Summary: A call to believers to surrender their rights to personal peace and affluence in order to serve God’s purpose for their lives.
FINDING A HEART FOR SERVICE Colossians 1:9-14 April 30,
Introduction: This morning we are going to consider three stories.
A soldier’s story
A Scripture’s story, and
A missionary’s story
As we consider the question: how do we find a heart for
service to Jesus Christ?
A SOLDIER’S STORY
We begin with the soldier’s story. Some time ago I had an
opportunity to interview for pastoral position in a church. It was a
preliminary interview so, I went to the home of one of the leaders of
the church so that he could escort me to the place where I would be
eating dinner with the entire church board.
I went to his home and after we had introduced ourselves to each
other he left me alone in his living room for few moments. As I was
sitting there, I noticed a picture of a young soldier on the table beside
my chair. I assumed that it was his son.
So, when he came back, I asked him about picture. He said, "Yes,
that’s our son. We lost him in Vietnam." As we drove to the
restaurant I reflected on what he had said and thought about it more
He was a young man who served his country and gave his life. He
never came home; he never married; he never brought grandchildren
home to his parents for Christmas; he never took the kids to Disney
World; he never bought a house; he never served on the church
board; he never coached Little League baseball; he never did all the
things we all do, because for his country he gave the last full
measure of devotion.
Military service is serious business. Men and women who serve in
the Armed Forces must find a heart for their calling so they will be
able to do their duty even if it costs them their lives.
It is remarkable how many times the Christian life is compared to
military service into Bible. In the II Tim. 4:7 Paul says "I have fought
the good fight,(AGONIZE) I have finished the race, I have kept faith."
In I Tim. 6:12 he also admonishes Tim. to fight the good fight of faith.
All believers are charged in II Peter to make their calling an election
sure by "fighting the good fight of faith and laying hold on eternal
Paul compares the life of the Christian to the life of the soldier in I
Tim. 1:18: "no soldier on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits".
For the soldier life is war. For the faithful servant of Christ life is also
war. That’s not all it is. But it is always that, to quote John Piper.
That is the soldier’s story. What does his story tell you about finding
a heart for service as believers in Jesus Christ? To answer that
question let us consider together the story that a passage of
A SCRIPTURE’S STORY
Take a Bible in your hands and turned with me to Colossians 1:9.
You will find this passage on page 1399 in our pew Bibles.
At the very beginning of this letter the apostle Paul tells the
Colossians that he has heard of their faith in Jesus Christ and their
love for other Christians. This is what he refers to when he begins
verse 9 by saying "for this reason". He is referring to his knowledge
of their faith. Now follow along as I read the text.
READ the TEXT: Colossians 1: 9-14.
Now, here’s the story of this passage. The first thing Paul tells the
Colossians is that he and those who are with him are praying for
them. Notice what they are praying for.
He is asking God to fill them with the knowledge of his will
and he is asking that God do that through spiritual
wisdom and understanding.
His prayer for these believers is essentially that they would know
what God wants them to do, and that they would gain this knowledge
through the kind of wisdom and understanding that is spiritual and
not merely human.
Why does he pray this prayer? He gives two reasons.
So that these believers lives would be worthy of the Lord
and so that they would please God in every way.
I would make two observations at this point. Each one of us needs
someone to pray this kind of prayer for us. We need to ask
ourselves the two questions implied here: is the life that I am living
worthy of the Lord? Can I honestly say that I am pleasing God in
From this point in the text Paul goes on to explain what he means by
"please him in every way" in four parts:
BEARING FRUIT: producing in life and witness what is