the past, it will destroy your future. If you focus on the past, you won’t be a servant for the needs of people today. You will be focusing on you. We have to let go of past mistakes and regrets. We have all made mistakes. We have to let go of needing to be right. We need to admit when we’re wrong and then go on. If you don’t, you’ll be blaming others. We have to let go of limiting our belief where everything is black and white or absolute and unconditional. We have to be willing to adjust our time so we’re willing to do whatever the Lord wants. The Jews only brought the woman caught in adultery to Jesus, but not the man. The law said if a man committed adultery with another man’s wife, they should both be stoned (Leviticus 20:10). Jesus didn’t condemn the woman when the Pharisees were trying to find fault. We have to let go of worrying about the future. Live for today and know that God will take care of you. We have to let go of negative thinking and talk – I’m no good, it’s too hard, I can’t do that, get someone else to do that, or I’m too fat. That’s negative talk and it’s not from God. We have to let go of gossip and complaining so we can be blameless and harmless to shine in the world.

Philippians 2:14-15 Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

God wants us to brighten the corner of wherever we are.

Brighten the Corner Where You Are, by Ina D. Ogdon

Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,
Do not wait to shed your light afar;
To the many duties ever near you now be true,
Brighten the corner where you are.

Refrain: Brighten the corner where you are!
Brighten the corner where you are!
Someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar;
Brighten the corner where you are!

Just above are clouded skies that you may help to clear,
Let not narrow self your way debar;
Though into one heart alone may fall your song of cheer,
Brighten the corner where you are.
Here for all your talent you may surely find a need,
Here reflect the bright and Morning Star;
Even from your humble hand the Bread of Life may feed,
Brighten the corner where you are.

There are things God wants us to remember: 1) the word – we have to be studying it to remember it. 2) the things God has done for us and how he has helped us.

Joseph was a servant who brightened to corner he was in. Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and Daniel were cousins (descendants of Hezekiah), about 15 years old, and determined they would not defile themselves with the kings meat. God had told Noah which animals were clean at the time they went into the ark so they could eat them. Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and Daniel weren’t vegans but they were offered the king’s meat that was from unclean animals. They were trained in the ways of Babylon and stayed there 70 years. Daniel was 84 years old when he was put in the lions’ den. He lived in Babylon until King Cyrus’ reign when he let the Jews return to Jerusalem to rebuild. Daniel died in his late 80s before he could return. For these purposing they wouldn’t defile themselves lasted their whole lives. We have to purpose to not defile our self so we can be a servant and a slave to do whatever God wants us to do.