the basics of service

as we begin our new topic on the basics of service, i would like to have everyone clear on the direction of our topic. we go deeper understanding about service through asking several questions that would give us insight. make no mistake, service/serving God* is a BIG word. and sometimes it does (1)sound dull, or it requires (2)a whole lot of time, concentration, effort and we usually think that (3)someone else would do it.

just an overview of what we have discussed last week. whom do we serve? yes we are servants of God, and yes we are to serve Him, BUT the key point here is that God wants us to serve others in need of His love. so if you're still with me.

if you agree on points (2) and (3), you are dead right. service will take up a lot of time, concentration and effort. fulfilling God's ministry on this earth is a big task, and we tend to have the attitude of 'someone else will do it'. well, if there was anything that is so correct but it is still so wrong, this is it. God doesn't need you to go fulfill His will, if you ever think otherwise then God is not a sovereign God anymore because He needs you. if we don't go to this world, He will send forth another group of people, and we would have missed out on the glorious ministry of reconciliation. The God we believe in, breathed the world we live in into existence, is a God that knows all because He is the beginning and the end. we need Him.

the reason He wants us to be His hands and His feet is that He loves us and invites us to be a part of His salvation story. just a tiny part/dot in the unmeasurable eternity. He wants you to share in the joy and rewards of His great great love. therefore the call is to whether to WANT to do it on our part. the journey of a christian is one that is full of sacrifice just like the One who sacrificed all, for you and me on that rugged cross. (John 3:16)

if you still have any doubts about giving your all, perhaps this illustration(#) i heard recently may help you. lets say i ask you to wash my car. i cant pay you much, but would you still be willing? probably some of you guys would do me this service. now lets change it around, if you wash my car, i will give you RM 1000 for every time you wash it. the result of that would be probably more of you would want to wash my car.
this is exactly the point of following Jesus with the life of service. the reward is always GREATER! back to illustration, now don't come to me and tell me that "i have enough money of my own" or "i don't want to receive money, because i willingly want to serve", etc (you can fill in the excuses). i believe in your sincerity BUT there is nothing that we can give that could be ever enough for God because He is the ultimate Giver! we never lose when we give ourselves to God because He blesses us in return. recall the parable of the man who found the treasure in the field and he sold all his possessions with joy to obtain this treasure that he wanted so badly (Matthew 13:44). he never tried to weight whether he was on the profit end of things, he just went for the treasure. Jesus Christ is the treasure my friends and His reward outmatches all the worthless things of this world.

i pray that we would never ever have the guts to come before the Lord of the Universe, Maker of Life and say that we have served God in this way or in that way or just to pour out all the things that we have done for the Lord. no. let me tell you now, it is never enough. to know when to stop is when this race of life ends.
please do not think that i am saying that your services to the Lord are not good. it is good, but we have to have the understanding that it is nothing compared to what Jesus has done for us on the cross. and the worst that can happen would not use our lives fully for God. realise that all we really need is in Jesus already.

sing "Jesus what can i give, what can i bring, to so faithful a Friend, to so loving a King, Saviour what can be said, what can be sung, as a praise for Your Name, for the things You have done, oh my words cannot tell, not even in part, of the debt of love that is owed, by this thankful heart" (I Will Offer Up My Life, Matt Redman)

this week, we will continue in the Lifetrak series and ivan will be leading us in a time of worship (27/11). i would like everyone to pray for specifically two of the youths, rachel cha and liew shan berg who have willingly answered the call to serve God in a mission trip to Thailand this week and the next. pray for the hearts that God will touch through these two youths along with their mission team and also for God's presence to be with them.
invite friends who are interested in joining us for the orphanage visit on the 3rd of Nov. the orphanage is Stepping Stones and is located in Seputeh.

#Lukewarm Christianity, by Francis Chan (dvd available at WinGS)

...then before i die, i want to burn out bright...
Burn Out Bright, Jonathan Foreman of Switchfoot

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