Week 8 - Service

1 Peter 4: 10-11 “Every believer has received grace gifts, so use them to serve one another as faithful stewards of the many-colored tapestry of God’s grace. For example, if you have a speaking gift, speak as though God were speaking His words through you. If you have the gift of serving, do it passionately with the strength God gives you, so that in everything, God alone will be glorified through Jesus Christ.”

Well, as the old faithful statement goes, “It’s time to put up or shut up.” Many of you reading this are active members here at The Reach United. What I mean by that is you come every week, hear challenging and uplifting sermons, get swept up in the worship, and then you go home. It’s time to start taking what you’ve learned and start giving back. In other words…put up or shut up.

Why is serving God so important? Why is serving others so important? Great questions! I am so glad you asked.

The first thing as Christians we need to realize is that we were created to do two things – glorify God and edify the body. In other words, a Christian’s main purpose on earth is to increase God’s kingdom on this earth AND in heaven. We do this by building up the body of Christ……the Church.

As we learned in Week 6 of this series, God created each of us with unique gifts, talents, personalities, and skill sets. We get the most joy and make the biggest difference for God when we use our God-given talents, gifts, and abilities to build the church. Serving God gives us blessings beyond measure. Yes, we are blessed to sit in the sanctuary and hear great teachings and music and by experiencing fellowship, but until we begin to serve others, our blessings will be limited.

Here are some real blessings we receive by serving others:
1.  Serving God lets us discover and develop our spiritual gifts
As we read in 1 Corinthians 12, just as the human body is made up of different parts, we are all given different abilities and skills. Alone, these pieces aren’t very useful, but together, they can change the world.

2.  Serving allows us to experience miracles
The greatest example of this is the wedding in Cannan. Jesus turned water into wine, but the guests had no idea what happened. It was the servants who witnessed the miracle first-hand.

3.  Serving allows us to be more like Jesus
When we serve, we shift our focus from us to others. When we help others, we start to see others as Jesus sees them. When we literally get down in the muck and mire of this world to reach others, it gives us an entirely new perspective. Matthew 25:40 “And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”

4.  Serving increases our faith
Serving others requires that we move out of our comfort zone, which requires tremendous faith. By doing this, we see what God can do in us when we let His power work through us. Once people get a taste of serving, they often find themselves waiting with anticipation for God to open doors that they can jump through rather than waiting in fear for Him to push them through them.

5.  Serving allows us to experience God’s presence in new ways
“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:5-8) When we bless others, we are blessed. When we encourage others, we find ourselves encouraged. When we see others healed and participate with prayer and the laying on of hands, we feel the miracle even more strongly.

Everyone has a different excuse not to serve, and we have all heard (and some of us have said) them all:

I do not have time.
That is not my gift.
They already have so many people, I am not needed.
I do not know what I would do.

Remember this: Paul killed Christians. David was an adulterer. Moses was a murderer. None of the men mentioned above believed they were worthy of the calling God had placed on their lives. All of them tries to make excuses of why they were not the right ones, and honestly their reasons were right.
Not one of the “heroes of the faith” deserved the calling that God had placed on their lives. All of them were sinners. All of them were weak men. None were righteous.

God called them anyway and they answered.

God gave them His power, His might, His spirit, and because of Him, they changed the world. God doesn’t want you to rely on your own strength. He wants to give you His. The greatest commandments are to love God and love others. Jesus himself told us that the greatest love we can show for others is to be willing to lay down our lives for them. So, serve others. Why? Because it is how we can obey the greatest commandment God ever gave us, and how we can show love to others as Christ did