Last night before our menâ€™s ministry meeting began, I had the opportunity to share with some men at our table that God is showing me that our service to Jesus should be a form of worship. In fact I said that the next time I am thanked for doing something in the church, I wanted to change my response from â€œIâ€™m glad to serve the Lordâ€ to â€œIâ€™m just worshipping Jesus.â€ One of the greatest ways we worship Jesus is in our service to the brethren; the church. Paul instructed the Galatian church to:
â€œBear one anotherâ€™s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.â€ (Galatians 6:2)
What does this mean, to fulfill the law of Christ. It is to have the Spirit of Christ living inside of us. And how does the Spirit manifest itself through us? Simply…love:
â€œTherefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.â€ (Ephesians 5:1-2)
If I have the mind of Christ controlling my thoughts and the Spirit of Christ living through me, then I will be an imitator of Christ, meaning I will become Christlike. And in doing so, I take my eyes off of me and I look around me to see whom of my brethren are hurting and have need of my help. If I am not looking at my circumstances, I am not complaining and grumbling and having a pity party. It is virtually impossible to be in the state of â€œWoe is meâ€ when I am serving and easing the burdens of others.
As Christians we should be known as do-gooders. Now if that seems like silliness or bad English, itâ€™s good theology:
â€œTherefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.â€ (Galatians 6:10)
Hereâ€™s an old fashioned word for you: benevolence. The Random House Dictionary defines benevolence as a â€œdesire to do good to others; goodwill, charitableness; an act of kindness; a charitable gift.â€ Google the word benevolence and the first four hits are definitions. You have to find the fifth result before you see a religious organization come up. Why is that? I can only speculate, but I suspect that it is because it is such a rare occurrence.
The sad truth is that far too many Christians are stingy: stingy Christiansâ€”if ever there was an oxymoron, thatâ€™s it! Whether we are rich or poor, we are expected to be benevolent and to do good to others. The rich are given a very specific mandate:
â€œCommand those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.â€ (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
A giving heart is such a beautiful heart. It is worshipful and never more like Jesus than when it is giving out of love, easing the burdens of those around them, loving others for the sake of Jesus. My beautiful wife is such a person. I remember her once telling me that she didnâ€™t have any spiritual gifts. I had to chuckle at her because her spirit of service was so natural to her that she did not even see it as a spiritual gift. It is her heart; it is who she is. I so love my wifeâ€™s heart; itâ€™s what makes her so beautiful to me and so in love with her. She is the most giving person I know and her service is so well-pleasing to our Lord and so beneficial to our family. We are having our annual family reunion this weekend and she is happily and busily preparing the Jeffers Inn for the arrival of our precious loved ones. It brings her great joy to serve her family and it brings me great joy watching her.
Beloved, that is our Jesus. Search the Scriptures and see how much our Lord served others and wanted our burdens to be laid at His feet. It is in Christ that we find true rest:
â€œCome to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.â€ (Matthew 11:28-30)
Beloved, that needs to be us…the church. We need to be our communityâ€™s oasis. We the Body of Christ should be a rest stop, not just a spiritual hospital, but a rest stop that weary travelers on the lifeâ€™s journey can come and find rest for their souls. Is your church such a place? Is your home such a place?
It has been my purpose, through the prompting of the Holy Spirit, that we look at service with new and fresh eyes. We should look upon it not as an extra chore to cram into our busy schedules. So many Christians do not serve in the church because they are too busy. And guess what? They are! And therein lies the problem. If you are at the point that you are too busy to serve Jesus, I can think of no larger and louder red flag than that. It means that you donâ€™t have a scheduling problem; you have a supremacy problem. If you canâ€™t fit Jesus into your schedule then He does not reign supreme in your life. Hey, Iâ€™m just sayin…
If that is you, the change is needed yesterday. You need to clear out your schedule today, go find your ministers and volunteer to do WHATEVER needs to be done around your church.
Trust me, God will bless your obedience and turn it into an act of worship.
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Copyright Â© 2012 David Jeffers