THE LOVING SERVANT OF GOD
October 15, 2006
INTRODUCTION: "Making the World Green" -- What is the chief result of a disciple's life? The very same result that characterized the life of Christ -- He made things live. The Nile is called the "breadbasket" of Egypt because it changes barren deadness into living greenness. God sends us disciples into a spiritually arid waste and expects us to leave it fertile and green. Ezekiel's river of blessing began at the altar and traveled down through brown deadness, but what a result! Everywhere the river went, everything lived (Ezekiel 47:9).
Greenness is the test of a disciple. Is my path strewn with people whom I have touched in life? Worldly men can coerce others into conformity, but the man of God can ignite them into spontaneous, living obedience. But only -- how important -- if the disciple himself is in direct touch with Him who is life.
Lord, my purpose in life is to make the "land live," but only as You, the Prince of life, live out Your life in me! Thank You for that heartening promise, "I will put My Spirit within you, and you will come to life" (Ezekiel 37:14). Then, Lord, make the land around me live also.
Epaphroditus traveled about 800 miles on a trip that took not less than 6 weeks by ancient means of travel. He made this journey, this mission of compassion, in order to bless the life of the Apostle Paul. The name Epaphroditus originally meant "goddess of love," but later came to mean "lovely" or "loving." In Phil. 4:18 the scriptures teach that he was sent from Philippi with a generous gift from the church for Paul's ministry.
The Bible gives us some sure signs of the "loving Servant of God."
I Jn 3:14, "We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death."
John 13:35, "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
This passage is ...
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