We Serve the Lord
31 Jan 2004, Pr George Porter
(George is Thornleigh's Church Pastor)
Title "We Serve The Lord"
Theme Our Ministry with God
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:58
My last sermon was "Bring on the New Year Plans." The New Year is "Predictable". It will be hard and we need to be focused. Total "Reliability" will be found only in the God family - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The are our only source of total 100% reliability for 2004. We need, "Experience" and fellowship with God the Father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit. We need to, "be determined and go for victory." What we offer society in 2004 we need to, "deliver effectively and with energy." Seek and serve the Lord more in 2004.
The last sermon for 2003 was about the Purpose and meaning of life. Our purpose should be to seek and love the Lord with all our hearts minds and souls. We also noted that we ought to seek and focus, "on things above", not only on earthly things. This love for goodness and God is to flow over into our relationships with our neighbours, workmates and acquaintances. The purpose of loving others as we love ourselves. It is sharing Jesus and salvation with others.
This leads into my message from God for you today. We need to have a passion of service for others.
SERVE WITH PURPOSE AND PASSION
Pastor Paul has a lot to say about our purpose in working with and for the Lord.
In Colossians 3:23-24 he says, Whatever we do we are to do it "heartily", that is passionately. " As unto the Lord ," and not just doing it to please men. He says, we should know we will get a reward from the Lord - our inheritance. Now we do not get the reward and the inheritance because we work for it. But we are rewarded for loving God with all our hearts and our neighbours as an everlasting continuation of life with God. The reason he gives is, "for you serve the Lord Christ." Now how we serve is outlined in verse 22. Paul is speaking of slaves here in the context. However, he often likens Christians to slaves who are owned by God, slaves to work with the Lord. Now, good masters looked after there slaves well. They provided housing, food and clothing for the slave, his wife and family. So we as God's property , and well cared for so we should obey Him in all things. That includes the ministry of sharing His love for us with others. "Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers,( all the time under all circumstances), but in sincerity of heart, respecting God."
Paul has another phrase with which he describes our working for and service with the Lord . It is, " ABOUNDING IN THE WORK OF THE LORD."
In 1 Corinthians 15:58 He says we should, "always abound in the work of the Lord." This is a super abundant work. It means literally more than we need. The context of Chapter 15 explains what the "work of the Lord" is for us. It is the Gospel of Salvation. It is the salvation provided in the God son our Saviour. That is God's work. Finally it will end in the resurrection should we die before His return to earth. That is the context. So salvation is the work of the Lord. We are to be "steadfast", "unmovable", and abounding in it. There is more than enough for us and we ought to work with God serving Him by sharing salvation and love with others. There is a twin application of "work of the Lord" here in this text. Notice he goes on to say, "you know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." There is "the work of the Lord", our salvation, and there is our "labour" sharing our God and his salvation with others who do not know Him. Oh yes. A passion for God and a passion to share God and our salvation.
It is not in vain- there is a reward. The reward is final salvation- resurrection to everlasting life. That is the theme and context of chapter 15.
Paul also illustrates work and service for the Lord by stating the passive witness as, "YOU ARE GOD'S LETTER", known and read of all men. 2 Cor 1: 2- 3. In other words Christ in us influences our behaviour which should be an example of God's goodness and righteousness. Paul in 2 Cor 4:1 labels this by saying, "we have this ministry." The ministry of demonstrating the "truth" in our behaviour, verse 2. Again in verse 6, our ministry is to share the light of God's true love and salvation, which has shined into our minds, (hearts) . This is the light of the knowledge of the glory of God as seen in the life of Jesus Christ. God's glory is His righteousness, mercy and love shown in the salvation made possible to us through Jesus Christ our saviour. It is our work and labour of love to share this salvation with non-believers and live it to all mankind. That is serving the Lord.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 Paul says that anyone who believes in Jesus Christ is a new creation. They are Christians. Followers of Christ. They are reconciled to God by Jesus Christ . Forgiven and reinstated as family and He, " has given to us the " MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION." More than that we are "ambassadors on behalf of Christ. We represent Him, in alien territory. We lead people to God, for forgiveness and reconciliation. We do this work and serve Him with the means He has given to us. Christ "has committed to us the word of reconciliation" Namely the "Good News" the Gospel of salvation, because He loves all people and wants them saved to love Him. So we love all people and have a passion to see them saved. What a trust we have. We are Ministers, ambassadors, trustees of the words of reconciliation. Let us serve the Lord passionately and sincerely. As verse 20 suggests, working in reconciliation with the Lord, enhances and confirms ones own reconciliation with God. To be reconciled is to be friend. Better than that even; members of the family of God.
Rebecca St James was a teenager in Thornleigh several years ago. I understand she attended several Christian Churches in the area, in particular the Baptist. She is a song writer and singer. She migrated to U.S.A., where she has topped the Christian song list in a particular catergory. I love her understanding of the theme of our sermon today. She has it straight and has the passion. Her song has more than three words. It carries a real biblical message of ministry and reconciliation , of serving the Lord and sharing His salvation.
Enjoy the message as I did.
STAND Rebecca St. James (2000)
There's a time for healing
There's a time for all purposes under the sun
There's time for laughter
There's time to let go
And time to hold on
So we are here, but why are we waiting
Why are we acting like dead men walking
The time has arrived For us to arise
Joining our hands united together
This is our time to be strong
This is our time to rise up
To stand and be counted
This is our time to believe
To know in our God we are free
Let the world know to Him we belong
Lord capture our hearts now
Drown out the pleasures
And treasures that bind us
Give us your courage
To be strong, and be brave,
And to never back down
There's no time to lose
We can't be silent
In a world that is dying to find out the truth
We've got the hope
We've got the answer
Let's lay down our all
With reckless abandon.
Copyright © 2015 Thornleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church