Serving is an integral part of the Christian life – but it’s also something that must be understood rightly, otherwise we will become like the elder brother who sees himself as a slave to the father, rather than a son. Isn’t it our duty to serve God? Let’s look at what a few passages of Scripture that will shed some light on this important subject. In Acts 17:25 we read: “God is not served by human hands, as though He needed anything. But He Himself gives to all men life and breath and everything.” God is not served – be careful here. God is not served as though He needed you or your service.
Let’s couple that with one of my favourite verses in the New Testament, Mark 10:45, where we read: “The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” It clearly states that Christ did not come to be served. In other words, watch out. If you undertake to serve Him, then you cross His holy purpose. Puzzling isn’t it? What does mean? Paul calls himself the servant of the Lord in almost every letter he wrote in the New Testament. For example Romans 1:1 says – “Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle…” But in the previous two verses we looked at it says that God is not served and the Son of Man did not come to be served. So there must be a kind of service that is evil and a kind of service that is good. What is good service?
In 1 Peter 4:11 we read: “Let him who serves, serve in the strength that God supplies, that in everything God may get the glory.” God is not served by human hands as though He needed anything. We must find a way to worship, teach a class, type a paper, listen to a lecture, wash the laundry, drive a care, change a nappy and all in such a way that we are always the RECEIVER. Because the Giver gets the glory – and the receiver gets the joy. Anytime we cross Acts 17:25 – “God is not served by human hands (as though He were a receiver) as though He needed anything” – we sin against God.
Let’s illustrate this from Matthew 6:24 – “You cannot serve two masters. Either you’ll hate the one and love the other. Or either you’ll be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” How do you serve money? You do not serve money by meeting money’s needs. You serve money by positioning your life consistently, with all your energy and time and effort, to benefit from money. You find yourself thinking often about how you can make a good investment, how you can get the best deal, how you can wisely and shrewdly invest, how you can buy stocks when their low and sell when their high – you become consumed with how you can benefit from money, because money is your source.
If that’s true about how you serve money – then how do you serve God? It’s exactly the same. You position yourself and order your life in such a way that you devote your energy, effort, time, and creativity to put yourself under the unending spring of God’s blessing. Why? So that He remains the source the giving fountain and you remain the empty cup. You remain the beneficiary and He remains the benefactor. You remain hungry and He remains the bread; you remain thirsty and He remains the water. Never go against God by trying to reverse roles with God.