#7 He possesses a servant’s heart
True discipline will cost you your life. That is, you cannot have a casual approach toward helping others grow in Christ and produce the true fruit of the vine. Paul said of his relationship with those he evangelized and/or discipled:
- ” I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace ” (Act. 20:24b).
- “I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race” (Rom. 9:2, 3).
- “Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible… I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.” (I Cor. 9:19, 22b).
- “ I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well …” (2 Cor. 12:15b).
- “ My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you…” (Gal. 4:19a).
- “… I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God …” (Phil. 2:17b – NLT). (See I Thess. 2:8)
Jesus embodied the life of sacrifice to which he calls his laborers: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends …I lay down my life for the sheep” (John 15:13; 10:15b).
When Jesus challenged Peter to feed his sheep, he gave him this dire warning, “ I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, ‘Follow me!’” (Jn. 21:18, 19) History records that Peter was crucified upside down at the hands of the Roman emperor, Nero.
He demands nothing less of us. The question is, are you and I up to the challenge?
This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.
R. Dwight Hill