Summary: When we serve others we find satisfaction, significance and succession
CALLED TO BLESS
Many years ago there lay a large boulder in the middle of a well travelled roadway. Traveler after traveler walked past the boulder, veering off the side of the road to get around it. All the while, they were shaking their head and muttering, "Can you believe that? Someone should get that big thing out of the way. What an inconvenience!" Finally, a man came along and, seeing the boulder, took a branch from a tree and pried the boulder enough to get it rolling and rolled it off to the side of the road. Lying underneath the rock, he found a small bag with a note. The man picked up the note and read it. It read as follows: "Thank you for being a true servant of the kingdom. Many have passed this way and complained because of the state of the problem and spoken of what ought to be done. But you have taken the responsibility upon yourself to serve the kingdom instead. You are the type of citizen we need more of in this kingdom. Please accept this bag of gold that traveler after traveler have walked by simply because they didn’t care enough about the kingdom to serve."
I wonder what "bags of gold" we’re missing each day, simply because we don’t bother to get involved in serving our heavenly kingdom. Today we are continuing in our series Called. God calls us to worship and to be in community, but the third purpose of my life is to serve Jesus.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
This passage says that we are God’s workmanship. We are God’s masterpiece. You are unique. There’s nobody like you in the world. And you were created by God to be loved, you were created by God to be in community and you were created by God to do good works.
Doing good works is called Service. It means your ministry. All of us are called to be ministers, to minister to other people. God designed you and created you with a specific purpose in mind.
Someone asked me the other day how many ministers we had in this church. I said around 1200. All of us are called to minister. We are not all called to be pastors, but we are all called to minister. So what is a pastor? The job of the pastor is administer the ministers.
What is your calling? Your life calling is to be a bi-vocational minister of Jesus. Let me try to explain that to you. What does bi-vocational mean? It is like the word bifocal, which I have over my eyes right now. When you get glasses that are bifocals, that means you can see two things at the same time. You can see far away and you can see up close. You can see both with clarity. When you are a bi-vocational minister of Jesus it means that no matter what you do in life you do it for two reasons and not one.
It does not matter if you are a truck driver or an attorney or a janitor or a nurse or a homemaker or a teacher or a stockbroker or an accountant or a farmer, it doesn’t matter what you are. If you are a Christian you are to do it for two reasons – to help others and to honor God.
Everything I do in life, if I’m a follower of Jesus, is bi-vocational. I have an occupation and I try to be the best employee I can possibly be, but in that job I do it to help others and to honor God.
So it says whatever you do, it can be ministry. Serving is not limited to your vocation. There are many opportunities to serve beyond it. There are many places to volunteer.
What happens in my life when I begin to serve others? What happens when I begin to stop thinking about me all the time and begin to start thinking about others around me? It brings three amazing benefits.
Serving others creates enormous satisfaction. It beings joy in my life. Most people are looking for happiness in all the wrong places. They think that happiness lies in the accumulation of things, but that is temporary. Joy doesn’t come when we get things but when we give ourselves away.
How do you create joy in your life? There are two secrets to joy.
The first secret to joy is getting the focus off yourself. The more you focus on you, the more miserable you’re going to be. It’s not by accident that the word “miser” and “miserable” come from the same root word. You’ve got to shift your focus from inward focus (it’s all about me) to an outward focus. Life is all about God and serving others. When you begin to give your life away, the more you give the more you get. The more joy flows into your life.