Sunday, January 29, 2017

in service or at a service

I was sick one Sunday and had to miss church. When my husband got home I asked, “How was the service?”  He, of course, replied and told me it was good and what had occurred.  As I was thinking about it, I thought about the question I had asked and what service really means as a Christian.  It struck me that the church has become very concerned with the service but not with being in service to God.   We often fuss and worry over how a service will go.  Should that be our main goal? 

A service, or meeting together, to worship God, encourage one another, lift up the body of Christ, etc. while very important, should not be our sole concern.  I do believe we should come together and we should bring our best to present to the Lord. We should be prepared for worship and for the edifying of the body, but our service is not just to gather once or  twice a week.  Our main service for God should be our daily witness and how we live.

We are to be in service (verb), in action for God, not just showing up for a service, (noun).  We are to be doers of the word and not hearers only. We are to be busy for the kingdom of God, not just a bystander or partaker in the blessings. We are to be living our daily lives in a manner that glorifies God. We are to be studying to show ourselves approved, rightly dividing the word (2 Timothy 2:15); praying without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17); and fasting (Matthew 17:21) to bring our flesh under subjection. We have a command to go forth and preach the gospel.  We are to love one another.(I John 4:7-8) We are to be obedient to the Word of God. We are to let it permeate our daily lives, inside out and upside down. We are to be completely and fully given to God.

Service means we are being used and useful. Service means we are providing and supplying aids or services, not just attending a religious occasion.   My husband was in the military, or as many describe it, in the service. While in the service, he was required to live, eat and breath being a Marine. He entered the service and was stripped of all personal identity, then retrained to provide service without delay, without hesitation, when told. He followed orders daily, from the time he woke up, to the time he laid down, his sole purpose was to obey the orders given. He was completely given to the service of the country. He did not show up once a week to a duty, but he was daily involved in providing for the protection of the country. He was in service, not just attending a service.

Spiritually, we are to be in service, not just at a service. Daily, we are to serve the Lord with gladness, come before His presence with singing (Psalm 100:2) , from the time we wake, until the time we lay to rest. We are to be about the business of serving God by our actions, our thoughts, our words, our deeds. (Colossians 3:17) We are to be speaking life into those around us. We are to be calling on the name of the Lord for healing and deliverance for those who have need. We are to see the hurting and the wounded and act on their behalf. We are to be the body of Christ reaching the dying and lost. We are to speak the word of God and bring hope to this world. We are to serve and love others. (Mark 16:15)

Yes, that even means when we come together for a service. Yes, we are not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. (Hebrews 10:25) We are to come together with our brothers and sisters in Christ so we can edify one another, lift up the name of Christ and find strength to continue in service. We are to come together to pray and bear one another’s burdens. (Galatians 6:2) We are to come together and worship the Lord.
This should just be a part of our service, not our only service.

So, I guess from now on, I will need to ask, not "How was the service?" but, "How did I serve today?" Did I serve God or anyone else today?  Did I obey God and do His commands?  Did I provide and serve for the needs of others? Was I the hands and feet of God reaching for the lost?  Did my words, deeds and thoughts bring glory to my God?

Lord help me to be in service for you and not just at a service.  Help me be completely devoted and given to your service, daily. Permeate my being and use me for your Kingdom.

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