Summary: Basics of the Christian life
The Dummies Guide To Christianity - Part 4
called to make a difference in others
March 27, 2011
We’re here in week 4 of a 5 week series covering the basics of the Christian life. If someone were to ask you what the Christian experience was all about, we think you could easily take the notes from these 5 messages and show them the foundation of what it means to be a Christ Follower.
We’ve covered the basics of Honoring God (worship) sharing good news (evangelism) Character development in becoming like Jesus (discipleship) and today we’ll look at Christian service.
Now before we get into that subject, we’ve been testing your mad jeopardy and Bible trivia abilities with a little quiz. Today is no different. So put your thinking caps on here we go!
The Christianity Quiz – (please mark true or false)
Paul was a missionary to the Jews – T/F
David married Bathsheba – T/F (Bathsheba secured the succession to the throne of her son Solomon, instead of David's eldest surviving son Adonijah.)
After 40 years Moses went into the promised land – T/F (He was not permitted to go in because of disobedience)
Elisha went up into heaven in a chariot – T/F (That was Elijah)
Judas sold Jesus for silver – T/F (Yes 30 pieces)
All Christian’s are gifted for ministry service – T/F (True and we’ll look at that today)
Now with this idea in mind, let’s look at the biblical foundation for this idea of ministry service for all Christians.
The Bible teaches that pastors have a particular service and that service is to instruct the people, to prepare them for carrying out acts of love called ministry.
Ephesians 4:11-12 (ESV) “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.”
In the church world we often talk about pastor’s being “Called into the ministry” as though it’s some mystical thing that only happens to pastors. THAT’S NOT TRUE. While pastors are often called into vocational ministry, that is they receive their salary from ministry work, they are not the only ones “CALLED”.
Following Jesus comes with a call to serve others. It’s a removing yourself from the thought of being served by others and instead becoming a servant toward others. IT’S A HEART ISSUE.
The Bible teaches that we should prefer others over ourselves, to consider them first. When we all do this all needs are met including ours and so many personal benefits come as well as God being honored.
A really smart guy said; the true character of ministry is a servant’s heart. Harold Warner
So the Bible word for this kind of service is “MINISTRY.”
Ministry: (Greek: diakonia (dee-ak-on-ee'-ah) To wait on others, to serve, to lovingly meet needs.
Hear me; God has called you to lovingly meet the needs of others. You do this because it meets the need and it honors God. It ties right back to worship – honoring God.
Another priority for Christians: meeting the needs of others
Now if you’re like me, you’ve known people who were only self-serving. They couldn’t give a care about anyone else. The Bible says that’s truly a small person.
Galatians 6:3 (Msg) “If you think you are too important to help someone in need, you are only fooling yourself. You are really a nobody.”
Check out the Heidelberg Catechism’s question on good works…
A big person, an honored person, is known for how they assist and minister and share with those in need. HOW DO PEOPLE PERCIEVE YOU?
OK here’s the gist of it all, the motivation for serving others whether they deserve it or not, comes from viewing all service as being done for and to Jesus.
God wants me to serve others as if I’m serving Jesus
Now here are two key foundations to this principle:
• Significance comes through service.
Significance is the search for meaning or purpose.
• The secret of successful Christian service: Find a need and meet it.
How many people walk around with emotional instability and personal issues that stem from a self focus? Their significance will come in being used as God designed them. MEETING THE NEED IN ANOTHER OFTEN MEETS A NEED IN US!
[VIDEO CLIP] Becoming aware of what people’s needs are is a must. Here’s a clip.
HOW TO SERVE OTHERS WELL
You’ll never meet a need that you’re not aware of. Before I went to India I was never aware of the devastating poverty that exists in certain parts of the world. Before I made my first Samaritan food delivery, I wasn’t aware of many physical needs right here.
All around us people have needs. Jesus in responding to this idea says these words to His followers: