Five Characteristics Of A Servant Of God

Today, I would like to talk about 5 characteristics that every servant of God should have, based on the Apostle Paul’s introduction to the Book of Romans. These characteristics were present in the life and ministry of Paul and are good indicators of any Christian’s spiritual health. They can be found in Romans 1:8-12.

A Thankful Servant

“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.” (Romans 1:8)

Verses 1-7 of Romans 1 serve as the typical formal “greeting and salutations” that open up most of Paul’s letters. They serve as an introduction of Paul, the writer; the church at Rome, the addressee; and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the book’s subject. Verse 7 concludes these lines of introduction with a benediction to the Roman believers to whom this book is addressed.

So, Verse 8 would be the actual first sentence of the body of the letter itself. After reading the entirety of Romans, we see that Paul certainly had a great deal of extremely crucial doctrines to expound on in this letter and, judging by the fact that he begins shortly hereafter to present and define the Gospel in earnest (beginning with Verse 18), he is not given to wasting a lot of time with excessive pleasantries. But what is the first thing that he does?

“First, I thank my God…”

A devoted servant of the Lord will be sure to take the time to thank God, regardless of their own sense of urgency for the task at hand. Before he asks another thing from God or presents anything else to his readers, Paul ensures that he gives thanks to the Provider of all things. The frequent giving of thanks in the life of a believer is an often repeated, highly important practice in all of Paul’s teachings (e.g., Phil. 4:6, Col. 3:15, 1 Tim. 2:1). In fact, he will tell the Church in Thessalonica that the giving of thanks to God is the will of our Lord Jesus Christ for the Christian (1 Thess. 5:18). And he will shortly tell the Church in Rome that unthankfulness is a step in the path that leads a man away from God and is a hallmark of a heart in rebellion against the Lord (Rom. 1:21).

A Prayerful Servant

“For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;” (Rom. 1:9)

How many inner, spiritual struggles; how many conflicts within our own souls; how many crises of faith and moments of doubt could be resolved if we were to admit that we do not always pray as we should? We know that we ought to pray and pray often, but other matters crowd into our lives, competing for our attention — and they slowly suffocate our spiritual health.  It seems so obvious, so utterly intuitive that our deepest trials, our toughest battles could be swiftly overcome; not by standing firmly on our feet, but by falling to our knees in prayer! Yet we do not. If he was anything, Paul was a man of prayer. Would that all Christians were so given to a robust prayer life that we were all described as men and women of prayer. I can think of no more urgent goal for any believer than this.

A Submitted Servant

“Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey BY THE WILL OF GOD to come unto you.” (Rom. 1:10 emphasis added)

James wrote in his epistle that everything we do is done by the gracious allowance of God Almighty. Whether we do this thing or that, even whether or not our life on Earth continues another moment, everything that we have is because of the providence of God and is according to His will (James 4:13-15). Paul wrote the letter to the Romans while he was in the city of Corinth. He wanted to visit the Church in Rome personally, but he recognized that his life was in the hands of God, to do with according to His will and desire. Paul knew that his life was directed and upheld by God’s power, not by his own will and strength. The servant of God must recognize that he has been crucified with Christ and that the life he leads now is not his own, but belongs to his Lord Who lives through Him (Gal. 2:20). It was Paul’s desire for a “prosperous journey” that would bring him to Rome, and he asked the Lord for as much. But he knew that God may very well have something else in mind for him, and it was God’s will that he wished to see come to fruition — even above his own.

A Giving Servant

“For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;” (Rom. 1:11)

A devoted servant of God will have the desire to serve His people. Without a question, we are God’s servants, not man’s, but the biggest way that we serve God is by serving others who belong to Him. God did not call any of us to shut out everyone from our lives and live in isolation. Nor did God call us to seek to be served, but rather to serve others. So many Christians go to church and call it the “Sunday service”, but whose service is it? Who is serving and who is being served? For many, the thought is that the pastor is serving the congregation, but God has called His people to serve Him and serve each other. God doesn’t want “benchwarmers” filling the pews, He wants people with the heart of a servant.

Most churches I have visited will point out to newcomers the advantages of joining their congregation by telling them about all of the things they offer to them. My first question is: Can I be used here? Is there an opportunity for me to serve in this church? If not, I want to go somewhere else! If it is not in the service of others, then how can we really serve a God Who is in need of nothing? Before He ascended back to the Father, Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him. “Do you love Me?“, He asked three times (John 21:15-17). When Peter said he did, what was our Lord’s response? Do this for Me, do that for Me, bring Me this, give Me that? No. “Feed My sheep.” Take care of the needs of My people. A servant of God is by definition a servant of God’s people.

A Humble Servant

“That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.” (Rom. 1:12)

At the opposite end of the spectrum from the ungiving and selfish believer is the seemingly “selfless” servant who appears to do nothing but serve other believers and give to them. While having a great zeal to do the work of the Lord and serve His people is very commendable (and all too rare!) , we must be sure that we do not develop an overinflated sense of self-importance. No matter how far along we get in our walk with the Lord, there is never a time when there are not things we need from other believers. Never. God has intentionally designed it this way. We do not all have the same function in the Body of Christ and we all need each other.

It amazes me that Paul can tell the new converts in Rome that he is looking forward to them comforting him, but he does. Paul, the writer of most of the New Testament; Paul, the man to whom the Lord Jesus Personally appeared and taught the Gospel to; Paul, the founder of several of the very first churches in the world, spreading the Gospel throughout the Roman Empire. Yes, even Paul recognized that he could be comforted and blessed by even relative newcomers to the Faith; he recognized that he still benefited from the gifts which the Spirit of God gave to other Christians. Although he realized that it was necessary for him to write to and eventually visit the Church in Rome in order to firmly establish them in the fundamental doctrines of the Gospel, he was also aware that he himself was not beyond being blessed with the Spiritual gifts that God had given them.

5 Characteristics Of A Devoted Servant

There are obviously a whole lot of other characteristics that we would attribute to a profitable servant of God, but we clearly see these 5 displayed in the Apostle Paul through what he says in this passage of Romans. They are 5 characteristics that ought to mark every servant of God.

41 responses

  1. Hi Loren,

    These really are marks that distinguish where we are in our walk. Much of what you pointed out is what is in our hearts. To be ‘doer’s’ of the Word, our heart has to follow. You pointed that out perfectly in your category “humble servant.” I know of folks that do a lot in His service but spend an inordinate amount of time making sure others know about it. Makes me wonder who they’re trying to please, God or man.

    p.s. I’m glad you’re back and I think this new format will be great.

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  2. Great points, Tishrei, thanks :)

    I was told by a mentor of mine once that he remembered seeing a picture in a magazine of former President Ronald Reagan sitting at his desk. On President Reagan’s desk was a small plaque that was barely readable in the magazine photo. It said:

    “A lot can be accomplished if it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.”

    I wonder how much the Church could accomplish by following that advice?

    p.s. Thanks.

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  3. Hi Loren,

    I was disappointed when you said you wouldn’t be writing any more. I am glad you reconsidered.

    Thank you for this post. I have not seen it laid out this way before. It makes it easy for me to see where I stand. Doing good in some areas, not good in others.

    Prayer is a weak point for me. I am busy and several days pass before it dawns on me that I haven’t come before Him in prayer.

    Please keep up the good work,
    Ed

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  4. Thanks, Ed.

    I think you’re right, looking at things like this is a good measuring stick to see where we are at in our own walk. I believe we can all see areas where we are doing okay and areas where we might need improvement.

    In our hectic day-to-day lives, it becomes very easy to neglect our prayer life. This is an area that I think a lot of us struggle with.

    Thanks again, Ed, you made some great points.

    Loren

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  5. Loren,

    Paul really cared about the people he served….. It could be on account of his true appreciation of God’s grace and mercy towards him…..

    Margaret

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  6. I think you are right:

    “Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” (Luke 7:47)

    When a person knows how much God has loved them, it fills them with a greater love for Him and those who belong to Him.

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  7. Hi Loren!
    I’m so glad I found you and your wonderful teaching . . .and that you aren’t going to completely stop! These 5 characteristics and how you see them for what they are, are really helpful. I think I talk about praying more than I pray . . .think more than I actually pray. Good work! Thanks! Deb

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  8. Thanks, Deb. As I mentioned, praying more is definitely something I need to work on! I used to be in the habit of telling people “I will pray about it”, or “I will be praying for you” when they would tell me something that was concerning them. Then I would get busy and forget to pray about it! Now, I never tell people that….I offer to pray with them on the spot. That way I know I will actually do it.

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  9. That’s a great practice to put in place . . .to pray then and there for someone. I have a friend that calls me occasionally, and no one prays for me like she does. It’s awesome! Blessings! Deb And thanks for the other blogs you recommended! Very nice!

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  10. What a blessing it is to have someone who really prays for you, what a wonderful friend! I am glad that you liked those other blogs :)

    God bless you,

    Loren

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  11. Happened up on your blog and wanted to say THANKS.
    Very good and inspiring thoughts.
    Made my Sunday morning complete.
    God Bless

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  12. Thanks, David, I am glad that you enjoyed reading this!

    Thank you for visiting and taking the time to share your thoughts, may our Lord richly bless you :)

    Loren

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  13. God bless you for the good work you are doing for us the youth.

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  14. Thank you so much for visiting and sharing your feedback :)

    Like

  15. mandystarrmorlan@yahoo.com

    For the past few days I have had it on my heart to research what qualities make a Servant of the Lord. I came across your page and found it very helpful. Thank you for taking the time to post this.

    Like

  16. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your encouraging feedback :)

    I am glad that you found this material useful. May the Lord greatly bless you!

    Like

  17. Florisa L. Evora

    All the 5 characteristics mentioned is really helping us to be a genuine Christian,,,sometimes we do not take it all that’s why we do not have A Servant’s Heart which is not glorifying our Lord,,,Thank You for reminding us through this topic,,,I pray that all believers, all true Christian must have this characteristics to please and Glorify God,,helping us in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior…Godbless us greatly!!!!

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  18. Thanks, Florisa, for sharing your uplifting comments! God bless you :)

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  19. I like your five steps explaination on servant of God

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  20. Thank you, Moses, for the encouragement! God bless you :)

    Like

  21. violeta hurtado simeon

    gud mrning brethrens in Christ, im greatful to read this insight abt the 5 characteristics of a Servant of God,it is imprtant to knw and evaluate ourselves-

    God bless you and your ministry .
    MORE POWER FRM GOD.

    Like

  22. Really a blessed message…

    Like

  23. Thanks for the encouraging feedback; God bless you!

    Like

  24. This is great. as a matter of fact, we tend to be demanding and not being thankful to our heavenly father

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  25. How very true…

    “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Phil 4:6 ESV, emphasis added)

    Such wonderful instructions that we so often neglect!

    Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts; may the Lord richly bless you :)

    Like

  26. Ngin Do Sian Mang

    Thank you, for sharing about servant of God, this topic is my favorite, May the good Lord Bless you in your ministry.

    Like

  27. I am grateful that this post was a blessing to you :) Thanks for reading this and taking the time to share your encouraging thoughts!

    Like

  28. Thank you for the Reflection/insights regarding Servathood its a great help in our newborn community. Glory to Godf…

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  29. Thank you for reading this and sharing your encouraging thoughts :)

    Like

  30. I thank God for people like you my the lord almighty bless you thank you. Am under sin and am thinking that am called by God pls help me. I smoke dagga I want out but I can,t please pray for me

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  31. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36)

    May the Lord break all the chains which bind you…my prayers are with you during this trying time.

    Loren

    Like

  32. [...] Five Characteristics Of A Servant Of God. Share this:TwitterFacebookStumbleUponRedditDiggEmailTumblrLinkedInPinterestPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. [...]

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  33. Thank u very much i have been greatly helped.May you continue serving God this way.Be blessed

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  34. Thank you so much, Tracy, for taking the time to share this encouraging feedback! May the Lord bless you greatly :)

    Loren

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  35. That was relly good more inspiration in jesus name amen

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  36. Thank you for sharing critical aspects about being true servants. May the Lord continue to use you mightily

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  37. Than you so much for your feedback!

    Like

  38. Mar Jeffy Alda

    Hi Loren

    My name is Jeff, from the Philippines, this blog is a great help for me because now it is my tool to create a servants leaders training modules for my co-servant volunteers as their trainer servant.

    this comment is also asking a permission to use some word from this blog as my one of my sources in creating a training modules from this day and in the future as well

    thank you and God bless you

    Jeff (Philippines)

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  39. Thanks, Jeff, for your comments. Feel free to use the material on this blog as the Lord leads you.

    May God bless you in your service to Him!

    Loren

    Like

  40. this was helpful. thank you.

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  41. I am so blessed by this sermon,may God bless you.please pray for me that i may have this character in God’s service

    Like

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