Summary: The Parable of the Talents makes it clear that we can all serve.
Purpose Series #4
(Six Sessions on God’s Purpose for Your Life)
Created to Serve
SCRIPTURE READING: Ephesians 2:8-10
Today we’re going to talk about what it means to be God’s servant. What comes to mind when you hear the word servant? What comes to my mind is the picture of a finely dressed butler with an English accent standing at the door of an old, spacious mansion. He should have an English name like Clive or Percy. Other than that kind of picture, most of us in America have a kind of nebulous concept of what it means to be a servant.
Rick Warren put it this way in his book, The Purpose Driven Life:
“You were put on earth to make a contribution. God designed you to make a difference with your life.” Most self-help books tell you how to get more out of life. But the Bible tells us how to put more INTO life. God made you so that you can add to life on earth, not take away from it. You were CREATED TO SERVE.
1. Created to Serve
Ephesians 2:10 explains it this way: For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. God created us to give, not just to take. And furthermore, God has specific plans for how we are to serve others.
It kind of reminds me of an old Danish proverb that says, “What you are is God’s gift to you; what you do is your gift to God.” You see, God placed each of us on this planet for a special handpicked assignment Have you ever thought of it that way? Think of someone you helped this last week. Can you recall a “good work” you performed? Did you encourage someone? Did you clean up a mess someone else made? Did you give something to a person in need? Those good works were prepared in advance by God Himself. You were living out the words of Ephesians 2:10.
Not only were we created to serve; we were also SAVED TO SERVE.
2. Saved to Serve
II Timothy 1:9 reminds us: It is he who has saved us and called us to a holy life--not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. When God saved you, he called you to live a holy life and to do holy work. You were not saved by doing good deeds, but you were saved in order to do good deeds. In fact, Jesus paid a tremendous price for your salvation.
The apostle Paul had that in mind when he wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:20 You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. We owe Jesus our very lives, and so we have every reason to serve Him with our very lives.
The truth is that a saved heart is a heart that wants to serve. In First John we read, “Our love for each other proves that we have gone from death to life.” I John 3:14 It is impossible for a saved person to go through life with no love for others and no desire to serve. You see, truly saved people are not self-absorbed.
With salvation comes a heart-felt commitment to do what God wants done. God wants you to accomplish His goals. He has a ministry for you in the church, and a mission for you in the world. You are a part of God’s kingdom. You have a function to fulfill. This gives your life great significance and value.
Not only has God created you to serve and saved you to serve, you are also CALLED TO SERVE.
3. Called to Serve
Most people think only ministers and missionaries receive a “calling.” In fact, a lady recently told me, “I don’t want to go on any spiritual retreats because if I go, God might “call” me to some foreign mission field. I’m too busy trying to raise my family to get some kind of “call.”
What that lady didn’t realize is that she has already been “called.” For one thing, she’s been called to the important job of raising her children. But an even more important calling is the one we all share. Look at how the Apostle Paul put it in Romans 1:6: You also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. Along with the calling to belong to Christ is a calling to serve Christ. The Bible says that every Christian is called to service. Romans 7:4 says, now you belong to Him… in order that you might be useful in the service of God.
In China, some churches welcome new believers by saying, “Jesus now has a new pair of eyes to see with, new ears to listen with, new hands to help with, and a new heart to love others with.” There are people who will never experience the love of God unless it comes to them THROUGH YOU.