Pastoral Perspectives

Be Encouraged To Serve

Looking at the attitudes and motivations of service, we can be encouraged to serve. I am looking at offering our services to the people of God as though we are rendering them to God. Looking at the best example of service, that is, Jesus the Great Shepherd, the Great Intercessor and the Great High Priest. In Mark 10:45, we learn that “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” The service rendered by our Lord Jesus is really a sacrificial service. He paid the penalty of sins on the cruel cross on our behalf so as to redeem us and to reconcile us to God. In John 10:11, we learnt that Jesus is the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep, that is, you and me. So, we serve because Jesus first served us. Similarly, in 1 John 4:19, we love because He first loved us. Our services offered to God and to others are demonstrations of our love for God and for others. I would like to encourage us through Galatian 5:13b which states that “through love serve one another.”

     One encouragement for us to enter into service is the love of Christ. Having received Christ’s love, our lives are being transformed. We are unable to contain this love of Christ to ourselves but instead to serve one another with His life-transforming love. In 2 Corinthians 5:14b, we learnt that “the love of Christ controls us.” Christ Jesus has died for us all so that we may live for Him and His glory. Going beyond our inconvenience is another demonstration of serving one another with love. Another encouragement for us to enter into service is the heart of gratitude for what our Lord Jesus has wonderfully done for us. So, the attitudes and motivations of our service are these two aspects so far: the love of Christ and the heart of gratitude. Our hearts of gratitude for God can be demonstrated in many forms such as taking the initiative to explain the truth of God’s Word to those who are young in the faith or seizing the opportunity to bring someone who is unwell to the hospital. Being sensitive to the needs of others and always looking into the interests of others, this person clearly demonstrates the love of Christ and the heart of gratitude in him or her.

     Still another encouragement for us to enter into service is the strength which Christ Jesus provided for us. I have learnt that whenever I serve, I should not serve with my own strength but with the strength which Christ Jesus has provided for me. In Philippians 4:13, I have learnt that “I can do all things through Him (Christ Jesus) who strengthens me.” In 1 Peter 4:11b, I am encouraged that “whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies.” When God calls you and me into a particular area of service, He will not leave you alone to struggle on your own or figure it out on your own but He will provide you with the resources which you would need to carry out your service for Him, that is, He will bestow upon you spiritual gift(s) or spiritual wisdom and guidance to do His work. Still another encouragement for us to serve one another is taken from 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” Remember that your service rendered to the Lord and to others will be rewarded. They shall not be in vain because the loving God notices your service. The encouragement which I gather from this Bible verse is that I must endure all hardships and hurdles for the sake of Christ and His kingdom. I must persevere and be patient for I shall reap a harvest of righteousness in due time. Another Bible verse which encourages and spurs me on in my service to and for the Lord my God is Hebrews 6:10, “For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do,”

     No matter what service the Lord may call you to serve, He is not looking at your ability but at your availability. This is the final encouragement for us to enter into service for the Lord: the availability of ourselves. We just need to avail ourselves for Christ Jesus to use us in whichever area(s) He deems best for us to serve. The willingness to serve, despite of our shortcomings or weaknesses, is a clear evidence of our availability to serve. Putting on the humility of Christ Jesus in our willingness to serve is what pleases the Lord. So, let us be available to serve when the Lord calls. Do not hesitate by looking at your ability or preparedness but at how gracious God is when He gives you the opportunity and the privilege and also the joy to serve Him who is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. In the kingdom of God, every child of God has a place of service to be rendered to the Lord our great God. With all the above sharing and encouraging, I hope that we will all be encouraged to serve the Lord our kind and loving God. Amen.

Preacher George Ang

January 20, 2019