What Does It Mean to Serve God by Serving One Another?

Jesus is called Master for many reasons. Of course, being God, He is Master over everything. That includes His powerful ability to open our senses and enable people to see the value of ordinary, everyday things we tend to overlook because of repetition and familiarity.

Our FBCH mission statement probably fits the description of repetition and familiarity. We see it each Sunday in our weekly Worship Guide, and its keywords are highlighted there and on the landing page of our website.

Today’s post is the third and final in a series looking more in-depth into those keywords of ENCOUNTER, GROW, and SERVE.

What Does It Mean to Serve God by Serving One Another?

The following statement concerning “Serve” is printed in the Worship Guide we receive each Sunday morning: God has a great plan for your life! Part of His plan is for you to make a difference in life around you. The Bible says we experience true joy when we make a godly difference in the lives of others.

In Ecclesiastes 3:12 Solomon wrote,

I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live.

In the same way, the Apostle Peter had a lot to say about serving others. In 1 Peter 2:9, he says,

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Our Bible affirms for us as born-again followers of Christ, we are given specific spiritual gifts, talents, and abilities that enable us to serve others both inside and outside the local church. That’s what we’re made to do, and that’s where we experience joy and fulfillment as Christians. God has gifted and shaped you for service. Retirement from a vocation is fine. But retirement from making a godly difference in the lives around us by serving others is not an option for Christians.

Serving Others Is a God-given Inclination for Believers.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
— Ephesians 2: 10 (ESV)

Working as a full-time missionary supported by an organization like the IMB is a complex undertaking laden with a mixture of challenges and rewards. To me, the most rewarding aspect of our four years in Ecuador was the ability to focus all of our attentions on serving God by serving others. Freedom created by the absence of responsibilities like home ownership, earning a living, and even church-related obligations enabled me to fulfill a spiritual purpose I’d never experienced back home.

Now that we are “back in the saddle,” so to speak, it’s difficult to replicate that same level of freedom. But I try to remind myself that it doesn’t matter where I am on the Earth, God has prepared good works for me to walk in, and I am free to recognize and carry out His purpose in every circumstance and activity of life.

What Did Jesus Say about Serving?

But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
—  Matthew 20: 27b-28 (ESV)

Jesus gave us these words as He answered the disciples’ question about greatness in the Kingdom. There was no church when He used that teachable moment to instruct His followers about serving others. How can you up your game in serving your spouse, family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, people with urgent needs? Spend some time praying and asking the Lord to show you where to join Him in serving others for our good and for His glory.

What Does the Bible Say about Serving within the Church?

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
— I Corinthians 12: 4-11 (ESV)
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
— Romans 12: 6-8 (ESV)
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.
— I Peter 4: 10-11 (ESV)
I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
— Ephesians 4: 1-4 (ESV)

Hopefully, you are aware of your own spiritual gifting, and you’re busy using these gifts to build up the Body of Christ. But, if you’re eager to discover your gift(s) or if you’d like to learn more, plenty of help is available. Don’t be too surprised if you find you’re already serving in your gift!

For reliable online information about spiritual gifts, consider utilizing these LifeWay resources.

You can find a slightly different approach to the S.H.A.P.E. God gave you here.

Wait no longer! Find your place at FBC Hartselle in some of the more than 40 ministry teams that are waiting for you to find your perfect fit!

And while you’re busy “doing life,” grab joy and fulfillment as you serve the people around you at home, at work, and in our community, and most importantly, worship the one true God.