Derek finishes this study with the question: “Are you willing to be a servant?” He emphasizes it is not something to be taken lightly. Using experiences from his own life, Derek reveals how serving can be very hard at times, even undesirable, but the rewards of becoming a servant to God are worth it all.
In our ministry we’ve had some of the sweetest people you’d ever think of doing what? Serving. I blush when I think of their sweetness, their purity, their kindness. I feel in many ways they’re more worthy than I am. How about you? Does it attract you, the thought of being a servant? I mean being a servant. Washing up, drying dishes, making beds, using the Hoover, sweeping the streets, serving the meals. Do you think that’s unspiritual? I think it’s very, very spiritual.
Listen I don’t want to end this message without giving you an opportunity, but please think it over carefully before you make your decision. Are you here tonight and you say, “Lord, I want to be Your servant now and forevermore. I count it my highest privilege to be Your servant.” If you’ve never made that decision or if you want to reaffirm that decision here tonight, I ask you to think carefully before you do this because whatever you say it’s being recorded in heaven. There’s a recording that writes down everything we said and the book of Ecclesiastes says, “Don’t tell the angel you made a mistake.” Because it’s too late, it’s recorded.
But if you really have seen something beautiful in the concept of being a servant, if you can see it as something holy, something Godlike—remember the first two servants we read about in the Bible are Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. It’s not something low or vulgar or to be despised. It’s something tremendously valuable.
Now if you really want to tell the Lord I want to be a servant, a servant of servants... I just think of John Wesley. There’re only two real books that really moved me when I became a new believer. One was the Journals of John Wesley and the other was Finney’s Lectures on Revival. And I was with the Pentecostals and our motto was We’ve Got It All. I mean that’s the way it was.
Then I read John Wesley’s Journals and I said if we’ve got it all what did he have? Because he had a lot more than we do. But he was criticized for preaching in the open air. It was very vulgar to go out and preach to working class people in the streets. And it took him a tremendous struggle to make the decision that he would do it. But when he was criticized he used the words of David when Michael criticized him for dancing. And he said, “I will say what David said, I will be yet more base than thus. But of the servant maids of whom you speak I will be held in honor.” I think that really was the key to the success of his ministry. “I will be yet more base than thus. I will go out and be a servant. I will serve the despised people, the common people, the working class.”
Are you willing to be a servant? I tell you—I don’t want to boast but I’m so glad for the five years I spent serving the people of Kenya. And they remember me with love to this day.
One of our women students—her mother died while we were, while she was on our two-year course—and she said I can’t complete my course. I’ve got to go and look after my two little sisters. So Lydia and I said we’ll go to the funeral. And we drove out there and I tell you I have never seen poverty more clearly depicted than there. The African hut had been partly damaged by fire. It’s roof was not water tight. The grave was dug in the red earth of Kenya right in front of the door of the hut. The woman was buried in a dirty night dress. I mean it was stained, in a kind of wooden box which they called a coffin. They lowered it into the grave and the two little children were running around screaming. Lydia and I said, We’ll take you little sisters so you can complete your course.” One of them was named Susanna and later took the name Susan. And today Susan is a teacher, married to a teacher and that couple are the people who really sponsored Don Doubles’ meeting in Tanganyika. Is that right? I’m so glad I invested. I’m so glad. [Applause]
Well when they left us another group arrived. An African black couple and a white woman. The white woman was carrying a little black baby wrapped in a dirty towel. That’s all she was wrapped in. They said this little baby’s mother died. She was found on the floor of an African hut. They rescued her and put her in hospital for six months. “Now the hospital says we’re not a children’s home. We can’t keep her. You’ve got to find somebody else. And” they said, “We’ve been going around this whole area for three days looking for anybody, African, Asian or European who will take this little baby. And then somebody said to us, ‘The Princes take children.’ So that’s why we’ve come.”
“Well,” we said “that was true long ago. Now we’re too old and we’re too busy with our educational work. We couldn’t possibly take another child.” And they said, “We’re so tired. Would you let us sit down for a little while.” So we let them sit down and gave them some water to drink. Then about half hour later they got up to go and as this white woman carried this little baby past me wrapped in this dirty towel I tell you honestly the baby put out her hand like that to me as if to say, “What are you going to do?” And I looked at Lydia, she was on the other side of the room, and I tell you I admire that woman to this day because she was well up in years. Much older than I was. And she said, “Give me a week to get a crib and some baby clothes and you can bring her back.” Today she is married to a Christian man and they’re serving the Lord. And she too has a servant’s heart. I’ll say that.
Dear friends, I’m so sorry for people that are only living for themselves. It’s a miserable existence. Where will you be at the end of your life? What will you have to give to the Lord? Self-centeredness is the root of most people’s problems.
There are three evil corrupting loves in the contemporary culture all predicted in Scripture; love of self, love of money and love of pleasure. And all the other evils of society come out of those three evil loves. So will you turn your back on self here this evening? Will you say, “Self you are not going to dictate to me any longer. You’re not my master. I belong to Jesus and I am going to serve Him with my whole heart and life.” Now if you’re willing to make that decision—remember there’s an angel recording. Don’t say anything rashly, but if you’re willing to make that decision you can signify it one simple way just by standing to your feet wherever you are.
You see all these people? What would that mean for the kingdom of God if all these people really became servants? God bless every one of you. I want to pray for you now.
“Lord, I thank You for every one that’s made a sincere commitment of self to Your service. You know the hearts of every one. You know the barriers, You know the problems, You know the things that would hold them back. But, Lord, would you release them by Your Holy Spirit to be humble, dedicated, fruitful servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. In His Name I ask it.”
And all the people say AMEN. God bless you.