Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Serving is to be at the core of our lives- that’s what we were created for.

Accepting Your Assignment

Purpose Driven Life #29


March 6, 2004

Are you concerned more with what you receive from something or with what you can contribute to something? Is coming to church a matter of getting something or giving something? Is going to school a matter of getting something or giving something? Is going to work a matter of getting something or giving something?

I know what many of you might say, because of the environment, which we are in, here, today. But what do you think would be the reality, out there, away from here? What might you say, there? What might others say out there?

I think it’s safe to say that many of us are more concerned with consuming and using resources and taking up space, than we are with making a difference with our lives. Yet, at the very beginning, God gave us all our marching orders and they had to do with giving, rather than getting.

Gen.2.15- we are here to tend and keep the garden. We are here to put into and to build. That is the instruction given at the very beginning, once creation was fully in place and when Adam and Eve received their first instruction from God. This defines, then, your fourth purpose in life, or the fourth purpose for you life. You were created to worship God. You were created to belong to God’s family. You were created to grow more and more mature within God’s family. And, you were created to minister or to serve, not to consume and to use. You were created to add to life on earth, not just take from it!

This might come as a surprise to you, because what we see around us is people very much concerned with what they are getting from life. What we see is people wound up about getting value and stuff, and not being taken advantage of, and the like. But what we see is not what comes from the heart of God.

1. You were created to serve God: Eph.2.10b- these good deeds are your service. Whenever you serve others in any way, you are actually serving God, and this is very pleasing to God.

Matt.25.31-46- many see that doing good for others is the ultimate test and responsibility for the Christian. Upon this passage, in fact, entire theologies are based, including that of the Salvation Army, and other churches with a huge social responsibility component to their church work. They are right, in that this is important to God and needs to be for us. You were placed here to serve God, through your involvement with people.

2. You were saved to serve God. 2 Ti.1.9- God redeemed you so you could do his holy work. You were saved so you could serve- so God had more people on earth doing the good things He wants done. As Christians, we have to take this responsibility seriously. We tend to hide from issues and from opportunities, and feel that it’s up to someone else to do them, but we cannot take that approach. Paul encourages us, in Ga.6.10- to do good when we have the opportunity. When someone is in front of you, with a need, fill that need to the best of your ability; don’t expect that someone else will do it. Notice how Jesus spoke of this:

Lk.10.30ff- some thought it was someone else’s job to do and, besides, they had important other things to do. But how did Jesus feel about this? How does he feel about this today? Are you able to do something good for others? Do you have opportunity, or education, or money, or time to do things for others? Then do them. Don’t sit around thinking you have done what you can do. Jesus paid dearly for your salvation so you could do really good things for others- 1 Cor.6.20. Because of this, offer yourself in whatever way he chooses for you- offer yourself as a living sacrifice- Ro.12.1ff. You were saved so you could do good things. Oh, it might appear that you’re doing exactly the same things as someone who is not a believer, but you’re not. If you do the ’same things’, remember that you’re doing them with the activity of God’s Holy Spirit in you, and that takes the ’doing’ to a higher level than is possible for others. Never forget that the opportunity for this came at the incredible cost of Christ’s life. If you’ve seen the "Passion of the Christ", don’t forget the images you’ve seen which serve to make this cost real.

Your ministry is to serve others. Why aren’t you simply taken to the kingdom of God when you are converted and baptized? Because, in this fallen world, God intends to use you for his goals. God has a ministry or service for you in his church and a mission for you in the world.

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