Saturday, February 7, 2009

My Reflections on Five Things Every Christian Needs To Grow by Dr. R.C. Sproul (Part 7)

'We don’t always think about service as a means of grace, but we grow as we serve. The more we are able to serve in the kingdom of God, the more Christ-like we become.'

'Service is not an optional aspect of the Christian life. All believers are called to be servants of God. It may not be professional or paid service, but each of us is to serve in some way.'

'This is a glorious story (Ex. 3:7–12) of redemption, but there is great irony here. We see what God redeemed His people from, but we must not miss what God redeemed them to. He called His people out of Egypt, out of slavery, not to become autonomous or to do whatever they please. He called them to serve Him. The Israelites were called out of service to Pharaoh and into service to God.'

'Jesus Himself said, “No one can serve two masters” (Matt. 6:24). We can serve the living God and Christ, but if that “seems evil,” that is, if we don’t want to do that, we can serve Satan or the interests of this world. The commitment and motto of every Christian should be, “As for me and as for my house, we’re going to serve the Lord with single-minded devotion.” '

'I remember wrestling with that afterward and thinking, “You’re supposed to be a Christian, and here you were upset because someone regarded you as a servant.” I knew that as a believer I was commanded to be a servant, but I didn’t like being treated like one.

'If we serve out of an effort to earn our way into the kingdom of God, we’re deceiving ourselves. The motivation for Christian service is love for God. We serve not to earn salvation, but because Christ already has purchased salvation for us.'

It should be our delight to obey God. We should be motivated to serve Him out of joy for what He has done for us, not out of grim obligation or as a means to gain heaven.

I would say that the greatest weakness in the church today is that many pastors keep looking over their shoulders for the approval of men. But as soon as pastors become slaves to human opinion, trying to please human beings instead of God, the message of Christ is compromised. No man-pleaser preaches the whole counsel of God.

- Five Things Every Christian Needs To Grow

On service, we often need to ask - what is the motive behind the person who offers himself or herself to serve? Is it as a form to gain salvation? Is it as a means to earn praise and to please men? Is it as a means to get accepted in a church? Sometimes I feel that the church is re-inforcing such faulty concept because those who volunteer to serve are often praised and accepted into the inner circle, while those who refused to help us out in church are often frowned upon.

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