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Summary: Thesis: We need to have hearts that are ablaze and that burn with the passion for serving God and serving each other. Only then will we find fulfillment and happiness in life! Only then will we make a difference for all eternity.

Hearts Ablaze for Serving?

Thesis: We need to have hearts that are ablaze and that burn with the passion for serving God and serving each other. Only then will we find fulfillment and happiness in life! Only then will we make a difference for all eternity.

Illustration:

While I was helping to clean the church, I encountered a 12 year-old boy who was working out his court sentence for theft by doing community service. He asked me what bad thing I had done to be working there. "Why son, I didn’t do anything wrong. I’m just helping out the church. What did you do?" I ventured. "I didn’t do nuttin’ either, " he assured me. Alarmed, I asked why he hadn’t told that to the arresting officer. "What was the use?" He muttered. "He went to my house and found all the stuff." Laura Panaro

Introduction:

Many look at serving in the church as a punishment not a joy. Yet studies have proved over and over that those who serve are more content and happy with their life than those who do not serve the Lord and others.

In Myers book The Pursuit Of Happiness he addresses the truth about what genuinely brings happiness and contentment to peoples lives. In his epilogue after going through many studies he sums up his findings:

By scrutinizing the fruits of hundreds of painstaking studies of well-being we have, first, dispelled some popular but mistaken ideas:

1. That few people are genuinely happy

2. That wealth buys well-being

3. That tragedies, such as disabling accidents, permanently erode happiness

4. That happiness springs from memories of intense, if rare, positive experiences (idyllic vacations, ecstatic romances, joy filled victories)

5. That teens and the elderly are the unhappiest people

6. That trial marriages reduce the risk of later divorce

7. That religious faith suppresses happiness

We’ve also pondered things that DO enable happiness:

1. Fit and healthy bodies

2. Realistic goals and expectations

3. Positive self-esteem

4. Supportive friendships that enable companionship and confiding

5. A socially intimate, sexually warm, equitable marriage

6. Challenging work and active leisure, punctuated by adequate rest and retreat

7. A faith that entails communal support, purpose, acceptance, outward focus, and hope

(page 205,206)

The surveys show what the Bible has said for centuries "Serving is good for you because it will make you happy and it will have eternal value." The problem comes into serving when the person who serves comes with the wrong attitude. Listen to what Hybels has to say about this:

The right motivation for Christian service is love. When we discover God loves us with an everlasting love and that we matter deeply to him, we want to serve. He has given us salvation as a free gift. He has done for us what we could never do for ourselves. He has shed the blood of His most precious Son as a sin sacrifice for undeserving souls like ourselves. When all of that comes together and clicks, an unquenchable, divine energy is infused into the spirit of the believer. There is an insatiable desire to return love to God. That love is returned to God through worship and service. It is so natural that anything short of passionate service seems unnatural.

One major cause of servant drop-out is faulty motivation. Some people are motivated to serve because of guilt. They feel bad if they don’t do something, so they say yes to soothe their own guilty conscience. Others are motivated by the belief that they must earn their way into God’s favor and pave the way to heaven with their good works. There are also those who serve for the applause of people. They want others to notice their service and give them affirmation and praise. With the wrong kind of motivation, you won’t be able to keep a servant serving. With the right kind of motivation, you won’t be able to stop a servant serving. It is just about that simple (37).

Serving is to be done according to Scripture it’s not an option for the Christian. Nowhere in Scripture does it say serving is an option it’s modeled by Christ himself and he instructs us to serve:

NIV John 13:12-17

12. When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them.

13. "You call me `Teacher’ and `Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.

14. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.

15. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

16. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.

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