6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Why are we suppose to serve the Lord? Many reasons are given in scripture. 1- We serve because it’s what Jesus did 2- We serve because it demonstrates love 3- We serve because it pleases God

INTRO.- Everyone serves someone or something and of course, it should be the Lord. Not money and not some other person.

ILL.- When Irving S. Olds was chairman of the U.S. Steel Corporation (1940-52), he arrived for a stockholders’ meeting and was confronted by a woman who asked, "Exactly who are you and what do you do?"

Without batting an eye, Olds replied, "I am your chairman. Of course, you know the duties of a chairman--that’s someone who is roughly the equivalent of parsley on a platter of fish."

What is parsley used for on a platter of any food? Garnish or decoration mainly. Most people don’t eat the parsley on the plate. In this sense, parsley is useless. And it may be that some Chairman or CEOs are exactly that: USELESS!

But this message is about you and me. Are we useless or useful in this world? And useful to whom? Obviously, we should desire to be useful to God in this world.

ILL.- Recently, quadraplegic, Joni Eareckson had a devotion about this thought. She wrote: “When it comes to the Christian life, the stakes are high. Things like heaven, hell, and eternal reward. You and I get only one chance on earth to live a life pleasing to our Master. No starting over and no reincarnation. We have been given life and breath to prove our faith and demonstrate what we believe. It’s why I sometimes wake up at night, wondering: Am I doing this thing called "the Christian life" right? Am I making the most of the moments God gives me?

“I found a calming, reassuring answer the other day in Mark 14. When the woman poured expensive perfume on Jesus’ head, some people at the banquet thought she did a stupid thing. But Jesus rebuked them harshly and said, "Leave her alone... she did what she could do... and I think it’s beautiful." I identified with the woman. I feel like I have often done stupid things in my service to the Lord. Am I doing this right? Is this pleasing to God? But like the woman in Mark 14, I did what I could. And that’s all God asks. We can only do what we are able to do; but inspired by the Spirit, it’s always a beautiful thing in Jesus’ sight.”

"She did what she could... Mark 14" is written on the tombstone of Fanny Crosby, the blind composer of over 4,000 hymns. Don’t have anxious thoughts about the high stakes involved in Christian service. Just ask for the Spirit’s help and do what you are able to do.”

Have you done what you could? Or could you do more in the realm of Christian service? I think we all could do more. I don’t there is a single person who is doing his or her all for Christ on earth.

What kinds of things can we do to serve the Lord? Basically, our service is divided into two different parts or two different areas: in the church and outside the church.

Inside the church: we can teach a SS class, play a musical instrument, sing a solo, give a testimony, serve communion, give a meditation, read a scripture, preach a sermon, help with physical stuff around the church like replace light bulbs, cut down trees, repair plumbing, vacuum the carpets, sweep the floors, etc. Can you do any of these things for the Lord?

Outside the church: we can witness for Christ in order to lead someone to Christ and be saved. We can minister to the poor and needy through giving to the Salvation Army. We can minister to the neglected and lonely like widows in a nursing home.

James 1:27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

I found this scripture to be quite convicting. I don’t know of any orphans that I could look after but I do know of many widows in nursing homes who are distressed or depressed for one reason or another. WHY WOULD THEY BE DISTRESSED OR DEPREESED? Because many of them are alone and lonely and they are a captive audience.

God put us on earth to be used by Him in service! We can’t do everything but we can do something and we all need to figure what that something is.

I think most of know what we should do or what we can do to be of service to the Lord. It seems that motivation is what we need. We need something to kick us into gear to get going.

ILL.- It’s like the old farmer who was encouraged to go to Agriculture school. He replied, "What for? Already I ain’t farmin as good as I know how." MOST OF US KNOW HOW. We just need motivation to get going and do the work.

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