Summary: I am going to share with you some life changing truths about serving one another.
This past Thursday we celebrated Thanksgiving Day. And I am going to use that day to illustrate how families have their own set of rules and guidelines that govern how they function. In some families, the parents fix the Thanksgiving meal for the children before they fix their own. In our home, during Thanksgiving, the children had their own table and they better not sit at the big person’s table. An understood rule is no one- not momma, not children, not guests sat in daddy’s chair. In our home there was no question who got the turkey leg - it was Uncle Willie’s. In some homes, you dig in and start ending your Thanksgiving plate of food as soon as you sit down. In other homes, no one starts eating until the Thanksgiving blessing has been offered. What I am trying to show you, is that every family has some basic ways as to how they are to function when they get together.
When the church gathers, when we come together collectively, there are some guidelines as to how we are to function together just like in a family. But our guidelines don’t come from daddy or momma or family tradition but rather they come directly from the Word of God. Those guidelines are the “one anothers”, and we have been studying them over the past several weeks. Those “one anothers’ are there to teach us how to function properly as the local family of believers.
So far, we looked at the need to forgive one another, to love one another and last week to encourage one another. And today, we are going to look at the next guideline- to serve one another. I believe that the timing of this message is appropriate as we have two fine Christian men coming to be ordained as deacons next Sunday. That very word “deacon” means “servant” or a “man who waits on others”. By ordaining them they are saying to us that they want to serve this church family. They are not the only servers in the church but rather ought to be setting the example at service. The truth be told according to the Scriptures we all are Scriptures to serve one another. Everyone who is part of this church should be serving.
But that rubs us the wrong way because we really rather be served then to serve. If that is not true, after our Thanksgiving Dinner last Sunday, we should have had to run people away after dinner because we had to many people cleaning up. Instead, we just have our faithful few that clean up. Everybody else package up their go boxes and leave. And when it comes time for Vacation Bible School, Greg and I should not have to beg people to work with our children for a few days. Instead of an empty signup sheet, we should have a long waiting list.
So, today, I want to show you what you are missing out on. I am going to share with you some life changing truths about serving one another. if you have your Bibles or today’s bulletin, we are going to be reading from Romans 12:3-11.
The New King James Version Chapter 12
3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Behave Like a Christian
9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
Serving lets you know your state of mind. A person who is prideful will not serve; a person who is humble will serve.
If I were to breakdown those verses, I just read, into a one sentence description, it would be: We need to humbly serve one another.
Now think about it! Those Scripture are asking us to do two things that don't come natural to us- to exercise humility and to do service. So, Paul’s answer as to how to humbly serve one another is found in the first part of Romans 12 and in particular verse 2. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”