Many of us come to God for our salvation, to solve our problems, help our careers, increase our finances and just make things better for us. Ministers who preach the Prosperity Gospel, reinforce the notion that God is the pathway to the “Good Life”. They preach how we can better our lives and get countless blessings from God quoting John 10:10: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
Unfortunately, many mistakenly believe that the reason to become a Christian is so God will bless us, give us stuff and make us happy. People of this society have been conditioned to feel a sense of entitlement. We want what we want, when we want it...even from God. We are constantly wondering when God will answer our prayers about our fears, worries, personal needs and wishes. We believe that if we keep pure thoughts, follow the rules, stay out of trouble, and adjust our "faith" to God's satisfaction, He will grant us our hearts desire, just like Santa Claus. Some use their "name it and claim it" faith seeking a more trouble free life, instead of for the Kingdom of God. In a sense we are trying to manipulate God to get what we want.
Well...I hate to break it to you, but the Kingdom of God is not just about getting what you want and keeping you happy. Don’t get me wrong. Of course God blesses us with food, a roof over our head, employment, financial security, health, etc. What I am saying is that many Christians pray and have faith solely for God to take care of their own needs, yet never seek to serve Him other than by putting money in the church offering plate. We are more concerned about our job, love life and money problems, than about doing God's work.
This is so far from what being a servant of God is all about.
It is not about manipulating God to get stuff. And it's not even about the stuff! It's about being a servant of God! So many Christians take His work for granted and only focus on why God isn't giving them everything they want. As Christians, we serve God…NOT the other way around.
The thing about “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” is that Jesus means, for those who follow Him and do His will, they will be living in His Spirit and God's blessings will flow. We are not to seek the "abundant life" for its own sake.
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
But seek to follow Him.
"Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33
All blessings will follow...after we seek His will and that means being His servant. In order to serve God, we have to come out of our self obsessed vegetative state and take the back seat. It is God first, everyone else second and us LAST.
"If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all."- Mark 9:35
“The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” - Matthew 23:11-12
Humbleness is the opposite of how so many of us live today. We want more, bigger, faster. We want quick fixes. We don’t want to wait. We want attention and recognition. We want to be paid back. We want the good life. And we want it now. All of this is meaningless in the Kingdom of God. We cannot be a servant of God, until we grow up and graduate from our self-focused lives.
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.” 1 Corinthians 13:11
We fear being a servant of God because we don't want to give up our life and comfort zone, so we keep our faith to ourselves. But to be a servant of God, we must give up our lives to follow Him. Submission.
What so many Christians don't realize is that being a servant of God means LOVING GOD AND LOVING OUR NEIGHBORS. You are serving someone other than yourself and we can all do that wherever we are. You can pass God's love to your neighbor. To the person in your office. To the elderly woman in your building. God's desire is for us to bring God's love to everyone. That is how the Gospel of Jesus Christ is spread. One person at a time.
What matters is when we reach out to help someone in need. What matters is when we get out of ourselves to care for someone else. What matters is when we forgive someone...just as God has done for us.
He did not come to give us stuff. He came to restore the division between us and God because of our sin and to teach us how to love each other as He loves us. Serving God requires us to be involved with people.
"Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."- Matthew 9:35-38
God needs us to bring His love to others. We are the way He becomes alive to the world. In the "Feeding of the Five Thousand", Matthew 14:15-18, when the disciples tell Jesus to dismiss the crowd so they can get something to eat, Jesus tells them, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat." Jesus is commanding His disciples to feed, care, heal and witness to His people.
But in our world, people care only for themselves. People let their neighbors starve. People promote prejudice and discrimination. People fight and accuse each other. People take advantage of each other to enrich themselves. People won't help someone unless it benefits them in some way.
Jesus’ teachings are all about bridging the divide and getting back to God and each other. The parable of “The Sheep and Goats”, “The Unmerciful Servant” and “The Good Samaritan” all speak of how we must change the ways we deal with each other.
Jesus showed us exactly how to follow God by doing it Himself. As His followers and agents, He asks us to do the same things He did. And He has made it very simple for us to serve Him. He has freed us from the rules, laws, traditions of the Old Testament through His death and resurrection and all He asks is for us to have faith in Him and follow His commandments to LOVE. Instead of just praying for ourselves and seeking our own happiness, He asks us to share His joy, healing and love to others.
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 'This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." -Matthew 22: 37-40
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30
"Freely you have received, freely give." Matthew 10:8b
I have a friend whose job is being a “butler”. I asked him what it meant for him as a professional butler, to be a “servant”. And he said that when he is given a task, he is driven to do everything he possibly can to make sure the task is done completely and the best it can be.
Seek to serve God in the best possible way by following Jesus' commandment to love God and your neighbor...in the best possible way.
"Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Matthew 20:26-28
© 2010 Edrick
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