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Servant’s and Teacher’s Hearts

Servant’s and Teacher’s Hearts

As we go through Romans, I’ve started to describe the different grace gifts that we’ve been given. In my last post I talked about the prophet’s heart.

If it is serving, let him serve;

Romans 12:7a

The next gift I want to look at is the servant’s heart. These are the people who always want to help out. They want to be told what needs to be done and they jump right on it.

People with this heart are always needed in the local ministry. They’re the ones who come up to you and say, “Just tell me what you want done.” They don’t care if no one sees what they’re doing. They’re not looking for any kind of advancement. They simply want to be of service to God’s kingdom.

It’s interesting that Paul gives them no special exhortation, just to serve in your serving.

These people have a special insight into what needs to be done. They sometimes see a need and fill it before others even recognize the problem.

An example of someone with this heart is Martha. Think about the time that Jesus came to teach at her home.

But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

Luke 10:40

This illustrates the problem that a servant’s heart will sometimes face. Because of their ability to see what needs to be done, they sometimes get frustrated when others don’t see the need to serve. There is a solution to this, but it will be difficult for them to implement it.

Because of their special insight of what needs to be done, many times it makes them a good candidate for leadership positions. The problem is that they usually don’t see themselves as leaders.

But, in my opinion, some of the best leaders are those who lead by example. Their lives are a living illustration of how to serve in God’s kingdom.

…if it is teaching, let him teach;

Romans 12:7b

The next grace gift that Paul mentions is the teacher’s heart. I understand this one the most, because it’s my personal motivation.

People with a teacher’s heart want to impart information that will help others to live a better life. Jesus gives a good description of this motivation.

He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”

Matthew 13:52

Those with this gift see themselves as storehouses of valuable treasures. They see information as God’s grace to be distributed. Unfortunately, the value of this treasure is in the eye of the beholder.

The problem that many of us with this heart run into, is that we’re tempted to teach – give out this information – at inappropriate times. For instance, if a dish falls off the counter, that’s not the right time to explain to a family member why putting it too close to the edge is what caused the mess. Yes, I know this from experience!

In walking with a teacher’s heart, the best approach is to distribute the grace of information according to the Word we received from God. We need to be aware of the feelings and needs of those around us and not just our desire to teach them the “right way”.

In this way, we can see God’s hand at work through us.

Questions: Do you have a servant’s or a teacher’s heart? Who do you know with these gifts?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

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The Road to Advancement

ProfitI’ve been posting about Abraham as our example of the obedience that’s born in our faith. It’s not always pleasant, but God has a great destination prepared for us.

I said in my last post that God usually calls us to leave something before calling us into a new and better place. Unfortunately, laying hold of that better place is based upon our obedience. That’s why Jesus made the following statement.

“For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
Matthew 22:14

There are many who don’t want to go out in order to go into a new place. We are sometimes so satisfied with the good – we don’t want the excellent.

If we want the inheritance that God has destined us for on earth, then there are two attitudes we need to learn. These are the attitudes that energize our obedience to Christ. In today’s post, I want to talk about the first of these.

By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.
Hebrews 11:9

The original Greek of this verse is very interesting. It says that by faith Abraham lived near the promised land as if it were another’s property. This is an important lesson to learn, especially those in leadership positions. We understand obedience from serving in another’s ministry.

At one point in my Christian walk I was under a great man of God named Pastor Anthony Spero. He’s the one who trained me in the ministry. There were things he asked me to do that I liked, and other things – not so much.

What I didn’t realize at that time, was that as I submitted under his ministry, God was doing a work in me. All that time I worked under him, not knowing that the place God was bringing me to was a pastorate of my own.

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?”
Luke 16:10-12

You can’t advance in the Kingdom of God without obedience. We get the idea that because this isn’t mine, who cares if I do a good job or not. This is especially true at work or church. I didn’t know it, but when I was putting out the trash as a teenager, God was preparing me to be a husband and father.

We need to pick up the attitude of Abraham. The ability to see my submission to authority as preparation for the authority God wants to entrust me with. My future advancement is based on my present obedience.

Question: What are the areas of obedience that God is currently using in your life?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2014 in Faith, Leadership, Ministry

 

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Leadership and Serving the Word

Fine DiningWhat are the main responsibilities of church leaders?  Is it preaching, visiting the sick, running the church program; or is there something more important.

In this generation, many leaders are ignoring the most important aspect of their ministry.  To the extent that we miss this, the church suffers.

This concept was well known by the apostles in the early church.  It was something they wrestled with.

So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.”
Acts 6:2

They literally said that it would not be right for them to leave the Word of God.  There was a ministry that needed to be done, yet was being neglected.  How often do pastors scoop up those things without a second thought?  After all, there’s no one else to do them.

This is a question that needs to be answered in Christian circles.  It causes so much strife.  Church people think it’s the pastor’s job to do everything.  Yet in doing these jobs, that the church people are supposed to do, the leadership is missing the very things that would cause growth.

That’s one of the hardest issues to resolve in church ministry.  Does a minister choose to please God or men?  You may think that’s an easy choice.  But, as someone who’s been there, I can tell you that it’s an unyielding pressure.

The congregation that pays your salary wants to see you working in the church.  Many times prayer and seeking God are seen as “slacking off.”

“Pastor, you need to do more around here.”

All the while we ignore the fact that it’s the church member that’s called by God to do the “nuts and bolts” of the ministry.

“Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom.  We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”
Acts 6:3-4

The apostles came to the conclusion that it was more beneficial for them to be constantly diligent toward prayer and serving the Word.  That’s the choice.  Serving tables, doing all the things not getting done by those who should be doing it, or serving the Word.

Being a servant to the Word of God is our greatest calling.  That means listening, hearing, and obeying the Word of God spoken to us.  This is the most important aspect of ministry and must not be ignored.

Question: How much of your work for God is doing what God has spoken to you?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2014 in Ministry, Prayer, The Church, Word of God

 

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Service or Control? #calling

DifferentIn my last post I talked about how we advance in the Kingdom of God.

In the world you set a goal.  You say, “I’m going to be a brain surgeon.”  Then, off you go to school and someday, after years of study and training, you graduate as a brain surgeon.  That’s not how it is in the Kingdom of God.

Before I was born, God said, “I see a day when Nick Zaccardi is going to be born, and I have a place in My kingdom for him, and this is it.”  I then spend my lifetime attaining to the position that God has already prepared for me before the foundation of the world.

Eventually, depending on how well I listen to Him and my obedience level, I may or may not get to that calling.  But the main point for us to see is that it’s not up to me to decide what I want that calling to be.

That’s what the Lord was telling the disciples min the verse we looked at in the last post.  Don’t try to advance yourself in the Kingdom of God by using the world’s methods. But the problem didn’t end there.

When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers.  Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.  Not so with you.  Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Matthew 20:24-28

To operate in the way of the world, you’re going to have to step over everyone in your path in order to get to the top.  Then, once you get there, you start to boss everyone around because they’re all under you.

Jesus made it clear that we don’t act this way in the church.  In His kingdom, He has a place prepared for everybody.  You need to seek the place God has chosen for you from before the foundation of the world.

As you enter into your assignment, you’ll find that it will be a place of service.  It’s not going to be a place of authority in the sense that the world looks at authority.  So don’t come at the Kingdom of God from a worldly perspective.  In Christ we find fulfillment through service.

It’s clear, however, that the disciples believed that Christ’s kingdom was coming.  The disciples had faith in that concept to the point that in their own fleshly way they were starting to jockey for position.  I pray that we would have as much faith in the words of Christ as they did.  It’s my prayer that God’s people will be found ready for Him on His return.

We must begin to prepare now for the coming kingdom.  God’s Word is clear.  Our rewards will be based upon our obedience.  How closely are you following the Lord’s plan for your life?

Knowledge of the Second Coming of Christ should drive you to serve Him with all your ability.  Don’t rest until you know that you are in the center of His will for your life.

Question: What will it take to reach the next step in your calling?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2014 in Ministry, Return of Christ, The Church

 

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