A farmer had a team of horses in which one horse consistently worked harder than the others. The farmer said, “They’re all willin’ horses. The one’s willin’ to pull, and the rest are willin’ to let him.”
This attitude carries over into the Christian life. When it comes to serving in some practical way some Christians have a built-in reflex that causes them to run for cover. (Source Information)
My hope is that as we reflect on the everyday heroes of the Bible we can see that God desires to use everyday, ordinary people to serve in extraordinary ways. Any service that reflects Jesus’ love is “Christian service.” From giving a cup of water (Mark 9:41) to dying for someone (John 15:13), there are as many types of Christian service as there are needs in the world. Very few involve activity within the four walls of the church.
The Bible gives some specific examples of Christian service: show hospitality to strangers (Hebrews 13:2), remember those in prison (Matthew 25:36), provide for the needy (Matthew 25:35), and mentor others (Titus 2:2-8). Some examples speak to our day-to-day living: care for children (Matthew 18:5), tend families (Titus 2:5), treat employees fairly (Colossians 4:1), deal honestly with customers (Leviticus 19:36), and be diligent with employers’ resources (Matthew 25:14-30). As long as the act is done “in Jesus’ name”—that is, it is motivated by the love of Jesus—it is Christian service.
Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, (We serve the Lord not people – people may benefit from our service, but they are not what motivates us to serve)
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. (We can be confident that our service does not go unnoticed. Even if our service doesn’t “look” successful we know that God is honored when we serve out of obedience)
1 Peter 4:10|
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. (When we serve we are administering God’s grace. Is your service characterized as gracious?)
In Romans 16 we find a women by the name of Phoebe. She is only mentioned in the Bible once, but her service to the Church encouraged, strengthened, and motivated the Church to live for Christ. She served with gratitude and love. What characterizes your service? Is it obligation or privilege; pressure or eagerness; bitterness or joy?
Romans 16: 1-2
Now I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, 2 so that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and provide her with whatever help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many, including me.
Click Here for Background Materials on Phoebe.
Phoebe’s life was a true example of service. She is characterized as a, “servant of the church, a saint, and a great help.” Paul’s description of her revealed that she truly touched lives with the love of Christ.
Billy Graham….”The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service. The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless.”
The world is in desperate need of Christians willing to show the love of Christ through their actions. Jesus said the second greatest commandment was to love others—not sentimentally, but tangibly. Every action performed out of kindness, powered by the understanding of Christ and His love, is Christian service.
Phoebe was an everyday hero because she served others. Her service was motived by at least two characteristics we find in service. Lets look at these two attributes. Ask God to cultivate these in your life.
TWO CHARACTERISTICS OF SERVICE
Serving from a heart of
Gratitude is a feeling that arises uncoerced in the heart. It cannot be willed into existence directly if it is not there. Gratitude comes for a heart that has been transformed by the grace of God revealed through Jesus Christ. We serve out of the overflow of our gratitude. 1 Peter 1:8 says, “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.”
Are you filled with Gratitude? Does it prompt you to serve others?
Serving out of
John Piper says, “We love God because he first loved us. And we display our love for God through radical love of others. Our love for God is to be total and all-inclusive –– a wholehearted, life-encompassing, community-impacting, exclusive commitment to our God. And this kind of love will naturally overflow in love for others. Living in the joy of the blood-bought gospel sparks radical love.”
Are you radically and joyfully in love God? Does it overflow to others?
Things come easier when they are spelled out for us. Watch this video and ask yourself if being able to clearly see needs would motivate you to serve others.