17. Iíll Serve Jesus
Please remember to pray before reading!
God Is the Source of Life
God's life-giving love flows from Him to all the universe, bringing blessings and joy. And if we have this love in our hearts, it will flow out to others also.
Jesus' greatest pleasure was found in helping and saving humanity. For this purpose He was willing to endure incredible suffering. Selfless service for others is the very foundation of heaven. The angels rejoice in the privilege of serving weak and erring human beings. The atmosphere of love fills heaven with bliss. And this is the same spirit that Christ's followers will have.
When Christ's love is in our hearts, we won't be able to hide it. It will flow out to encourage and inspire others. Love will lead to tenderness and sympathy toward all of God's creatures.
Jesus did not live a life of selfish ease and indulgence. During His whole life He was intent on helping others. He didn't try to find the easy way or consider His own needs and desires. Doing God's will was the most important pursuit of His life.
When we receive the grace of God in our lives, this same self-sacrificing spirit will motivate us. In deep appreciation for what Jesus has done for us, we will want to do whatever we can to share the gospel with others. This is the result of the new birth experience. God puts this desire in the hearts of His children. To the extent that we have a genuine experience with Jesus, we will be compelled to share it with others.
It's a Privilege to Witness
God gave us the privilege of sharing the gospel with others because He wants us to share His joy. In fact, this is the highest honor God has given us. When we accept this responsibility, we are brought closer to Jesus. By helping others, we help ourselves spiritually.
God could have given all of the responsibility for spreading the gospel to the angels. He has many resources available that He could have used. But because He loves us so much. He invites us to work with Him in loving ministry to others. God has wonderful blessings and joy that will become ours when we join Him in this marvelous work. He knows that we will receive great benefits from unselfish service.
Benefits of Service
One of the benefits is that we will experience a much deeper appreciation of what Christ has sacrificed for us. We will become more generous and unselfish. Our faith and dependence upon God will increase. We will experience the sense of fulfillment that comes when we are following God's plan for our lives.
God has planned that we will grow spiritually as we minister to others. When people ask us difficult questions, it will help us realize our need to study the Bible more. It's impossible to share an experience that you don't have, so we will pray more earnestly for a closer relationship with Jesus. Working closely with Jesus brings us into a special partnership with Him.
Wonderful peace and joy floods the hearts of those who give their lives in service to Jesus. The character will grow more lovely. Power from Jesus will enter the life of the one who labors to win souls for the kingdom. This power will benefit the worker as much as it benefits those for whom he labors.
The only way we can grow spiritually is to be actively involved in Jesus' work, unselfishly helping others. Exercise is necessary if we want to keep even the strength we already have.
The Church's Mission
God appointed the church to carry the news of salvation to the world. And each Christian is called to be a part of sharing God's love. Each one has specific talents and abilities that he is to use to spread the light God has given him.
If Christ's followers were awake and alert to their duty, we would see much more effort in reaching out to those who don't know about God's love.
Not everyone can go to a foreign country, but each Christian can help the cause by his prayers and financial support.
And besides giving of our means and praying, we each have a work to do right in the circle of our own influence. Even in our own home we can be a positive witness to the power of God in the life. Our neighbors are observing us, and we can show by a Christian lifestyle that we know Jesus. We can smile and speak encouraging words to those we meet. We can pray for opportunities to tell others about Jesus.
Working for Jesus in Your Job
Most of Jesus' life was spent in the carpenter's shop. While He was faithfully working at His trade. He was following God's plan of service just as much as when He was healing the sick or preaching to the multitudes.
In the same way, we are to work for God. Wherever we may be, whatever our responsibilities, we have the privilege of being ambassadors for the kingdom of heaven.
Whether we are involved in a professional career or a trade, whether we are students or leaders, we each have a job to do. Every Christian is called upon to reflect the character of his Lord in every act of life. In every situation we are either bringing honor to God's name or bringing dishonor. There is no neutral position.
Sometimes people think that the Lord's work is reserved for the clergy and that the layperson is not responsible. But this is a great mistake. Each one of us is called to use our influence and abilities for the cause of God in whatever capacity we can.
Sharing Love Is Not Drudgery
It is God who gives us the love that we are to share with others. Our efforts will not come from a sense of drudgery and mere obligation but from the spirit of love that flows out freely. It will be the sweetness of our own character and the genuineness of our own love relationship with Jesus that will impress others and win hearts.
We don't need to wait for some great opportunity before we begin to share God's love. The focus should not be on one's self, worrying about what others think of us. Our performance and abilities are not to be our concern. If we are sincere and earnest, others will be blessed by our interest in their salvation.
Even those who are poor and uneducated have a place in God's work. They may be able to reach someone that the higher classes cannot. Some small kindness may have a ripple effect that will influence thousands. We shouldn't focus on our success. It's God's work and He takes responsibility for its outcome. If we faithfully do what is at hand, letting the Spirit lead us, God will bless our efforts.
And as we cooperate with God and listen to His voice, we are becoming more like Jesus every day. This work on earth is preparing us to experience the joy of a grander work in the life to come.