It is a blessing and a privilege for a child of God to serve the Lord. However, He cannot be served in just any old way; He must be served in God’s way according to scripture as anything else leads to death. “Â There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. ” (Prov. 14:12). The following are a few things that must be in the life of a child of God to effectively serve the Lord who gave His life that he or she might have life and have it more abundantly:
Heartily:Â Our heart by nature is deceitful and desperately wicked but the Lord changes that stony heart into a heart of flesh by the new birth. Then we can love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength as He has taught us in our inmost soul that we are sinners and in need of Him. Paul writes to the church of the Colossians, “Â And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;Â Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ” (Col. 3:23-24). Jesus is not here in person but His people are and we are to treat them as we would treat the Lord if He were actually here. Jesus said, “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matt. 25:40). Serving the Lord is to be done willingly as we put our whole heart, soul, and mind into His service and notice the corresponding blessing of “the reward of the inheritance” that comes with serving heartily.
Humility: We must serve the Lord will true humility realizing that we are not worthy of the least of His mercies and His truth as said Jacob of old time. (Gen. 32:10). Serving the Lord requires true obedience as Jesus set the perfect example in humble obedience. “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Phil. 2:8). God honored His Son for this humble submission to the will of God and exalted Him with a place at His right hand. Solomon wrote, “The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility. ” (Prov. 15:33). Jesus brings His children into this equation when He taught about serving Him. “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.”Â (John 12:26) Pride will not serve the Lord as He resisteth the proud but gives grace unto the humble. Honour does not precede humility but rather humility precedes honour.
Honesty: We cannot serve him in a pretentious way as did many of the Pharisees who Jesus described as hypocrites. Our sole motive for serving the Lord is out of love for Him and to demonstrate our devotion for His great love wherewith He loved us. A deacon is a servant of the church and when it came time for the ordination of deacons to serve tables to allow the ministry to devote themselves to the ministry of the word, the scriptures declare, “Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.” (Acts 6:3). These men were to be of “honest” report and so should every true servant of the Lord. Regardless of those in authority we are commanded to think on things of an honest report and do those things that are honest and honorable. We are told to pray for all men and those in authority and for what purpose? Listen to Paul as he writes Timothy, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;Â Â For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. ” (II Tim. 2:1-2)
High Expectations: We must serve the Lord with true belief that He will fulfill all His promises to us as we submit to Him. We must expect the best and not fear the worst. The church was praying for Peter when he was in prison and God sent an angel and delivered him safely to freedom. When he presented himself to the place where they were assembled in prayer, they couldn’t believe it. Evidently they were not expecting God to answer their prayer. We need to have an earnest expectation to not disappoint the Lord by our actions. That was Paul’s hope and expectation. “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.” (Phil. 1:20).
Holy Zeal: We must serve the Lord with holy zeal. There is a zeal that is not holy but is ungodly and worldly. Those who kill others for the sake of their belief are zealous for their cause but it in no way can be considered “holy zeal.” Saul of Tarsus had a zeal for the law and consented to the death of Stephen until the Lord apprehended him and taught him in the heart. Then he had a different zeal; it was a “holy” zeal to preach the Lord Jesus Christ. We see too many people just going through the motions of serving the Lord and there is no genuine zeal to come to church, read His word or minister to others.
Habitually:Â We must cultivate a lifestyle that serving the Lord will not even need to be thought about very much. It will become habitual just like getting up in the morning and eating three meals a day. We will know what we need to do each Sunday or any day and that is “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”Â (Matt. 6:33) Many more could be added but if we follow these we cannot help but be blessed in our life of service to the Lord. God bless!–August 20, 2015–Elder Larry Wise