We are considering ten principles for Christian service.
The first three are:
1. Serve Christ: in a spirit of faith that will result in an increase of faith.
2 Serve Christ: believe it is a high honor.
3. Serve Christ: without expectation of human honor or reward.
Now we continue with the next four:
4. Serve Christ: understand there will be strenuous days of grueling service.
Ploughing and feeding cattle in Bible days was exceptionally hard work. Farming is still hard work, but ploughing with rough instruments and donkeys or oxen must have been very taxing physically. Nevertheless, when the servant came out of the field, he was still not done. He next must go to the kitchen to prepare a meal for his master.
If you are looking to be a celebrity, then do not be a Christian servant. Christian circles are filled with people who want to be celebrities and not servants. The motive of our labor will be tested, and if we are not doing it for Christ, the grueling day will reveal it.
There is some agonizing in Christian ministry (Colossians 1:29). We need not worry, for our bodies were made to work, so labor for the night is coming, when we will work no more.
5. Serve Christ: without looking for the punch clock
This man served all day in the field and came in during the night and served in the home. His day parallels our life. We serve in the day at our job and we come home and we should see our home as a place and opportunity for ministry. Serving the Lord is way of life. We don’t punch a clock for Jesus. When we are saved, we punch in. When we die, we punch out. Life is war, and it is also work, so continue proclaiming the Gospel of Christ with a great fire in your soul.
6. Serve Christ: in an awesome variety of ways.
This servant serves in the field, hot and sweaty. Then he comes in the house, where he must wash up and an entirely different set of skills are needed. This servant was a “jack of all trades.” For example, a pastor requires many varied skills. In one day he may be a manager and a motivator, a teacher and a theologian, a custodian and a counselor.
Whatever your gift or ability, it can be used in Christ’s service. Can you cook? Use computers? Write? Publish? Sing? Talk? Build walls? Do electric, or plumbing, or carpentry? Clean? Sweat? Counsel? Work with finances? Speak multiple languages or do sign language? Some people can work with their hands, others with their mind and heart. It can all be done by His grace and for His glory.
As I review over 30 years of serving the Lord, I can tell you that there are hundreds of ways to serve Christ. I have torn down walls and built them. I have torn down trees and planted flowers. I have filled dumpsters, mopped, swept, vacuumed. I have counseled people who wanted to get married and who wanted a divorce. I have counseled people to eternal life and prevented them from committing suicide. I have wrote emails, made phone calls, written letters. I have worked with finances, taught children, adults, and senior citizens. I have visited and shared the Gospel in homes, cars, diners, hospitals, nursing homes, on the street, in prisons, and other places as well. And so have many of you. Isn’t it awesome that we can do all these things through Him and for Him? We can even send a text message for Jesus, encouraging someone with a Scripture or a prayer.
7. Serve Christ: remembering no servant is indispensable.
An attitude that will cripple us spiritually is this: an overestimation of our own worth in either our work or our person. We are all replaceable and none are indispensable. God can take us anytime He wills and His work will go on just fine.
We must never have an over-inflated sense of our own importance. One of our common problems is we take ourselves too seriously and we don’t take God seriously enough.
Let Jesus’ words guide 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.” (Luke 17:10)
Matt Recker is the pastor of Heritage Baptist Church in New York City.