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Seeds of the Kingdom

The Servant of the LORD

by John Sainsbury

11 September 2021

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After these things, Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died.
Joshua 24:29, NIV

If someone were to describe you in a tweet-style short description, I wonder what they’d say?

When people speak of their lost loved ones, we often hear them say how kind they were, how they wouldn’t have a bad thing to say about anyone, and maybe how cheeky or funny they were. We tend to the speak the best of a person when they die. In the Bible, though, we see an interesting way of describing some of those who have been real people of faith; descriptions that we might not immediately expect.

When we read about the death of Moses in Deuteronomy 34:5 it says, ‘And Moses the servant of the LORD died there in Moab’. Similarly, in the account of the death of Joshua we read, ‘After these things, Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died’. When these giants of the faith died, they shared a similar honour, but one that we might not have used to summarise them. Instead of their courage, or their humility, or their wisdom being honoured, the greater tribute paid to them is that they had been ‘the servant of the LORD’.

Jesus Himself said that He had not come to be served but to serve (Matthew 20:28). It seems that, in God’s way of assessing things, the greatest honour goes not to those who were served but to those who gladly and willingly gave their lives in service of the LORD.

The ways of the world are not the ways of God’s kingdom. It’s very clear from the beatitudes that Jesus has come to turn the values of the world on their head. So, in His kingdom, being summarised as a ‘servant of the LORD’ is about the greatest honour anyone could receive. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, then, if someone were to tweet about you that you were known as a servant of the LORD! It’s about as good as it could be.

Prayer: Dear LORD, thank You for those who have gone before us showing us the way to live out our lives as Your servants. Please enable me to live out a life of servant-hearted service to You in every aspect of my life. May I be known as a servant of the LORD. Amen.

John Sainsbury and his wife Sue are part of the leadership team at Ellel Grange. John has served as a church leader for many years, most recently as Lead Pastor of the Garstang Free Methodist Church. He has a passion for seeing many brought into the fulness of life that following Christ brings.

 

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