You can also download a PDF of the October 2008 Baptist Testimony (1.3mb PDF; PC: Right click / MAC: Control click on the link and choose “Save As”)
The Word Has It
“Strengthen me according to Your word,” Psalm 119:28
MARBC State Representative
October’s Word: “Serve”
One of the great joys that result from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is the fact that a person is no longer a “slave of sin” and instead becomes a “servant of Christ.” The Apostle Paul spends a great deal of time developing this concept in his detailed doctrinal discussion of salvation in Romans 6. For example, in Romans 6:6, Christians are reminded that “our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” By contrast, he further states to Christians, “And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:18). What is one of the primary goals of this new found freedom? “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.” (Romans 6:22)
The Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated this principle for us in His incarnation. Christians are admonished: “Let this mind (attitude) be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)
This principle is certainly in stark contrast to today’s popular philosophy. The world has differing ideas of what makes an individual “significant” or “great.” Most often “greatness” is associated with power, wealth and celebrity. The Bible suggests a different way to greatness: the way of a servant. Greatness is found in living as Christ’s servants in humble ministry to others. This is what the Philippians passage declares that Jesus Christ modeled for us.
The late Dave Thomas, founder of the Wendy’s Restaurant chain, took Christ’s example of service and humility personally. He developed his Wendy’s venture from a single restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, into a highly successful international chain of restaurants. Thomas became identified with the chain, not just as its founder, but also through his appearances in Wendy’s successful television commercials.
But one of the amazing sidelights of Thomas’ rise to success is the fact that he had dropped out of school when he was fifteen years old. It was only after he had built the successful restaurant chain that he got his G.E.D in the 1990’s. He often loved to share that he got his “M.B.A.” when he became a Christian at the age of eleven, was baptized, and began his journey of following Jesus. He took on the role of a servant at a young age, and continued with this mindset even after he became a multi-million dollar executive of a fast-growing restaurant chain. He often related to those who asked him about his personal philosophy that Christianity was more than just a doctrine you talked about on Sunday morning. He often advised others to: “Live your faith. Don’t wear it on your sleeve; roll up both sleeves and do something about it.”
In his book, “Well Done: The Common Guy’s Guide to Everyday Success,” (Harper Collins, 1994, page 159) Thomas shares: “I got my M.B.A. long before my G.E.D. I even have a photograph of me in my M.B.A. graduation outfit — a snazzy knee-length work apron. I guarantee you that I’m the only founder among America’s big companies whose picture in the corporate annual report shows him wielding a mop and a plastic bucket. That wasn’t a gag. It was a case of leading by example. At Wendy’s, M.B.A. does not mean ‘Master of Business Administration.’ It means ‘Mop Bucket Attitude.’ It’s how we define satisfying the customer through cleanliness, quality food, friendly service, and atmosphere.”
The October issue of the Baptist Testimony is intentionally focused upon the word, “serve.” The first reason for this focus is because of the many testimonies in this issue related to service opportunities between churches through the “CPR Initiative” (Church Partnering Relationships). May the testimonies shared about these partnerships cause you to praise God for His goodness and prompt you to consider potential partnership opportunities of your own. The second reason is to remind the MARBC network of the important emphasis upon “Biblical Servant Leadership” later in October at the MARBC Annual Conference. You are encouraged to join us for this important and practical time of sharing.
Like Dave Thomas, do you have an M.B.A.? Is your attitude like that of Jesus Christ? Are you a humble servant, rolling up your sleeves and demonstrating your faith? Galatians 6:10 encourages, “As we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” God’s desire is that His children reflect the example of Christ by the way in which we serve Him and others.
You have His Word on it! (KEF)