Summary: God saved us for more than just going to heaven! God wants us to be active in His kingdom!
• SLIDE #1
• I thought Easter was awesome this year! I mean for me it is awesome every year, but it was even better because millions of people watched the Bible series on the History channel.
• When we think about the meaning of Easter, when we think about the suffering Jesus went through for us, do you ever wonder why?
• Now, we need to pause for a moment and think about this question, “Why?”
• Why did Jesus die for us, why did God go to the trouble of saving us?
• Why did God reveal Himself through Jesus? Why do we gather together each Sunday?
• Did God go to all this trouble just so He could have something to do or is there a high purpose?
• I think the Christians have taken it for granted that we are saved and we treat our salvation as a suit in the closet, if we are not careful, we find ourselves pulling it out of the closet only on “special” occasions.
• When this happens to us, it affects the church negatively also.
• You need to understand something very important. God sent His Son to die for you because He loves you! Jesus willingly endured hardship because He loves you. Everything God has done for us has been done because of His great love for us.
• Now think about this for a moment. Have you had someone love you or have you loved someone only to have them not show you any appreciation for the love you have for them? Have you ever had that happen to you?
• It is not a good feeling. It hurts to know you have given and sacrificed for someone you love, only to find that you get little to no response from them.
• Today we are going to answer part of the question pertaining to WHY Jesus saved you. The main reason is that He loves you, but there is also a follow up reason.
• He wants us to serve Him, we have been saved to serve and we serve because we love Him back.
• Serving is one of the ways we can show God that we love Him, that His Word and His Son are a priority in our lives!
• Part of our response to God’s love for us is serving Him!
• As we study Colossians 1:24-29 this morning, I hope that we will get a clear understanding of what God is calling us to do individually and as a church!
• Let’s turn to Colossians 1 we will begin with verse 24!
• SLIDE #2
• Colossians 1:24 (ESV) Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church,
• SLIDE #3
I. You are not called to serve only when it is easy.
• As we look at verse 24, does that verse jump off the page and grab you?
• I see something a bit strange, don’t you? Paul is rejoicing in his suffering for their sake. You need to realize Paul is in prison when he is writing this letter to the church at Colossae.
• Sometimes in the course of serving God, we will be called to sacrifice.
• Today even on a small scale folks displayed a level of sacrifice for you to be able to enjoy our worship time. Folks sacrificed their time to hone their talents for the Lord today!
• Of course what Paul is dealing with is much deeper.
• Sometimes we get off course by some of the smallest inconveniences, we give up when EVERYTHING does not go our way.
• Paul was REJOICING over the fact that he was able to suffer for the sake of his brothers in Christ!
• Everyone who is teaching this morning is sacrificing in order to serve.
• Some folks will not consider serving in God’s church because they would have to make some small sacrifice to do it, such as getting up a few minutes early to do something.
• We are saved to serve!
• Paul understood this concept very clearly.
• Notice he says that He is suffering for their sake and he is doing his share on behalf of His (Jesus) body, the church.
• Paul was called to level of sacrifice we may never experience, but the fact of the matter is this, we are called to sacrifice to serve. We need to understand that when we give our lives to Jesus.
• We cannot just serve when we feel like it; we should be willing to serve the Lord at every opportunity!
• We must guard against wanting to ride the coat-tails of others. It is easy to look at the church and ask what they are going to do for me.