This message is for those who have placed their trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; aka believers, Christ-followers, (authentic Christians), those who make up the body of Christ, the Church.
If you are not in this group, what I’m going to say does not apply to you. By all means, continue reading as you may find what I have to say interesting, who knows? This message is for those who call themselves ‘Christians’.
There are two kinds of Christians.
The first kind are those who are sold out for the cause of Christ. These folks are yielded to the Holy Spirit’s work in their lives and are committed to putting their faith into action. Their lives are marked by obedience, love and sacrifice. They see this life and the world around them through the lens of eternity. The Lord has done such a work in their lives that they can’t help but serve others. These people have a hunger to help others and share the hope they have in Christ. Their fruitfulness manifests itself in a variety of ways.
What these first kind of Christians have in common is their personal relationship with Jesus Christ and their faith in His atoning sacrifice translates into other-centered actions. Whether it is feeding the homeless, providing a home for an orphan or visiting prisoners or widows, these Christians go to where the need is and meet it. This kind of Christian lives out their theology. You can see it. Their faith is active, vibrant and fruitful. Be encouraged!
The second kind of Christians are those who are self-focused. They go to church every Sunday. They participate in Bible studies. They can discuss theology on the highest levels. This group is quite adept at feeding themselves and talking about what is on the menu. Their lives are marked by routines of religious activity based on personal desires, preferences and convenience.
For this second group, the message of the Gospel is intellectually understood and (possibly) accepted in the heart. However, the Gospel has not made it to their hands and feet. The result, is they don’t feel the need to serve others. When a need arises, they squash it with excuses like, “I’m not called to that.” or “I’m not equipped to do that.” or a dozen other excuses. Slowly but surely, the embers of their faith die and the radical transformation of Christ in their life becomes a distant memory. Before long, people around them don’t even know they are a Christian except when they see them leaving for Church on Sunday morning. Be challenged!
One of the marks of a healthy spiritual life is serving others. It is like breathing in that it comes naturally.
I’ll boil it down for you Christian. If you are not serving, there is something wrong with your walk with God.
Before you run out there and overcommit out of compulsion or guilt. Have a discussion with God first. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what is wrong in your heart. If you need to ask forgiveness or repent, do it. Then, get up and walk!
Our lives are to reflect the life of Christ. Read your Bible and discover again what Christ did. He served the father with obedience. In Jesus’s march to the cross, He did many things along the way. He met people in their moment of need with love and compassion. Ultimately, he served our biggest need. He saved us from our sin (John 3:16).
Back to the question. Why we serve or don’t serve is directly related to what we believe.
Does your faith manifest itself in action? If not, why not?
The blessing is not in the knowing…. the blessing is in the doing.
The spiritually maturing Christian engages in service in doing so he/she will participate in the blessing while bringing glory to God. In John 13, Jesus washes his disciples’ feet. When he is done serving them, he says; “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” (John 13:17 ESV).
In Matthew 20:28, Jesus says, “even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Read Philippians 2:1-11. From the pen of Paul, we see a model of Christlikeness, “…rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant…”
James 2 points out that faith and works (service) are two sides of the same coin. “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
What about you?