The Essentials: Serving

Service reminds us that we exist for Someone else beyond ourselves.

Serving will grow you as a Christian.  


What is serving?  Serving is performing duties or services for someone else, as the dictionary defines it.  Serving, biblically, means to serve others by meeting the needs they may have. Serving is in the context of the Church, primarily, and, as you are given opportunity with outsiders.  Most importantly, serving as a Christian means serving on behalf of God. When you serve you are not meeting God’s needs, He has none. You are meeting the needs of others, but, you are doing it in the service of God, meaning at His behest.  That means the kind of service and the way we serve is to also represent God. Serving then, is meant to point the recipient of our service to the God whom we serve.


#1:  Christian service does not make anyone a Christian.  Service does not lead to salvation.  Biblically its the other way around: salvation leads to service.  Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  


#2:  Service is quite varied.  Meeting material needs, praying for others, encouraging and supporting someone through a difficult time, hospitality, showing kindness and concern, teaching, discipling, giving financially, defending the faith, witnessing with the Gospel.  Service also means serving Him with your body, not giving your body, mind, heart, or soul over to anything else but Him. Anything done to show love to others and bring glory to God is serving Him.


#3:  Service reminds us that we exist for Someone else beyond ourselves.  We don’t ultimately exist for ourselves.  We exist because of God and we exist for Him.  Service implies purpose. God created us for a purpose and service is an essential part of fulfilling that purpose.  Service emphasizes your true meaning in life as a creation of God.Serving Christ is an acknowledgment of our subordination to Him – that He is the unchallenged authority in our lives.  


#4:  Serving also shows we understand and follow the example of Jesus.  “I did not come to be served but to serve” (Mth. 20:28).  Turn to Philippians 2:5-8 [read]. Perhaps most famously Jesus showed the essence of service in the Christian life when He washed the disciples feet in John 13.  


#5:  Serving teaches us that the most important things are the things of God.  Serving the Lord is what all Christian service achieves.


#6:  Service conditions us to have a servant’s heart.  Jesus said, “ did not come to be served, but, to serve”


#7:  Service teaches us to be concerned for needs not our own.  In other words it alleviates that pernicious disease of “selfishness” and obsession with one’s own needs.  Philippians 2:4 says, Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others.”  In 1 Corinthians 10:24 it says, “Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.” The spiritual, physical, emotional, material needs of others ought to occupy our thoughts.  


#8:  Service causes others to glorify God.  (2 Corinthians 9:12)


#9:  Service gives expression to our Spirit-given gifts (1 Peter 4:10)  It puts to use what we’re given when we became Christians.  


#10:  Service teaches us to look ahead…it will be rewarded.  Hebrews 6:10….2 Cor. 5:10….Our service as Christians means what we do for Christ will endure forever.  


#11:  Serving Christ gives “life” to your Christian life.  Rather than “taxing” you, it enlivens you.  In John 4:33-34 Jesus said, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.  My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work.”


A Roman aqueduct used to stand in Segovia, Spain.  Built in 109 A.D., it stood for 1800 years, carrying cool water from the mountains to the hot and thirsty city. Nearly sixty generations of men drank from its flow. Then came another generation, a recent one, who said, “This aqueduct is so great a marvel that it ought to be preserved for our children, as a museum piece. We shall relieve it of its centuries-long labor.”

They did; they laid modern iron pipes. They gave the ancient bricks and mortar a reverent rest.  Then the aqueduct began to fall apart. The sun beating on the dry mortar caused it to crumble. The bricks and stone sagged and threatened to fall.


What centuries of service could not destroy idleness disintegrated.


Actively engaging in Christian service does not wear you out, it gives life to your Christian life.


#12:  Christian service is done out of what you have, not what you don’t have.  Sometimes people abstain from doing something for God because they don’t feel they can do it, they don’t have what it takes.  But the focus in Christian service is on God and His all-sufficiency, taking what you have, offering it to Him, and letting Him make up any shortcoming on your part.  The boy brought 2 fish and five loaves of bread….way less than what was needed to feed 5,000 people. But, taking what he had, he offered it to Jesus, and, Jesus made it enough.  You bring what you are and have with the right heart and watch God multiply it.


In his book 70 X 7, The Freedom of Forgiveness, David Ugsberger tells of General William Booth, the founder of the salvation Army, who had lost his eyesight. His son Bramwell was given the difficult task of telling his father there would be no recovery. “Do you mean that I am blind?” the General asked. “I hear we must contemplate that,” his son replied. The father continued,”I shall never see your face again?” “No, probably not in this world.” “Bramwell,” said General Booth, “I have done what I could for God and for His people with my eyes. Now I shall do what I can for God without my eyes.”


Leave a Reply