Rev. E. Ahenkan Owusu
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MICAH 3:5-12; THESS. 2:9-13 MATT. 23:1-12


The Christian life is a call to serve; to sacrifice ourselves for the betterment of others. Everybody wants to be served; we find it difficult to serve. Our theme for today is calling us not just to serve, but to serve in humility; “Serving in Humility”.


#1. What motivates your service?

In the first reading, the prophet Micah talked about prophets whose services were based on what they receive from people. He said:

“Thus says the LORD concerning the prophets who lead my people astray, who cry “Peace” when they have something to eat, but declare war against him who puts nothing into their mouths” (Micah 3:5).

Many people render services based on what they derive from the people concerned. In many of our offices, agencies and institutions, workers will not willingly render the services for which they receive salaries every month. They expect clients and patrons to grease their palms before they will render their services.

Teachers will not teach well and complete the syllabus with their students but rather ask parents to pay money for extra tuition. Doctors will not attend to patients well in the public hospitals but refer them to their private hospitals and charge exorbitant fees while using drugs and resources that have been provided by the government for use in the public hospitals. Politicians make campaign promises to serve the people, but when given the nod, they take advantage of the system to amass wealth and seize lands for themselves.

What motivates you to serve? You are to serve in humility.

#2. What it means to serve in humility

Contrary to the prophets Micah spoke about, Apostle Paul indicated in the second reading how he and his colleagues readily worked for no personal gainsaying that:

“For you remember, brothers, our labour and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. . . .   we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory” (1 Thess. 2: 9 & 12).

To serve in humility is to work and walk in a way worthy of God; seeking to please God in everything that we have to do.

In the third reading, Christ Jesus teaches what it means to serve in humility by contrasting it with the nature of the Pharisees. He said the Pharisees . . .

i. Do not practice what they preach:  so to serve in humility, you must practice what you preach. In every place of work or institution, there are rules, regulations and codes of conduct. However, you will find many people who render services and operate not according to the rules. They deem themselves above the law and would not submit to the rules. When we do that, we are not serving in humility.

ii. Do their deeds to be seen by others: When like the Pharisees we do things for the attention and recognition of people, then we are not serving in humility. Our services and good deeds should not aim at being recognized by people but to the glory of God. We should not love places of honour and seek fame and popularity like the Pharisees. Jesus said that:

“They do all their deeds in order to be seen by men” (Matt. 23: 5a)

#3. The benefits of humble service

According to Jesus, serving in humility is the way to greatness.  So He said:

“The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matt. 23:11 & 12).

Thus it takes humble services to make a person great. It is not about how we project ourselves and the “whom you know” mentality. It is about knowing God and reverencing Him enough to serve His creation and humankind in humility.

Therefore, we should not lord ourselves over other people and expect them to call us by big titles and names. We should relate with all as co-equals (brothers); serving even the least among us. For it is only in our humble services that we shall attain true greatness.

If you force your way into any position and status, you will be exposed and disgraced. But if you serve in humility, God will exalt you into greatness. It is God’s grace given to the humble that leads to greatness.


Know who you are as a child of God. Don’t make noise as empty barrels do and don’t project yourself just for people to see you. Just show yourself approved to God by serving in humility and He will lift you up in due time.

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