Family Bible Study lesson for Feb. 29: Disciplined Service : Saturday, Feb. 7, 2004
February 7 2004 by Claude Frazier

Family Bible Study lesson for Feb. 29: Disciplined Service : Saturday, Feb. 7, 2004
Saturday, Feb. 7, 2004

Family Bible Study lesson for Feb. 29: Disciplined Service

By Claude Frazier
Focal passage: Matthew 20:20-28, Romans 12:9-13

Christlikeness in Christian Living

Matthew 20:20-28

In this scripture, we see false ambition and true ambition. The mother of James and John came to Jesus with a request that her sons might have the places of greatest honor, at Jesus' right and left hand, in His kingdom.

The request tells us something about the ambition of these two disciples. They were thinking of personal success and wanted Jesus to command this to happen. It was personal gain without personal sacrifice. But the incident also showed their strong faith in Jesus, because at that time the cross lay ahead of Him; even with the sense of foreboding in the air, they knew He would be victorious. And, when asked by Jesus if they would drink the bitter cup with Him, they did not turn back but showed unshakable loyalty.

The Christians who share Jesus' triumph must also drink His cup. They must follow Christ wherever He leads and strive to be like Him in any situation that may come their way.

Jesus showed kindness to His disciples, James and John. Their lives had been so different from His and would continue to be. Jesus did not show irritation, but spoke the truth to them about what they would face. He always told men that even in crown-wearing there would be cross-bearing.

Jesus did not write off the men for their mistaken ambition, but showed trust in them. The other disciples were annoyed at James and John for their requests for prominent places in the kingdom. When Jesus spoke to the other disciples, He knew what was on their minds. In our world, the great man is considered to be the man who controls others with his intellectual standing and wealth. Jesus explained that, in His world, greatness is found in serving others. To be great, they needed to become servants; to be first, they must become as slaves.

While those who do not know Christ may admire, respect and fear the powerful, they will love those who have servant hearts and offer ungrudging aid.

Jesus calls us to do as He did. He came not to be served but to serve. He did not have a throne, but He was given a cross. He gave His all to bring people back to God and we must give of ourselves to liberate others from the bondage of sin. We must walk in His steps; steps of love, caring and proclaiming the gospel to the lost men, women and children we meet.

Genuineness in Christian Living

Romans 12:9-13

Here Paul presents rules for everyday living. He tells us that God wants sincere love without hypocrisy, playacting or selfish motives. The aim of selfish love is to get far more than you give. Christian love is pure and unselfish love.

Paul says we should hate evil, not just its consequences, and to demonstrate our love in the way we treat others. Humility has always been a measuring mark for Christians. The natural person may focus on gaining rights, but the Christian person accepts his or her responsibilities.

The Christian has no space for sluggishness, because the world is a battleground between good and evil. Paul urges us to be burning in the spirit, rejoicing in hope, standing firm in times of trouble and devoted in prayer, working to help and encourage others.

Disciplined service includes contributing to the needs of the saints and practicing hospitality. When Alexander the Great was leaving for one of his campaigns, he went about giving gifts to his friends. Sir," said one of his friends, "you will have nothing left for yourself." "Oh, yes, I have," he replied, "I still have my hopes."

Do you have hope?
2/7/2004 12:00:00 AM by Claude Frazier | with 0 comments

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