Dear Friends,

How appropriate it is to share this message on humility and servant
leadership from The Leadership Bible here at Christmas. We stand in awe at the
amazing condescension of our Lord Jesus, the Son of God, to take on our humanity
as a weak and dependent baby, live a life of poverty and obscurity for most of
His thirty-three years, and then spend Himself in saving and serving others even
to death on a cross. “Your
attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature
God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made
himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human
likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became
obedient to death– even death on a cross!” (See Philippians

“Humility is the soil (humus) from which all Christian graces grow and the
indispensable condition for fellowship with Jesus.”
(Andrew Murray) Humility
(unceasing dependence and absolute submission to God) is relational – it is our
response to God as we see Him as He truly is and ourselves as we truly are.
Jesus as the Son of Man, like us in every way yet without sin, is the model for
humility. “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment
is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.” (John 5:30;
unceasing dependence) “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the
ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.
Yet not as I will, but as you will.”” (Mathew 26:39; absolute submission) He
even described Himself as “meek and lowly in heart”. (Matthew 11: 28-30)

In the great passage on Christ’s humility above Paul exhorts us saying,
“Your attitude should be the
same as that of Christ Jesus.” Jesus didn’t cling to his outer
expressions of power and divinity but identified Himself with the lowest and
weakest as a servant. He was always obedient to the Father – He was a good #2
Man and He never exalted Himself but trusted the Father to do that in His time
and for His glory. In Ephesians 5:18-21 Paul says that one of the main
characteristics of the Spirit-filled life is humility before God and thus toward
others. “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of
the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:21) It is as we walk in humility before the Lord that we
are graced to walk in humility with others. Our fleshly pride chafes at
submission so we must learn humility through suffering righteously as we forgive
those who wrong us and see these incidents as opportunities to grow in humility.
“Our love for God and our humility before Him is revealed
in our everyday relationships with others. It is in our ordinary daily life and
conduct that we really show and see what we are,what spirit/attitude really
possesses us. Let us look on every person in our daily experiences who tries or
vexes us as God’s means to bring about Jesus’ humility in us.”

We must see all of life as a gift from God and nothing that we have or
accomplish is to our credit but His glory. “For who makes you different from
anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive
it, why do you boast as though you did not?”(1 Corinthians 4:7)

“You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have
produced this wealth for me.” But remember the LORD your God, for it is
he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.” (Deuteronomy 8:17-18) Signs of
humility are seen in having a teachable spirit, a willingness to seek wise
counsel (Proverbs 15:22), and a willingness to submit to authority in church,
family, business and government (Hebrews 13:17; Ephesians 5:22-6:9; Romans

It was Jesus’ humility that made Him the greatest servant
leader this world has ever seen. A servant leader wants to serve first not lead
first and then they serve by leading both by their example and their deeds. “For
even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his
life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45) In John 13:1-17 we see how Jesus, the
King of kings, could be the greatest servant of all as He washed the feet of His
disciples. “Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and
that he had come from God and was returning to God.” (v.3) He knew Who He was
(God’s Beloved Son), why He was on the earth (to glorify the Father by loving
and serving others), and where He was going (back to the Father’s right hand in
glory). “For the joy set before Him (the joy of pleasing His Father, saving the
lost and returning to His Throne (Hebrews 1:8) having finished His great work of
salvation) He endured the cross.” (Hebrews 12:2) We too are God’s beloved in Christ, know
our purpose (to love, serve and glorify God) and know our destiny – our eternal
rewards in heaven to the glory of God. In Christ our identity is secure, our
purpose is clear and our destiny is glory. Knowing this makes sacrificial
service in this brief life a joy as we await our glorious

“Willingness to sacrifice is the great paradox. You must give up something in
the immediate present – comfort, recognition, quick rewards – to attract
something even better in the future.” (Pat Riley – The Winner Within)
Jesus says the same, “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny
himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save
his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.
What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his
soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man
is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward
each person according to what he has done.” (Matthew 16:24-27)

"They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, "What
were you arguing about on the road?" But they kept quiet because on the
way they had argued about who was the greatest.” (Mark 9:33-37) “Who
is the greatest" is the cry of Muhammad Ali and all in the world and even
the disciples before Pentecost. The greatest of all is the greatest servant
of all, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, even the Lamb that was slain (See
Revelation 5:1-14) No one has ever influenced the world as this One did – but
look at how He did it – through suffering for the sake of righteousness given
freely to us by faith in Him. And suffering for the sake of God’s righteousness
is what He has called us to do following in His footsteps. “For it is commendable
if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious
of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing
wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this
is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered
for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.”(1 Peter

“He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up
in another village where He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then
for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never
held an office. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where He was
born. He did none of the things one usually associates with greatness. He was
only thirty-three when the tide of public opinion turned against Him. He was
turned over to His enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was
nailed to a cross between two thieves. When He was dead, He was laid in a
borrowed grave. Twenty centuries have come and gone and today He is the central
figure of the human race and the leader of mankind’s progress. All the armies of
kings that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the kings that
ever reigned, have not affected the life of man as much as that One Solitary
Life.” (Author unknown)

“God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.”
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is
above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in
heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Acts 2:32; Philippians

O come let us adore Him,
Len and Kristen

This entry was posted in Monthly Teaching Letter. Bookmark the permalink.