Monday, January 27, 2014

In the Service of the King

Serve the Lord with gladness: 
come before his presence with singing.

Psalm 100:2

Life is busy. We can all attest to the truth of that statement. Helping our siblings, meeting the needs of friends, running errands for parents, solving “technical difficulties”, visiting the elderly, using our musical and speaking abilities to comfort others—all these are examples of just ordinary life.

Sometimes, though, I think we get caught up in the actual doing of the work, that we forget what it really is: serving. We also forget Who we are serving: the King of Kings. And so, I hope that this will be a written reminder and encouragement to you to keep your focus on the One you are serving. The One who has called you out of darkness, and into His marvelous light. The One who modeled service as no man did, has, or ever will—and it is we who are called to be “little Christs”—to model that service here on earth.

Who are you serving?
Yes, we as believers have the head knowledge that “everything is done to the glory of God”, but do we really recognize that it is the Christ, the Son of the living God that we are serving? The One who is…

Highest of majesty
Brilliant in splendor
Jesus, Creator, Redeemer of man
Fullness of God, He is One with the Father.

Just realizing the complete awesomeness of the King of Kings, causes us to step back and rethink who we really are as finite humans. It is the Creator of our very lives Who sanctifies us for His use [Jeremiah 1:5; Hebrews 10:10]; the High Priest who lives to make intercession for us [Hebrews 7:25]; the One who knows our sin like no other, and yet chooses to use us in spite of who we are. [2 Corinthians 12:9] The God Who rescued us—yes, that’s Who we serve.

When are you serving Him?
As believers, we are Christ’s servants, not just when we feel like it, not just when life is going smoothly, and not just when we think we know the outline of the near future. After we have surrendered our lives to the Lord, our time, talents, and treasures are not our own anymore. Our service to Him is to be constant and everlasting. Even when we have passed through Heaven’s gates, we will join the thousands before us in serving Him and worshipping at His feet. For now, our service is here on earth.

Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord to Thee.
Take my moments and by days
Let them flow in ceaseless praise

Our moments and our days all belong to Him--whether it’s doing the laundry for the thousandth time or answering the call to minister in another country. We don’t “belong” to ourselves. We are God’s, and He asks—no, He demands—that each and every moment be lived in service to Him. [1 Corinthians 6:19-20]

Where are you serving Him?
We can start right where we are. Some of us may be at home, at work, in church—wherever we may be physically at this present moment, that is where we are to serve Him. The Priests of the Old Testament were given the task of serving specifically in the temple. The church is commanded to serve each other. [Galatians 5:13; 1 Peter 4:10] We should not be limited geographically, financially, or in any other way, in serving the Lord. Sometimes this may call for us to be spontaneous, and temporarily leave off our own plans to serve someone in need. Service starts right where we are, and for many of us that should begin in our own homes, serving our family—siblings, parents, and/or spouses—while learning to surrender our own schedules to another’s in order to show the love of Christ.

Why are you serving Him?
Why are you serving Him? Is it so that others will see your good works and glorify you? Or is your work done heartily to the Lord? [Colossians 3:23-24] We aren’t to boast about what we accomplish, how much time we “give up” for someone, or about some great thing that we did for the world. Our reward lies in heaven—and inheritance with our heavenly Father. The unbelieving world should see our works, but our accomplishments should provide them a reason to glorify Christ. [Matthew 5:16] For it is nothing in us that accomplishes anything, but only by His strength that we can do all things. [Philippians 4:13] Unto Him we live and serve. [2 Corinthians 5:15]

How are you serving Him?
As Joshua commanded the Israelites, so we must also “fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth”. [Joshua 24:14; 1 Samuel 12:24] Our service to Him must be genuine—not a hypocritical sort or a habit forced on us by someone else—but in faithfulness to the Lord because of what He has done for us.
Mark 9:35 instructs us to be the servant of all; not showing partiality to those we “like” best, but giving to anyone out of love for God. This will involve humility, just as Christ took on the form of a humble servant—even to the point of death. [Philippians 2:4-8]

We are to serve the Lord with singleness of heart. Jesus quoted the Old Testament in His refutation of Satan’s bribes: “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” [Matthew 4:10, emphasis mine] We will have to consciously destroy the sinful idols in our life on a daily basis, in order that we might take up our crosses and follow Him in servitude. We cannot serve the world and God, but must hate the one and cleave to the other. [Luke 16:13]

The service God requires of us, which encompasses all the tiny details of life, is summed up in Romans 12:1, which states: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Our ultimate service to God lies in our surrendering of our lives as a sacrifice to our Redeemer. When we have allowed Him and the Holy Spirit to indwell our lives, we are putting Him on the throne of our hearts and submitting our thoughts, actions, and motives to His control; it should be our desire to surrender all things to Him. We will fail, guaranteed; but by consistently surrendering all to Him, we can then serve Him as He served us.

Think about this: the creatures in this universe—we who have sinned on every imaginable level—are some who have been redeemed, called out, and set-apart to serve the sovereign Creator. The Messiah chose to exemplify the ultimate example of service (dying for a sinful world), so we might understand, as best we can, how to lay down our lives for one other. The Beloved of the Father chose to give life to the earth and its inhabitants so that they might more fully glorify Him and serve Him—in spite of their sin. And not just to serve, but to love Him with all of our hearts.

“And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, an d to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?” [Deuteronomy 10:11-12]

May we all be able to say:

“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”[Joshua 24:15]


*This article was originally written to be published in this newsletter. You can find their website here.

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