The King’s Servant-Leaders June 10-14

Jesus radically recasts true leadership by modeling servant leadership. Jesus, rather than wielding power and authority for self-promotion, empowers and lifts up others. Jesus teaches, “The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” In contrast to worldly leadership, Jesus’ followers lead by serving. Disciples regard whatever power or privilege God has afforded them as gifts to be given for the sake of others. Followers seek to protect and promote others, even to their own hurt. Jesus does not call His disciples to walk a path that He did not walk. “To serve” is the reason He came into the world. He is the perfect example of selfless, loving, God-honoring service. 


Day 1      Mark 9:33-36

Reflect: What does the disciples’ argument reveal about their understanding of Jesus and His kingdom? What kind of person tries to be a servant? How did Jesus make His point? 

Apply:   How do you pursue being the “greatest”? Who do you know that you consider the greatest? Why them? What does it mean to welcome someone in Jesus’ name? Who welcomed you?

Pray:    God, purge the arrogance and selfishness of my heart so that I can serve You and others, following the pattern of Jesus’ life of radical humility and service.


Day 2      Mark 10:35-45

Reflect: Who do you relate to in this text? Why? The theme of Mark’s Gospel is verse 45. Carefully unpack every word of this verse. Why is it so significant? When have you referenced it?

Apply:    In whatever position of leadership and authority you have, how are you currently using your position to serve others? What are some practical ways you might improve?

Pray:     Lord, I pray for wisdom and grace to give my life in service to others and to You. I want to be obedient to Your Word and follow in Your footsteps so that Your name may be glorified.


Day 3      Philippians 2:5-8

Reflect: Paul first affirms Jesus Christ is God. How does this relate to the main point of the passage? How do doctrine and practice intersect in this text? 

Apply:   What attributes of Christ do you need to pursue? How often do you lament, “What about me?”! Why is humility and servanthood so difficult for us to attain?  

Pray:      Father, forgive my tendency to ruthlessly hang on to my own importance, my own will, and my own self-justification, even when I know it is not right or best. I want my heart’s desire to reflect the passions of Your Son and my will to be guided by Your Spirit.


Day 4      John 13:1-17

Reflect: John first records that Jesus loved His disciples. How does this relate to what Jesus was teaching them? What blessings come from understanding what Jesus taught (verse 17)? 

Apply:   What exemplifies you knowing Jesus as your “Lord” and “Teacher”? What does to wash someone’s feet look like for you today? When is it hardest for you to be a servant?

Pray:     Father, I am still learning to love as Jesus loves. Free me from my inhibitions and selfishness that block me from loving others as Jesus did.


Day 5      1 Peter 5:1-4 

Reflect: What is the main point of this text? How are the titles Shepherd and Servant King similar? How would Paul explain the difference between “I must” versus “I am willing”? 

Apply:   What are you doing for the Lord saying, “I get to…”? What about, “I have to…”? When have you experienced someone “lording it over you” and vice versa? 

Pray:     Jesus, help us to become good shepherds who lead others the way You lead us. In joyful obedience, may we sacrifice for the good of others and add value wherever we go. 


Put It Into Practice!

In each of the following statements, determine which part applies to you and why. Then ask the Holy Spirit to help you become a more humble servant in His kingdom. (1) Compare yourself to others OR compare yourself to God. (2) Concerned more with your reputation OR more with God’s reputation. (3) Must prove you are right OR yield your rights. (4) Confident in what you know OR realize you have much to learn. (5) Desire to be served OR motivated to serve others.