Loving To Serve

This is a series I wrote a few years ago, before my husband and I got married.  It was some of the points God began showing me as I was starting a new journey and preparing for the Godly man He had planned for my life.  I hope this series helps someone who is looking for THAT man.  Remember, you do not have to compromise what God instructs.

This is Part 5:

Loving To Serve

One call not mentioned in my last blog was the call to serve.  As Christians, we are all called to serve.  I Corinthians 12:4-7 tells us:

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

 

Paul makes it very clear in this passage that each person who has accepted Christ, who has that relationship with Him and through this relationship, has been filled with the Holy Spirit and given a ministry that will help to play a part in strengthening the body of Christ.  In the Greek, the term for “common good” is sumphero, meaning to bear together, to bring together, and to help.  When we became that new creation in Christ, the Holy Spirit gave us gifts to be used for the benefit of others and for the up building of God’s Kingdom.  This new creation is to be a contributor and not just a consumer.

 

In Scripture, the words for serve and the words for minister are the same.  So this says to me, God has given each Christian a ministry.  If you have been called to salvation, you have been called to minister and serve.  God has also equipped you to do so.  He has provided you with the gifts needed, and He has provided the Instruction Guide (the Bible) to teach the proper way to use that gift.  Christ gave us the perfect example of what we are to be.  He came to be a servant.

Matthew 20:25-28

But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. “It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many

 

Mark 10:45

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

 

The book of Luke records Christ telling us in His return, He will again serve:

Luke 12:37-38

“Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them. Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.”

 

To grow and become more CHRIST-LIKE, we must learn to follow the paradigm set by Him.  We must learn to serve others.  We must learn that it isn’t about “ME”.  We serve God by serving and ministering to others.  So many people in today’s culture try to say they want to serve God, but not others.  It just doesn’t work that way!!

 

Let’s take a look at scripture about serving:

 

We win others to Christ by serving and ministering to them.

1 Corinthians 9:19

For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more.

 

Being full of the Spirit, we are to share songs of praise, be full of thanksgiving, and serve one another.

Ephesians 5:18b-21

but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

 

He promised to deliver us so we can serve Him in holiness and righteousness, without fear.  This is another proof that we are to live holy and righteous lives. In not living so, our service to Him will be hindered.

 Luke 1:70-75

As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old—Salvation FROM OUR ENEMIES, And FROM THE HAND OF ALL WHO HATE US; To show mercy toward our fathers, And to remember His holy covenant, he oath which He swore to Abraham our father, To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.

 

We are to serve ONLY God:

Joshua 24:14-15

 “Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

 

Matthew 6:24

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

 

Matthew 4:10

Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.'”

 

Luke 4:8

Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND SERVE HIM ONLY.'”

 

Many people in the world today want to believe that “being good”, their “works”, their “service” will get them to heaven.  I contend that service and ministering to the needs of others will not bring us salvation, however; salvation will bring a necessity for service and ministry.

Ephesians 2:8-10

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

 

As we see in Galatians 5:13,

For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

 

The freedom mentioned here is freedom from the imprisonment of self hurts, destructive habits, and mental barriers that prevent us from experiencing the renovation of God’s grace in the new creation He calls us to be.  It is the freedom that comes with forgiveness.   Without that freedom, service will never be for the right motives.  In serving, some seek approval from others, think it will provide an antidote for guilt or pain, or even impress God, when in reality; these are not legitimate reasons and will only cause more animosity and resentment when those needs are not fulfilled.

 

We also see in this verse we must serve in love.  Who should we serve in love?  Do we only serve those we love already?  Those we love are easy to serve, even the pagans do that.

Matthew 5:46-47

If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?

 

What about those who are difficult to love?  Those who don’t love us, our enemies?  Are we to serve them, minister to them, love them?  Putting this passage back into context, we are given the answer to these questions:

Matthew 5:43-48

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

 

Other scripture instructs us on how to serve and minister to our enemies:

Luke 6:35

“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.”

 

Proverbs 25:21-22

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For you will heap burning coals on his head, And the LORD will reward you.

 

Romans 12:14-21

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. “BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

 

For descriptions of what this kind of love looks like, we can back up a few verses in Romans 12:9-13:

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.

 

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 gives us a wonderful description of this service through love:

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

 

Remember that it is your heart God is interested in. Who or what has YOUR heart?  God wants to know that you are serving Him by serving others diligently, eagerly, and enthusiastically. Do you serve anyone other than yourself? Do you serve God by loving others in practical ways?  Your service and ministry should be out of love for Christ and thankfulness for what He has done for you. Do you love God? Do you love Christ? Do you love others? Are you thankful? Where in your life is that evident? You are showing an example of being most like Christ when you are serving others.

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