Pastoral Perspectives

Serve The Lord

When we are confronted with the need to serve, our usual response would either be “I am not ready” or “I am not suitable” or “I am not trained”. Our understanding of service to the Lord is rather uninformed or shallow or unfounded. We thought that we must be up to the mark in order to serve. We also thought that we must make certain requirements in order to be able to serve in certain areas of service. We also thought that we must have this or that spiritual gift to be suitable to serve in this ministry or that ministry.

When we reflect upon the rich mercies and grace of God, if there are spiritual awakenings, we will not hesitate to serve the Lord but instead compel by the immense love of God to serve. In fact, serving the Lord is a privilege and a joy granted to every born-again child of God, redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. We love because God first loved us through His beloved Son Jesus Christ. So, we serve because our Lord Jesus Christ first served us. I am reminded of Mark 10: 45 ESV which states that “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, offered His precious life on that cruel cross for us, sinners. It is through His selfless service that you and I are redeemed from sins and shame. He availed Himself to be that supreme sacrifice for us. The amazing love of God is the basis of our service to God, our Maker and our Redeemer.

Jesus had set a wonderful example of service for us. I am again reminded of 1 Peter 2: 21 ESV which states that “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.” Serving the Lord requires sacrifices as well as sufferings but our sacrifices and sufferings cannot be compared to all that Jesus had done for us on the cross. We can never repay Him at all. We, as His bondservants, are forever grateful to Him. Having this thought in mind, our attitude towards serving the Lord has to change. One key attitude to serve the Lord is “availability.” God does not look at our abilities instead He looks at our availability. When you are greatly impacted by the immense love of God, you will be compelled to serve and your service to the Lord will be a joyous one because it flows out from a heart of gladness and gratefulness. Many years ago, I used to have this phrase at the end of my every email: “Serving with a grateful heart!” If Christ did not avail Himself to die on the cross for our sins, we would all still be dead in our sins and perished for all eternity. As I have learnt in Romans 5: 8 ESV, our God showed His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. This is the power of the love of Christ our Lord. It should constrain us to want to serve Him. Christ Jesus has done so much, so much for me that I am very eager to serve Him, not with my strength but with His mighty strength. Indeed, it is very exciting to serve LORD God Almighty. The more I serve the more I grow in my faith and trust in Him who carries me through and through. I have thought of an acronym “S.E.R.V.E.” which gives an indication and a guide to our desire to serve the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. The acronym “S.E.R.V.E.” is as follows:

S – Seek the Face of God.

E – Enter into the Fellowship of God.

R – Rely upon the Spirit of God.

V – Venture with the Faith of Christ.

E – Extol the Faithfulness of God.

Let us seek God first in our service to Him. Let us enter into that sweet fellowship with Him. In the presence of God, there is fullness of joy. When we discover an area of service which God has directed us to serve, let us rely upon the Spirit of God to empower and enable us in our wholehearted service to the Lord. When we venture with the faith of Christ, we will witness the faithfulness of God in our lives. Others will praise God for what He has accomplished in our life and ministry for Him. Our motivation for serving the Lord should always be out of our love for Him and our gratitude towards Him. So, let us serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling. Our God is worthy of our wholehearted service to Him. Indeed, serve the Lord with gladness and come into His presence with singing.

I am once again reminded of this beautiful hymn, “I will serve Thee because I love Thee”, which I love to sing to the Lord my God. The lyrics of this hymn are the expression of the genuine desire of my heart. I will never forget the grace of God and the goodness of God shown towards me. I will lift up my heart with thanksgivings and praises to the Lord.

Our gracious and glorious Heavenly Father is looking at our heart whether we would avail ourselves to serve Him. If we were willing, He would supply us with His strength and His wisdom to serve Him. He desires to see a heart which is willing to serve Him with gladness and gratefulness. Are you available to serve the Lord? Are you available to allow God to work in and through you in your service to Him for His glory?

Pr George Ang

October 23, 2016