Summary: What motivates a Christ-like servant to do good deeds?
The writer of Hebrews touches on two things associated with our being involved in ministry to others in a way that honors Christ. He first speaks of the attitude and then of the activity of a servant.
Last time, we thought about how the attitude of a Christ-like servant is love; and how that attitude will be expressed in love for God, love of the church and love for the lost. Today, I want us to consider the activity of a Christ-like servant - good deeds. Good deeds will characterize the life of one who is a Christ-like servant because . . .
1. A Christ-like servant is dedicated to the will of God.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” - Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
The Bible says that God saved us with a plan in mind for each of our lives, which includes our doing good deeds on behalf of others.
“Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord.” - Romans 12:11 (Amplified)
Paul tells us that our dedication to doing God’s will is demonstrated through service to others.
“What is it to serve God and to do His will? Nothing else than to show mercy to our neighbor. For it is our neighbor who needs our service; God in heaven needs it not.” - Martin Luther
This is intriguing - God’s will for our lives often has to do with our service to others in His name.
You will never know God’s will for your life if you are unwilling for God to work through your life.
This truth is illustrated well in Henry Blackaby’s popular work, Experiencing God - knowing and doing the will of God.” Notice how God’s will for my life is connected to God working through my life in what he calls, “The Seven Realities of Experiencing God.” 1) God is always at work around you. 2) God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real and personal.
3) God invites you to become involved with Him in His work. 4) God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes and His ways. 5) God’s invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action. 6) You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing. 7) You come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He accomplishes His work through you.
Experiencing God’s will for my life is always tied to letting God work through my life. Perhaps this is why many of us have difficulty knowing God’s will for our lives - our focus is on how God might want to work for us rather than on how we might work with Him; on how we might receive a blessing rather than on how we might be a blessing. Now, God does want to bless us, but the path to blessing is that service.
“And all of you, serve each other in humility, for ‘God opposes the proud but favors (blesses) the humble.’” - 1 Peter 5:5 (NLT)
The Christian who has a passion to live within the will of God for their life, is not focused on receiving a blessing, but on being a blessing. And their chief desire is to hear the Savior greet them in eternity with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
“I would never want to reach out someday with a soft, uncalloused hand – a hand never dirtied by serving – and shake the nail-pierced hand of Jesus.” - Bill Hybels
Does your service reveal a desire to be in God’s will?
Good deeds will characterize the life of a Christ-like servant because of his dedication to the will of God. But good deeds will also characterize the life of one who is a Christ-like servant because . . .
2. A Christ-like servant is growing in his walk with God.
If we are truly and growing toward Christ-likeness, it will be evidenced in our serving others by doing good deeds, even as anointing of the Father was evidenced through the life of Christ by His doing good deeds.
“. . . God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and . . . he went around doing good . . .” - Acts 10:38 (NIV)
A believer who is committed to serving others in Jesus’ name demonstrates that he is growing in his walk with God, for this is the purpose of true spiritual maturity.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”