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Being A Servant

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Servanthood is part of the divine nature, revealed in Jesus and in the Holy Spirit. Often despised in our contemporary culture, it is the way that God expresses Himself in human lives.

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Now I’m going to deal with my subject for the first part of this meeting which is Being A Servant, and I think it’s one of the most neglected themes in the contemporary church. In fact, there’s a kind of very negative attitude in many people about the idea of being a servant. “I don’t want to be a servant. I don’t want to be serving anybody else. I’m a person on my own right.” I can’t remember how many granddaughters I have—but I had two that were living at one time or another with me and they’re both committed Christians, but as I listen to them talk I heard that they had been brainwashed in school in the whole educational system—one in America and one in Britain. And that they’d been learned to think self-centered. Everything in their curriculum was how to develop yourself, how to express yourself, how to be a significant kind of person. And I realized that we have a tremendous barrier of secular education in this generation to overcome to get a clear and Scriptural picture of what the Bible says about being a servant.

Let me say this. You show me a self-centered person and I will show you a dissatisfied person. Because there is nothing in self that can fully satisfy us. And there’re lot of Christians, who are Christians, but they’re self-centered. You’ll find they’re frustrated. They’re always running around to some new teaching or some new meeting, they never find full satisfaction and full expression because they are centered in themselves.

Now let’s talk a little bit about what the Bible says about being a servant, and I think it will astonish some of you. First of all servant-hood is divine and eternal. It didn’t start with humanity. It started in God. It didn’t start in time. It started in eternity. I want to say that again. Servant-hood is divine, Godly and it’s eternal. Let’s look first of all in Matthew chapter 12 and verse 18 and following. Now I’m taking Jesus as the pattern servant. You see God is revealed to us in Scripture as three in one. Some people don’t like the word Trinity so never mind, don’t bother with it. But there are three persons in the Godhead; the Father, the Son and the Spirit. And the Son is the servant of the Father, and the Spirit is the servant of the Son and the Father. So servant-hood is in the nature of God Himself. Being a servant is one of the most Godly things that you can ever be. It doesn’t mean you’re inferior or second-rate. It means you’re following a divine pattern. Now this is what is says in Matthew’s Gospel chapter 12 verses 16 and following.

“But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew from there. And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all.”

He withdrew. He didn’t press Himself forward in the face of opposition and criticism; He just bowed and said, “Alright, carry on. Do your thing. I’ll do God’s thing.”

“And He warned them not to make Him known.”

And He was not seeking fame or popularity contrary to the ambitions of many contemporary Christians.

“That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: ‘Behold [now this is God the Father speaking] Behold My Servant whom I have chosen.’”

Who was God’s servant? Jesus. I didn’t hear you. JESUS. That’s right.

“My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased!
I will put My Spirit upon Him,
And he will declare justice to the Gentiles [to the nation].
He will not quarrel nor cry out,
Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.”

He’s not going to assert Himself. He’s not going to push Himself forward. He’s going to simply allow the very nature of His being to express itself. And those who are seeking truth will come to Him. And then it says,

“He will not quarrel nor cry out,
Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. [Listen this is good news.]
A bruised reed He will not break,
And smoking flax He will not quench.”

Maybe you don’t understand those, but a reed is something that grows tall and straight. But if it’s bruised it loses it straightness, it loses its strength and most people would just throw it away. But Jesus does not break a bruised reed. There are a lot of bruised reeds here tonight. Because of things in your past you don’t have the strength, you don’t have the confidence, you don’t have the ability that you need. You’re a bruised reed. Somebody might crush you. Jesus will not crush you. You know what He’ll do? He’ll heal you.

And then, smoking flax, of course they used lamps fed with oil and wicks. And when a wick wasn’t really working instead of giving a clear light, it would give out smoke. And that’s a picture of a lamp going out. Many people would just take the wick out and throw it away. But Jesus restores the wick. Some of you here tonight are smoking wicks. You really can’t give out a clear light because there are things in your life that inhibit you. But Jesus isn’t going to throw you away. He’s going to restore a pure clear light to you. That’s Jesus. Can you say Amen? AMEN.

And then in Matthew chapter 20 and verse 28 it says,

“The Son of Man...”

That’s Jesus. And you know the title The Son of Man is used about forty times in the gospel, much more than the Son of God. Jesus was both the Son of God and the Son of Man. But the title He liked best was the Son of Man. He identified with humanity. And then it says here,

“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

That’s the Spirit of Jesus. He does not come to be served, He comes to serve. And anyone who has the Spirit of Jesus will have the same attitude—not seeking to be served, but to serve. That’s the mark of the divine nature. I want to say that again. Servant-hood did not begin in time, it did not begin with humanity, it began in God and it began in eternity.

And then with regard to the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is the Servant of God the Father and God the Son. Jesus is the Servant of the Father and the Holy Spirit is the Servant of the Father and the Son. In John 14 verses 16 and 17, Jesus say to His disciples,

“And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Helper, [or in the old translation a Comforter] that He may abide with you forever- even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”

So the Father is going to send as His Servant, the Holy Spirit. And then a little further on in John 16 and verse 7 Jesus says,

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper [that’s the Holy Spirit] will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.”

So the Holy Spirit is the Servant of God the Father and God the Son who’s sent to help us. Servant-hood is in His divine eternal nature. And then let’s look at the heavenly beings. This is one of my favorite passages because it is the message I heard the first time I ever went to a Pentecostal service. Isaiah chapter 6 verses 1, 2 and 3. Isaiah 6:1, 2, 3.

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the LORD sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim”

Now seraphim is the Hebrew plural of the word seraph and seraph is directly related to the Hebrew word for fire. In fact, a fire in Hebrew today is called a serapha(?). So the seraphim are burning, fiery creatures. And then it says,

“Each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.”

Very interesting apportionment of their wings. For me covering the face is worship. Covering the feet is worship. Flying is service. But in the heavenly scheme of things they give twice as much time to worship as they do to service. And I think probably we need to do the same. Service that does not come out of worship does not really fulfill God’s purpose. The seraphim had six wings. The cherubim that you read about in Ezekiel, had four wings. They are not the same beings. The seraphim were around the throne of God. The cherubim—and incidentally this is interesting. The Hebrew word cheruf(?) means a cabbage. This is simply a Prince theory. I think they call it a cheruf, a cabbage, because the cherub’s wings came out of their bodies in the same way that the leaf, leaves of a cabbage come out of a stalk. I make no charge for that. If you don’t like it you can just live with it.

And the cherubs, if you read in Ezekiel, are God’s chariots. He rides on a cherub. But the seraphim, the firey creatures, are the ones that surround the throne of God. But what I want to emphasize today is they’re all servants, eternally servants. And, as I said and I think we need to bear this in mind, they give twice as much time in heaven to worship as they do to service.

Furthermore, this may startle some of you, but I say it carefully—I’ve read both the Old and New Testament in the original languages—every word for worship in the Old Testament and in the New describes a posture of the body. There is no such thing in Scripture as worshiping apart from your body. You start with the head and move down to the feet. Every single area of the body is involved in worship. Bowing the head is an act of worship. When Moses returned to the elders of Israel in Egypt and told them that God was going to deliver them it says, “They bowed their heads and worshiped.”

You can worship in many ways with your arms—stretching out the arms is asking for mercy, lifting up the arms is praise and worship. And then the whole upper body bending forward is worship. In the Orient that’s the way that people show respect for one another. They bow. That’s worship. Kneeling down is worship. When Solomon dedicated his temple to the Lord he built a big platform and on it he knelt down and he stretched out his arms to God. What was that? An act of worship. Kneeling down is worship. Stretching out your arms is worship. I want to tell you, unless you are absolutely crippled, and God will make allowance for you, you cannot really worship God apart from your body. Worship is the spirit approaching God and honoring God through the body.

I always smile when I hear Christians sing that thing, “Bring forth the royal diadem and crown Him Lord of all.” That’s the angels. And those dignified church members will stand in the rows and it’s all right for the angels, the seraphim. They can fall on their faces. But don’t ask me to fall on my face. I’m dignified. Too dignified. I tell you having been educated at Eton and Cambridge I had a lot to learn about losing my dignity. But I thank God it went!

And then we have the angels in Hebrews chapter 1 and verse 14. The writer of Hebrews says this about the angels,

“Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?”

But the second word minister means to serve. So angels are here to serve us. I wish we had more respect for angels, really. The trouble is we don’t really believe that angels come to our meetings. I do. That’s why it says Let women have their heads covered. It’s a respect for the angels. I’m not attacking you, I’m just telling you the way it is, that’s all. And some of you are going to have to decide whether you’ve got more fear of man or respect for God.

Now serving is the pathway in the body of Christ to leadership. God, I don’t think, ever takes somebody and immediately makes him a leader. I really respect Don for the way he has worked with so many young men and young women and let them serve to become leaders.

Let me just give you a few examples. Matthew chapter 20 and verses 25 through 27.

“But Jesus called them [the disciples] to Him and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles [the nations] lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. [But it’s much stronger word that exercise. It means dominate them.] Yet it shall not be so among you; [Who is you? You is us isn’t it. It’s not good English but it’s the way it is.] It shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave.’”

You notice, the higher up you want to go the lower down you have to start. If you’re going to be just great, you have to become a servant. But if you’re going to be first, you have to become a slave.

I’ve got a series of messages, radio messages, entitled The Way Up Is Down. And that’s the theme. But the interesting thing is the response to that message. It’s never been very popular in America. It’s a remarkable thing. On the other hand surprisingly enough it’s very popular in Germany. I can’t explain that, it’s just that’s the way it is.

But let me tell you, whether you like it or not, the truth is the way up is down. The higher you want to come the lower you have to go. It’s in proportion. If you want to be just a leader, you can become a servant. But if you want to be first, you have to become the slave of all. The way up is down. I think I’d like you to say that with me, will you? “The way up is down.” Again. “The way up is down.” Turn to somebody next to you and say it to them. “The way up is down.”

Then we turn to 1 Peter chapter 5 and verse 5. Now these two sentences are put together in one verse, but they’re somewhat disjointed.

“Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another.”

That’s the primary submission in the body of Christ it’s to one another. Then there are other submissions—wives to husbands, children to parents, congregation to leaders. But the primary submission is to one another. We all have to be submitted to one another. And then Peter goes on,

“Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility.”

But that English doesn’t bring out the full meaning, because the word that Peter uses describes an apron which was worn by slaves and which marked out a slave. He wore a special kind of apron. So what Peter is saying is put on the apron of slavery. Advertise by your clothing that you’re there to be a slave. That leaves us some time to meditate doesn’t it?

Then in Matthew 25 verses 21 and 23. This is the parable of the talents and you remember one man received five talents and another received two and another received one. So when the first man came back he had made five more talents. A talent is probably worth two or three thousand dollars.

“And the lord said to him, ‘Well done good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ Then the second came who had received two talents and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ The lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; [exactly the same words of commendation to the one who had five and the one who had two. The commendation was not for what they had but the use they made of it. Each of them gained one hundred percent.] Enter into the joy of the lord...’

And then you have the man with the one talent. You know I have discovered there are many, many one talent Christians. You know what many of them do? They take their one talent and they bury it. I preached on this once to a congregation to which I had been an elder. I preached to the one talent Christian and when I said, “How many of you have to admit you haven’t been using your one talent? You need to repent.” About half the congregation came forward immediately. And I realized what a tremendous loss the body of Christ suffers because the people who have one talent think, “Well I don’t have much. There’s not much I can do.” And Jesus said to that person with the one talent, “If you couldn’t make money with it you should have invested it with the bankers and you would have got interest.”

So it’s not always wrong to get interest. You see? Some people think it is. I don’t think it is. If you get interest out of lending money to a brother in need, that’s wrong. But if you get interest out of lending to somebody who’s going to do business with it and make a profit, it’s perfectly legitimate to get interest.

Something more I want to say, it doesn’t come to me. “Lord, if You wanted me to say it, just help me to say it.” Yes, it’s very important. Don Double will say “Amen” to this. Listen, Jesus said “You can’t use it yourself then invest it with the bankers.” What does that mean to the one talent Christian? It means invest in another person’s ministry. Find a ministry that’s really bringing forth fruit. You can’t do much with your one talent but you can invest it in another ministry. And I would like to say to you when you take up the offering tomorrow for Donald Double and a few other people like Derek Prince, just bear in mind if you’ve only got one talent we can use it for you. Is that right Don? Amen.

I would like to say something about our ministry. I won’t take long, but our particular slogan is Reaching the Unreached and Teaching the Untaught. And when we first began that early in the 1980’s we were a little ministry and we were going into debt—about ten thousand dollars a month. You can’t do that for long and stay afloat. So Ruth and I went off to seek the Lord on our own for a little while, and while we were seeking Him He spoke to us. He said, “Don’t sell your material. Give it away because the people who really need it can’t afford to pay for it.” So we came back to our workers and we said we’ve decided we have to give the ministry away. I mean they were shocked. They could hardly believe it. But you know what, since we gave the material away we have never been in the red! The Bible says “Give and it shall be given to you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over."

In those years since we made that decision we have reached more than eighty nations with my material. It has been translated into at least sixty languages. My radio broadcast is in thirteen languages other than English, including Chinese, Russian, Spanish and Arabic. I think at the present time radio is the best means to reach the Arabic speaking world, because in many cases you cannot go and preach the gospel openly. But the hungry people will pick it up and act on it.

Our broadcast goes from the Seychelles. And you know radio is a strange thing. I don’t understand but sometimes when the conditions are right it will reach a long way. And one of our broadcasts reached the Yemen which is a totally closed Moslem nation. And one young man heard just enough to get interested, wrote for material, and received Jesus as his Savior. Amen. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord.

Now let me just take Paul as a pattern of what I’m talking about. 2 Corinthians chapter 4 and verse 5. Now this is spoken as the letter indicates to the Corinthians and I want you, I’ll point out what kind of people they were. But Paul says,

“For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.”

But the Greek says your slaves. Notice there are three steps. First of all set aside yourself. You don’t have anything to give from yourself. Set it aside. Don’t be self-centered. Don’t be self-promoting. Set that all aside. Then you preach Christ Jesus, the Lord. You lift up Jesus. Jesus said, “I, if I be lifted up from the earth will draw all men to Me.” And it’s always true when you sincerely and humbly lift up Jesus He begins to draw people. And then it says your slaves for Jesus’ sake.

Now listen, Paul had been educated in the best rabbinic schools. He was an orthodox Jew. And you may not know the orthodox Jews but for many centuries, I don’t think in the time of Paul, a Jewish orthodox man always prays two things every morning; “thank God I’m a Jew and not a Gentile, I’m a man and not a woman.” That’s what is built into their thinking. Paul had the same attitude. He was a student of one of the best Rabbis. What do you think it meant Paul to go to Corinth, which was a big wicked port city, and lay his life down and say to those people “We are your slaves. We’re here to serve you.”

What sort of people were they? Well it’s very interesting. In 1 Corinthians chapter 6 verses 9 to 11, Paul writing to the same people says this.

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?”

Do you know that incidentally? You can call yourself by any label, but if you’re unrighteous you will not inherit the kingdom of God. A lot of Christians don’t know that. Now then, Paul goes on,

“Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor reviler, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”

That’s a long list of people who will not get to heaven. And let me say, you can be born into the kingdom of God but never inherit it. There’s a long period in your life between when you are born again and when your eternal destiny is finally settled. And then this is what I want to point out. Paul says,

“And such were some of you.”

What kind of people was he writing to? Let me give you the list—fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, sodomites, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, extortioners. And to those people this proud Jewish Rabbi said, “We are your slaves.” Can you say that to people? Do you dare to go to people and say, “We are your slaves.”

Now I spent five years in Africa as principal of a teacher training college for African students. And I had many weaknesses and I made many mistakes. But one thing was very clear to me from the first day. I was there to serve the African people. And my name is still remembered. Don can bear witness to that to this day, thirty years and more later, my name is still remembered among them because I was their servant.

You know one thing that delighted me. I’d been ministering in London for about six or seven years and there you had to force the gospel on people. When I got to Kenya I couldn’t believe it. There were people who actually wanted to hear the gospel. I mean it was incredible to me. It took me a long while to get adjusted.

You know that Africa is a much more Christian continent than Europe today. You know that? And they’re sending missionaries to us. Thank God for them. Send them, Lord, we need them. They’re grateful people because they know that Britain, British Christians, in many cases brought the gospel to their nation. Now they see our desperate spiritual need and they’re willing to bring it back. And I think it was Don was telling me about a Nigerian pastor in England who paid six million pounds in cash for the property on which to build their church. You know why they’re wealthy? Because they give.

You’ve all heard of Kensington Temple where God is blessing in a unique way? I was some years back, I was with Winn Lewis (?) who was the former pastor, and he said to me personally, “Would you like to know when the move of God really started in Kensington Temple?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “One day seven Nigerian sisters came to me and said, ‘We’re going to fast and pray twice a week for your church.’ Since then we’ve taken off.” Thank God for the Nigerians. Amen.

Listen my dear Christian brothers and sisters, none of you here is more British than I am. I’m as British as the flag. I’m just planted in a different country. How many of you would take time to fast and pray for your nation? How serious are you about your desire for revival? I don’t believe revival will come until people fast and pray. How serious are you about your family being saved? If I were to ask how many of you here today have unsaved relatives, unsaved children, many of you would put a hand up. How many of you are willing to give up a little food indulgence to cry out to God and humble yourself before Him on behalf of your family? David said in Psalm 35 verse 11

“I humbled my soul with fasting...”

You know the problem with the British? Remember I’m as British as you are. We’ve ruled the world so long that we think we know how to tell everybody what to do. True? Yes it is. You can talk to people from other nations.

In 1954 I was the secretary of the Pentecostal World Conference which was held in London. And we got people from Sweden that had churches of five and six thousand members. People from the United States with even more members. People from Africa. And as far as I can remember the largest Pentecostal church in England at that time had about two hundred members. But when we all got together it was the British who were telling everybody how to do it. Do you still love me? I was the secretary. I recorded those meetings. I’m not theorizing.

You know what we need to do? Humble ourselves. Can you hear me? Humble ourselves. How? Well one Scriptural specific way is by prayer and fasting. David said, “I humble my soul with fasting.” Your soul is the part of you that needs to be humbled. It’s the arrogant self-assertive part of you that says “I want, I think, I feel, I’m important, look at me, do what I want.” And God doesn’t move on that sort of person. But when you humble yourself and say “God I don’t have much. I’m not much of a success. I’m really not a very significant person, but whatever I have I lay it at Your feet. I put it down. I give it to You.” And you’ll be surprised how much God can do with so little when it’s wholly His.

All right. We’ve dealt with serving in time and in this life. Let’s go on to eternity. How many of you believe there will be an eternity? How many of you know where you’ll spend it? You don’t need to put your hand up. I hope you’re right but don’t take it for granted. Speaking in the last chapter of Revelation, chapter 22 verses 3 and following.

“And there shall be no more curse, [what a wonderful thought.] but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.”

What’s the reward for faithful servants on earth? Serving Him in eternity. You know I’ve served the Lord to the best of my ability for more than fifty years. The most disappointing thing that could happen to me is when I get to heaven is God say, “I’m going to pension you off now. You’ve done a good job. I’ll give you a little villa with a rose garden, eternal roses that never perish. But I don’t need you anymore.” That’s the worse think that God could say to me. I want to go on serving Him. I want to serve Him in eternity. And that’s what I’m going to do because His servants shall serve Him. And then one more wonderful beautiful thing and that is the next verse says,

“They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.”

A lot of Revelation depends on whose name is on your forehead. Do you know that? If it’s the name of the antichrist you’re headed for a lost eternity. If you belong to the Lord like the hundred and forty-four thousand it says the name of Jesus and the Father was on their forehead. It’s one of the main themes of Revelations—whose name is on your forehead. And it says, “They shall see His face.” I wonder if you realize what a tremendous statement that is. “They shall see His face.” I believe it’s the climax of redemption. I don’t believe until that point any of us will ever see God face to face. Let me give you just a couple of examples. In Exodus chapter 33 Moses said he wanted to see the Lord’s glory. The Lord said I’ll accommodate you but there are limitations. Exodus 33 beginning at verse 18.

“Moses said, ‘Please, show me Your glory.’ Then God said, ‘I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.’ But He said, ‘You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.’ And then the LORD said, ‘Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.’”

I don’t think we have any appreciation of what it means to see the face of God. And then in 1 Timothy chapter 5, I think I’ll read it all. It’s beautiful, beginning at verse 13. Paul is writing to his spiritual son.

“I urge you in the sight of God who give life to all things, and before Christ Jesus, who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, he who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power.”

So when you turn now to Revelation 22 and verse 4 and you read they shall see His face that really is the climax of redemption. No one, no human being I believe will ever have seen the face of God until that moment, and it’s for His servants. His servants shall serve Him. I ask for no other reward. I ask for no other privilege. “Lord, just one thing please let me go on serving You throughout eternity. I’m glad to be a servant. I’m glad to humble myself and bow at Your feet and offer You my service little and inadequate though it is, it’s the best I have.”

David said, “How can I offer to the Lord that which cost me nothing?” “Lord, whatever it costs—and it has cost me a lot in the last few years. It’s Yours. I offer it to You. I want to be Your servant. Not just in time, not just on earth, but in heaven, in eternity, forever.”

I want to be a servant of the Lord. What about you? Would you tell God tonight that you want to be His servant? I’m not talking about getting saved or getting the Baptism or speaking in tongues. I believe in all those things, but all those are just stepping stones to becoming a servant. And when you become a servant, you serve others.

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 Wesely. There’re only two real books that really moved me when I became a new believer. One was the Journals of John Wesely 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.

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