Summary: God’s people are created to serve, called to serve, and prepared to serve.
The month of May is a month where we celebrate and pay tribute to those who serve. May 10th was Military Spouse Appreciation Day where we acknowledged the sacrifices made by our spouses as we serve with long periods of separation. The military life is hard on a family. Last weekend we honored Mothers who serve continually day after day after day. Yesterday was Armed Forces Day where those in military service are honored. Next weekend we will celebrate Memorial Day where we honor those who have served previously in the military and especially remember those who have given their lives in the defense and preservation of our freedom. Today we witnessed the installation of PWOC leadership for the next year and at 1200 after the service there will be a volunteer appreciation lunch. As we speak there are Boy Scout leaders camping with the scouts as they promote to the next level.
Prior to coming into the promised land Moses gave his authority to Joshua. Joshua led God’s people into the Promised Land and served him. Now, Joshua is nearing death so he reminds the Israelites of where they came from and how God had provided for all of their needs through the many journeys they made together. He then challenges them with: “Choose this day whom you will serve.” You see, whether or not we serve is not the question. The question is “Whom will you serve?” yourself, or the Lord.
I) Created to Serve – Genesis 2:15
A common question many people ask is, “Why am I here? What is my purpose?” All we have to do to answer this question in its most basic sense is to go back to the beginning of creation and see that we were created to serve.
Genesis 2:15 says:
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”
We are created to be in personal relationship with our God and Heavenly Father. The responsibility and desire to serve Him flows out of that relationship. Since the beginning of time God entrusted us with the responsibility of serving Him by taking care of His creation.
Not only are we Created to Serve but we are also Called to Serve.
II) Called to Serve – Deut 10:12
It is common to hear a pastor or chaplain talk about how the Lord called him or her to serve. The news flash is that everyone here today is called by God to serve. God’s call to you comes through Moses in Deut 10:12 when Moses says,
“And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good.”
God does not want just a piece of you or just one hour of your time on Sunday. He wants all of you. He wants you to desire Him and serve Him with all that you are. And the reason he wants us to obey Him and serve Him wholeheartedly is, as the text says, “For our own good.” We will never reach the full potential that we are created to reach until we put ourselves totally, completely, and wholeheartedly back into the hands of our Creator.
III) Prepared to Serve – 1 Cor 12:4
Since God has created us to serve, called us to serve then surely He has prepared us to serve. When we receive Jesus as Lord and Savior we become a part of the body of Christ which is the church and we receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
1 Cor 12:4 says “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.”
God has equipped each one of us with His Holy Spirit and specific gifts, talents and abilities He expects us to use as part of His church.
Did you know that on average 20% of the people in the church give 80% of the money and 20% of the people does 80% of the work? I went out on a patrol one day in Iraq and there was one Soldier who did not think it was safe to be in the vehicle with her weapon loaded. I quickly helped readjust her thinking on that point. A patrol that goes outside the gate with only 20% of the soldiers being armed and ready for battle is a recipe for disaster. The expectation is that 100% of the soldiers are ready and engaged. Why do we expect and accept less from the body of Christ? Make no mistake about it, we are engaged in spiritual warfare all around us.