SERVE: It’s the Way of Jesus! (Week 6)

“Serve from Grace!”

(Galatians 6:9-10)

I really like going to Chick-fil-A. It’s not only their food, it’s the atmosphere and their service! They are just that good! We have some employees of Chick-fil-A in here, so please shout out that wonderful phrase that we all should use when someone says thank you to us and I’ll give you a hint, it is not “You’re Welcome!” It’s a step up… The employees respond, “My pleasure!”

 

Paul teaches us about serving in Galatians 6:9-10, “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”

 

Is serving one another in the household of faith a pleasure to you? Have you lost heart in doing good because you can’t see any good reason to do it? Have you grown weary because you are not reaping fruit (maybe your timeline is off or you are looking for results too quickly)? Are you still looking for opportunities to do good to all people?

 

People can tell whether or not it is truly “my pleasure” and your attitude about serving changes the atmosphere of not only what happens here, but out there on a daily basis. Your attitude towards serving can take something ordinary and make it extraordinary! Your attitude can stop something from becoming extraordinary! It only takes one person to turn someone off from this church or from Jesus…

 

Paul would not have told us about the dangers of losing heart in doing good and growing weary if these weren’t real threats to the church. In fact, Jesus Himself invited us in Matthew 11:28-29a, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…”

 

What can we learn from Jesus’ example on how we are to serve?

 

We are commanded to serve like Jesus: From Grace, in Love, and with Compassion!

 

Firstly, From GraceIt is as Jesus said in John 15:9-10, “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.”

 

Did you hear the comparison in Jesus’ words? The Father loves us with the same love that He loves Jesus! We are to find rest for our souls by remaining in the One who is love. We connect to, abide in, yoke with the One who rescued us from the death penalty of our sin and gave us new life. As Paul says in Ephesians 2:1-5, And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).”

 

It is all from God’s grace. We serve because we are becoming like the One who loved us first because we are now united with Him by grace. That is what I mean when I say “We serve from grace…” We are serving others from the deep well of gratitude to God for our salvation!

 

We serve from grace, [and secondly] in love Paul taught us in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.”

 

Listen to this devotional reading that Scott Underwood shared with me. Read devotion.

 

Paul explains to a group of Christians really struggling in their daily faith in Galatians 5:6, 13-14: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision [religion nor nonreligion] means anything, but faith working through love [relationship]. For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

 

To serve in love is to bring Christ to the situation. Love is the energy. If grace is the deep well that motivates our service, then love is the energy that compels it into action. No one will ever know your deep love for God and His grace unless it is seen through your love of another!

 

We serve from Grace, in Love, and [lastly] with Compassion! Compassion directs our service! Grace is what motivates us! Love is what energizes us! Compassion focuses us!

 

Let’s just take a couple snapshots from Jesus’ earthly ministry:

 

  • Matthew 9:36, “Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.”
  • Matthew 14:14, “When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.” (cf. Mark 6:34)
  • Mark 1:41, “Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’”
  • Luke 7:13, “When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’”

To serve another in love and with compassion is to pull from the deep well of grace that God first served you with. To serve another is to declare your faith in this Jesus and to live like He lived. You don’t serve others because they deserve it, but exactly because it was God’s good pleasure to serve you first. As John said in 1 John 3:1a, “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are.”

 

I don’t know about you, but I can hear God say in this verse, “My pleasure!”

 

Because of His pleasure, we serve from Grace, in love, and with compassion!

 

In conclusion, we have learned how we are to serve so that we don’t lose heart in doing good or grow weary (from the deep well of grace, in love, and with compassion) and as we go to do this we are left with the question: Who are we to serve?

 

Remembering our scripture lesson for today from Galatians 6:9-10, “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”

 

It starts in the household of faith. We should have a better atmosphere than Chick-fil-A right here in these relationships. I can make it a part of your job description, but only God can change your heart! We are to do more than practice and perfect the art of saying, “My pleasure!”, we should be motivated by grace to love one another.

 

Serving begins in the household of faith, but continues to the world. How we serve conveys our  message! The gospel is good news! As Jesus Christ commanded His followers after He washed their feet in John 13:34-35: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

 

Remembering that 80% of all communication is non-verbal, are people hearing the message of God’s good news through you by the way you serve? Are they seeing Jesus as you serve?

 

Jesus said in Matthew 20:28, “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” And Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:20, “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

 

The same One we gather together to celebrate every Sunday morning for our salvation is the very One we put on display in our service! First, in here [inside this building] and then out there [as the church]! Just like it must start in here [point to my head and heart], but it must be put on display with these [my hands and my feet]!

 

SERVE: IT’S THE WAY OF JESUS!

 
Listen to the message here:
 
 

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