Here are seven laws—non-negotiable elements, iron-clad principles—regarding serving in the Kingdom of God.
One. Only the strongest can serve.
The weak, the immature and the carnal want only to be served.
Other than the cross of Calvary itself, the best illustration of servanthood is found in John 13:1-4. Our Lord washed the feet of His disciples. But before describing the event, John tells us five important things: 1) Jesus knew what time it was; His hour had come; 2) He knew His own and loved them to the very end; 3) Jesus knew His strength and authority; 4) Jesus knew He was from God; and 5) that His destiny was Heaven. So, knowing all of this, He is able to stoop and serve.
Why? Because the work is hard and thankless and requires brokenness.
Two. Only by constantly humbling ourselves can we do the work of a servant.
The disciples were offended. Washing the feet of others, we’re told, was not only the work of the lowliest household servant, but preferably someone not Jewish. And here was the Lord Himself doing this humiliating task.
Our natural inclination is to want to be served, not to serve. We like acclaim, to be recognized and appreciated, and swoon at thoughts of receiving the adoration of the masses. But those urges are anathema to the child of God.
We must humble ourselves. Why? Because the work of a servant is often difficult, embarrassing and painful.
Three. “What can I do to help?” is the constant question of the servant.
The beggar of Jericho kept begging, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” When he stood before the Savior, Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Luke 18:41). That is the question of a servant.
Why? Because the servant is focused on blessing others. He lives to make others successful.
Four. We serve in Jesus’ name for Jesus’ sake.
“We do not preach ourselves,” said the Apostle. “But Christ Jesus as Lord. And ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Corinthians 4:5). To serve “for Jesus’ sake” means we take orders from the Lord Jesus on how to serve others. The waiter in a restaurant serves customers, but does so “for the manager’s sake.”
Why? Because we belong to Jesus. He saved us, redeemed us and sent us. Jesus is Lord.
Five. The servant seeks no recognition or earthly reward.
In the parable of Luke 17:7-10, our Lord instructed that even when we have done everything He commands—and who among us has done that?—we are to say to ourselves, “I am only an unworthy servant; I’m just doing my duty.”