“And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in His all ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul.” – Deut. 10:12
God demands our spiritual service as our worship of Him as we see in the following scriptures:
- Psalm 2: 11 – Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling.
- 6:7 – Serve whole heartedly as if you were serving the Lord and not men.
- 12:28 – Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.
From these Bible passages it is obvious that the major service God demands of us is our fear of Him; our obedience of Him; our love for Him and our joy in doing His will. The Lord is so good that when He commands us to do anything He Himself also empowers us to do it.
See how Jesus Himself doing His Father’s will, came to serve men as we read in Matt. 20:28 – “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (NIV)
We see in John 13:4-5 how He washed the feet of the disciples during the last supper.
In Phil. 2:7 reminds us that Jesus made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
How do we then serve God the way He wants us to do?
Luke 9:23 says, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”
- First of all we must deny ourselves and submit totally to the Lordship of Jesus in our lives who alone is the way to God.
- We must be obedient to God by being sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Until we have made Jesus our own personal Saviour the Holy Spirit remains outside our hearts.
- We do what is the will of God.
Having said all this, some may be wondering whether service to God merely is the love of Him. As James says faith without works is dead. “Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If anyone says to him,“Go, I wish you well, keep warm and well fed’” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” – James 2:15-16.
We are therefore, enjoined to do good to each other. We are to help the poor and needy; feed the hungry; clothe those who have none, look after the sick, visit prisoners, be hospitable to strangers; and look after those who do God’s work to mention but a few. As Jesus Himself says in Matt. 25:35-36 –“For
I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
Good works glorify God: “In the same way, let your light shines before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” – Matt. 5:16 (NIV)
Good works do the following:
- They enrich life;
- They become a pattern for imitation;
- They tend to summon others to their own tasks;
- They demonstrate the reality of our faith in God through Christ Jesus.
When we serve men dutifully it:
- enables life
- exemplifies neighborliness
- it is Christlike
- it demonstrates love
- it lightens life’s burdens.
The Bible has special commands concerning doing good and we find some of them in: Ps. 34:14; Ps. 37:3 James 4:14; Luke. 6:35; Heb. 13:16.
Therefore even as we wait to serve God we must remember the balance. It is not enough to do good deeds – and we will not secure our salvation merely by doing good.
(Salvation is by faith alone – Eph. 2:5b & 8-9). Neither is it good to have faith and have no good works, for the great command of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is that when we have the good news, we must be up and going.
We must go and make disciple s of all nations as we read in Matt. 28 18:19 –“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.”
What then are the ingredients of a delightful service to God?
- Love of God.
- Obedience to His commands.
- Total reliance on Him for direction.
- Service to men.
- Serving without complaining.
- Immediate service.
- Undivided service.
- Winning souls for His kingdom.
To do all this, we must allow Jesus Christ to come into our lives and transform us for service. We must be born again – John 3:3-5. Every heart must confess Him as Lord and Master to obtain fullness of life so that we can serve Him with all our hearts, with all our souls and with all our strength.
We must beware of the sentimental admiration for Jesus, which withholds the reins of our lives from Jesus’ hands. The Lord Jesus is the enemy of every love, every relationship and every aim that does not aid the eternal sanctification of the soul.
Everything is an obstacle to true obedience until the Lord absolutely remakes us from the inside by planting the disposition of His holiness within us. We must therefore, yearn to be holy so that we can serve Him better.
Our self-centeredness, which is the driving force for much of our service must be eradicated. We do not do His work if we want to win the acclaim of men – Jesus warns us that if we do so, we will get the reward of men and not the Father – Matt. 6:11.
Oswald Chambers also says that “The real enemies of Christ are not the poor fallen people on the streets but those who profess holiness and yet never let Him eradicate the self-centered disposition in them.
We serve Him best when we surrender totally to Him and allow Him to use us. Then all our wants will indeed be His care as He promises us in Deut. 28:1-14.
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