Summary: God expects members of His church not just to be spectators, but to participate in what goes on. We are all called to serve where we have been gifted.
“What Is Expected of a Church Member: Serving Where God has Gifted”
A Few years ago I had the opportunity to go to a Duke basketball game. It was fun and exciting to watch Duke dominate as usual, but something was lacking. I found that I wished I were out on the court playing. I would have even at times settled for a game of pick up basketball at the gym. The reason for that is that no matter how good it is to be a spectator of something, it is much greater to be a participant.
It is the same way with our relationship to the church.
Over the past few weeks we have talked about what is expected of you as a member of the Lord’s Church. The expectations that have been set forth are fairly vague and surely shouldn’t be looked at as a checklist of all that is expects of you. We have talked about how God expects his people to worship him and how God expects his people to study his Word, but there are several other principles in Scripture that teach us what God expects us to do. He expects us to give a portion of our income, he expects us to fellowship with other believers, he expects us to communicate to him through prayer, he expects us to live a holy life, and this week I want to talk about how God expects us to serve him by using the talents and gifts he has given us to build up the Kingdom.
Through these past few weeks I hope that you have been evaluating your life, and your heart to see if you are doing the things that God expects you to do and doing them with the right motives. God does expect some things from his people. I think that the one of the most prominent themes in Scripture however is the concept that God expects us to serve Him. This is sort of broad and covers a lot of ground, but an attitude of servanthood is valuable to our Christian lives. We should desire to be people that are compelled by Christ’s love for us to serve him in any ways that we possibly and physically can.
I said at the start of this series that many people are confused about what it means to be a member of the church. I want to remind you that Oak Grove or any congregations church roll book does not make a difference in the lamb’s book of Life. Just because your name is on the registry at a church does not mean your name is written in the Lamb’s book of life. It isn’t really membership to this particular congregation that is eternally important; it is membership to Christ’s church that he purchased with his blood that matters. Sadly though many people think that if they come and fill a pew every now and then that they are fulfilling their duty to God. Some people see their faith as a checklist, and throughout their life they mark off what they have accomplished, thinking once they have finished their checklist they are owed a eternity in Heaven.
I want you to know today, however, that God expects you to serve Him faithfully. Coming and sitting in a pew every now and then does not necessarily earn favor with God. We are not just spectators of a religion, but we are participants of a faith. If you start to see you faith as more than a religion, but rather a lifestyle it may change the things that you do. Because in a religion you just go through rituals and motions because you have to, but when a faith becomes your lifestyle, it becomes your passion, it rules your heart and mind, and dictates what you do and do not do.
I have heard it said that 20 percent of the people in any given church do 80 percent of the work, but that should not be if we are all a body, if we are working together for the same goal and are indwelled by the same spirit. We should all be involved in serving in whatever ways we can.
I started thinking about serving, and the first person that came to my mind was Jesus. He said he didn’t come to be served, but to serve and he demonstrated that and left us a perfect example. He got down on his knees and washed his disciples feet. Jesus wasn’t telling us that we need to wash each other’s feet, but he was setting a principle of serving in motion. This though got me to thinking and I had this come to mind….
Text: John 13:1-17
1. Through Serving We Show We Value What God Has Given Us