Thursday, January 25, 2018

God Expects His People to Serve

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”   Galatians 5:13-14
We live in a “me-first” culture that encourages us to think of ourselves first and others…well, rarely. We’re told to focus on our self-image, to be involved in self-actualization and to be self-reliant.  Because we’re saturated with messages about self, it’s easy to bring this mentality to church and expect the congregation to cater to us and to treat God like a genie whose only purpose is to meet our needs.  Many times, our motto is “What can my church do for me”, instead of “What can I do for my Church and Christ”.  Since we follow a Savior who serves us, how can we not get out of our seats and into service? We need some help learning how to live beyond self so that we can stop defaulting to our selfish settings.  Let’s face it. We don’t really like to serve others and we don’t like to be under another’s authority.
God Expects His People to Serve
A servant’s work is not always glamorous.  Let me state the obvious. Sometimes serving is not very sensational. It involves exertion and often exacts a price.  Sometimes we recruit people to a ministry by telling them how fun and easy it is to serve. We need to stop soft-selling the Savior and the life of servanthood.  Everything is not supposed to be fun all the time.  Servanthood is about sacrifice.  Giving.  Putting others first and putting ourselves aside.  Fred Craddock, in a message to ministers, once said: “To give my life for Christ appears glorious. To pour myself out for others…to pay the ultimate price of martyrdom – I’ll do it. I’m ready, Lord, to go out in a blaze of glory…it would be easy to go out in a flash of glory; it’s harder to live the Christian life little by little over the long haul.”
A Servant’s Service Never Ends
A servant serves whenever, wherever, for whomever, doing whatever it takes.  You may feel like you have done your time, you have served in the nursery, taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, and now you are done.  Time for you to just sit on the pew and soak it all up.  There are definitely times that it is important to just sit and be filled.  Our cups need to be filled so we can pour out to the next one who needs it.  But that doesn’t mean that you sit and be filled and never give it away.  God’s desire for us is to share His Good News, to minister to others, and to help those who are ministering to others. 
Being a “servant” doesn’t mean occupying a servant-type position; instead, it means having an attitude of life that attends to others’ needs without expecting or demanding anything in return.  The true reward for serving only comes from God.  It gives us purpose and an opportunity to show gratitude for what God has done for us.  There is no room for selfishness in servanthood.  It is all about others. 

What are you spending your time on?  What could you be doing different that would lead you down the path of servanthood?  Start today spreading the light and love of Christ.  We are never more like God than when we are serving.

Scripture to Claim
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”  Acts 20:35

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