How to Serve God
Serving the Lord. What does it mean? How do I know what God wants me to do? Practical tips on how you can serve the Lord.
I want to talk about SERVING THE LORD.
Being a servant of God is the highest and best we can be. The Lord calls numbers of people his servant;
- My servant Abraham
- My servant Moses
- My servant Caleb
- My servant David
- My servant Job
Mary called herself the handmaid of the Lord.
How do we put servanthood into action in a self-serving world?
If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
If you serve the Lord you will receive honour.
We are saved to serve. It is what follows on from being saved by God…
Lots of people like to serve in a church. It’s been said, “Some like to serve as CONSULTANTS. There is no shortage of people who will tell you what needs to be done in the church…
“No shortage of people who will tell you everything that is wrong with the church, but these same people are never the ones who are willing to roll up their sleeves and shoulder the load with those who are doing more than their share of service!”
So, HOW ARE we to serve the Lord?
Serve with HUMILITY
Our Lord is OUR ROLE MODEL – a model servant.
(6) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
(7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
He is the one who washed the feet of His creation…
One writer wrote of that day, “The room was filled with proud hearts and dirty feet. The disciples were willing to fight for a throne, but not a towel.” (Swindoll, Improving Your Serve, Page 164.)
In our self-serving ‘selfie’ world culture with its me-first mentality it seems like servanthood is threatened with extinction…
I believe that we can know what it is to have a SERVANT mentality – where we will be ready to serve others with GRACE. Willing to be inconvenienced… And we will want to take the servant’s towel… It starts with humility.
HUMILITY is an essential character quality for us to serve God.
A lot of people talk about THE CALL TO MINISTRY.
Guess what… when you get saved you JOIN THE MINISTRY.
There is work for all of us to do. Ministry is just another word for service.
We can all find ways to serve with humility, as we serve others…
Some like to stand back and watch – and not get their hands dirty. They do not put their shoulder to the wheel…
It was said that during the American Revolution a man in civilian clothes rode past a group of soldiers who were repairing a small defensive barrier.
Their leader was shouting instructions, but making no attempt to help them. Asked why by the rider, he retorted with great dignity, “Sir, I am a corporal!”
The stranger apologised, dismounted, and proceeded to help the exhausted soldiers. The job done, he turned to the corporal and said, “Mr. Corporal, next time you have a job like this and not enough men to do it, go to your commander-in-chief, and I will come and help you again.”
It was none other than President George Washington.
We need to serve with HUMILITY. It means to take the lowest place.
The lowest place is the greatest place.
He who will be great among you, let him be your minister – your servant.
Find what needs doing and just do it. Serve with humility. Also…
Serve with GLADNESS
Have a HEART to serve. We serve God gladly, not begrudgingly.
Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Be WILLING to serve.
Serving God is an opportunity more than an obligation.
DELIGHT to do God’s will.
As we serve God joyfully and freely, we will place pleasing God at the centre of our decision making. It will be our priority.
It is our great joy and a privilege to serve God and to serve one another.
Our Lord said, it is more blessed to give than to receive.
This is true not just of money, but also of our time and energy that we can give to serving.
As we serve others we will receive more than the one we are serving. There is a joy in giving service to God.
Serve Him with gladness.
A preacher put it like this:
- Many people are waiting for the right time and the right place to start serving.
Let me tell you:
- The right time to serve is NOW.
- The right place to serve is WHERE YOU ARE.
We are glad to serve God. As His true servants let’s eagerly search out ways we can serve Him, in whatever way we can.
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
Serve from the heart.
When you serve, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.
So, serve with Humility, and sevre with Gladness, and also,
Serve with EXCELLENCE
God is worthy of your BEST efforts.
Just as Daniel, we read in:
Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.
When Solomon built the Temple, he refused to use silver because it was not good enough to be used in God’s Temple.
Let’s serve to the best of our ability and never doing anything second rate or by half measures for the Lord.
God will help you quietly serve Him, in those secret acts of service…
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
The good works that we do are for an audience of One. They are for the Lord – to bless and glorify Him.
God empowers us for His service.
Whatever God calls you to do…He will empower you to accomplish. He will help you serve Him well.
Rest on His power.
(28) Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
(29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
(30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Serve with FAITHFULNESS
Tychicus was called a FAITHFUL minister – he was STEDFAST.
As God’s servants, let us be faithful, and work to persevere through anything that comes against us.
God gives us the faithfulness to keep on going. We won’t give up. We will keep on keeping on. There’s a stickability. A dependability.
In faithfulness to God we can battle through any barrier, any obstacle, and any opposition.
We can OVERCOME by God’s power.
Notice the word, FAITH… FULL. God’s servants are men and women who are FULL of FAITH.
In the early church when a practical need arose and they were looking for some deacons – some servants – they chose some men, including Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost; that’s in Acts 6.
God wants faithful servants.
We have a noble cause.
Be real, be faithful.
Be faithful in the little things…
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
As we are faithful the Lord will give us more responsibility.
We are called to a faithful service to God.
We need to be faithful stewards of all God has given us
Let us have an undivided loyalty. A faithfulness in serving.
One thing about servants is that you can’t serve two masters.
Serve the Lord whole heartedly.
Make your life count for God.
Serve with OBEDIENCE
There is a corresponding word with the word SERVANT. It is the word MASTER.
The servant of God knows the Lordship of Christ.
Dr. Zodhiates says that “servant” speaks of one “who is deprived of his personal freedom and so becomes fully an instrument in the hands of his master. He is one who can never say ‘No’ to his master”
As a servant, the Lord Jesus is our Master. He is sovereign over my life. Whatever He wants, let’s submit to that.
As one writer has expressed it, “Our life is not defined by our own wants, our own will, our own desires, our own ambitions, but by His will, His desires, and His purposes. This is the basic truth of Christianity–Jesus is Lord.”
Here is how someone else put it, “We must learn to be submissive, and if we are submissive then we are willing to serve.
“One of the biggest problems we face today is a submission problem. People refuse to submit to authorities, people refuse to submit to the Lord, people refuse to submit to one another and therefore we produce a society full of people looking out for whom they see as number one.“
As has been said, most Christians actually do want to serve God… Unfortunately they want to serve Him as an ADVISOR! It doesn’t work that way… He tells us what to do and where to go!
Our loving Master is wise and generous. He is compassionate and kind and forgiving.
He doesn’t ask our opinion about where to serve.
He doesn’t ask our opinion about when we are to serve.
He doesn’t ask our opinion about what we would like to do.
He doesn’t ask our opinion about when to move on or how long to stay.
He is the Master, we are the servant.
He tells us where to go.
How long to stay.
What to do.
When to do it.
How to do it.
And what to do next.
We are free – free to do whatever our master desires.
And it is a true fulfilment. It is what we are created for.
Let us be stedfast in our service.
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done ALL THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE COMMANDED YOU, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
Do what He commands you to do. All of them…
The servant has to do everything that his master has told him to do!
There will be times when you want to quit!
There will be people you don’t want deal with.
There will be places you don’t want to go.
There will be things you don’t want to do.
We are to do our duty.
Moreso, we are to even do more than expected…
Do you do just the minimum, or will you go above and beyond?
Will you be a servant who will go the second mile?
Be an example.
It’s been said, “I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day:”
It is your honour to serve.
John Wesley says “though we are unprofitable servants to Christ, serving him is not unprofitable to us. For he is pleased to give by his grace a value to our good works, which in consequence of his promise entitles us to an eternal reward.”
What you do for God has value and there will be a reward.
There will be a reckoning.
There will be a reward.
BE ACTIVATED TO SERVE…
This is not a time for idleness
It has been said that there is a fancy sports car – a 1976 Trans Am – that had sat on the showroom floor of a Pontiac dealership since it was made, in 1976. It looked absolutely beautiful but the looks were deceiving. The car had less than 100 miles on it, but the years of idleness, those years of just sitting there looking pretty had done extensive damage to the engine and other components of that vehicle.
It’s not God’s will that we are inactive. God has designed us to serve Him. We have been created unto good works.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
What are some ways we can serve?
(Adapted from a borrowed list)
- Running errands for a friend.
- Baking a cake for a shut in.
- Opening your home for a missionary.
- Giving some money with a note of encouragement to a struggling person.
- Confronting a friend who has strayed from the Lord.
- Giving someone a lift to and from a church meeting.
- Hugging your children every day.
- Refusing to repeat gossip.
- Sending flowers to a friend.
- Supporting a new Christian in discipleship.
- Picking up your own dirty clothes.
- Giving anonymously to bless someone.
- Intervening in a quarrel to bring two friends back together.
- Bringing some food to share.
- Helping someone with a home repair.
- Writing a note of encouragement.
- Cleaning up the kitchen so your wife can put her feet up.
- Complimenting your boss.
- Keeping a secret you’d really like to share.
- Helping someone move some furniture.
- Raking up some leaves for someone less able.
- Helping wash someone’s car.
- Baking something extra to be able to give it away.
- Visiting folk in an aged care centre.
- Talking someone through a time of crisis.
- Inviting someone over for a meal.
- Volunteering to serve in the Sunday school.
- Cleaning up at the church.
Whatever it is you can do…
Keep on serving…
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Do you serve the Lord?
If so, what is your motivation?
When Hudson Taylor was director of the China Inland Mission, he often interviewed candidates for the mission field. On one occasion, he met with a group of applicants to determine their motivations for service. “And why do you wish to go as a foreign missionary?” he asked one.
He replied “I want to go because Christ has commanded us to go into all the world…
“Another said, “I want to go because millions are perishing without Christ.”
Others gave different answers.
Then Hudson Taylor said, “All of these motives, however good, will fail you in times of testings, trials, tribulations, and possible death. There is but one motive that will sustain you in trial and testing; namely, the love of Christ.” – Sermonillustrations.com
We serve because we love Him.
We serve, even where there is little recognition.
We serve, even when we face criticism and get hurt by others.
Even where there is no fanfare…
Even the little acts of service we may do… Our Lord says even giving a cup of water in His name will be rewarded… We may not see it until we go to Him.
Our service is not in vain.
It has a forever dimension to it… So it’s the best use of our lives:
1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
It’s not in vain.
In practical ways.
Look for ways to serve Him, and others for Him.
There is no retirement from Christian service.
In fact our service is everlasting:
And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
Lord, make me a servant.