Our God is an excellent God! The Bible tells us that His work is perfect. When you pause to meditate on His excellence, it is not hard to conclude that the service that we give back to Him ought to be excellent as well.
Stop and think about the ministry that you have. Maybe you are a Sunday School teacher, a deacon, an usher, a janitor, a coach, a director, a choir member, a nursery helper or a sound tech. Regardless of your ministry for Christ, one thing is for certain is that He deserves our best. After all that Jesus has done for us, He deserves excellent service.
Best does not happen on accident. If you think of a co-worker that is the very best in their profession, you know they had to work very hard to get there. Sadly, some Christians will give 110% in service to their earthly employer and then give 65% in service to their heavenly Master—Jesus Christ. Every believer ought to desire to serve Jesus in the best way possible. Here are several thoughts that might encourage us in being our best as we work for Jesus.
- Our Attitude in the Work
Romans 1:1 “PAUL, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,” Before anything else, Paul remembered that He was a servant of Jesus Christ. If we give Jesus our best, we must remember we are His servants. We must remember to serve for His glory and not our own. The best servants are humble and willing to be instructed without taking offense. They are cooperative with other servants and avoid a critical spirit. They are willing to take initiative even when it is not their job. They are Christ-ward remembering they serve Jesus and by serving Him they serve others. They are eager to serve not waiting to be coaxed or prodded. They have a sort of wide-eyed intensity about their service to Jesus.
- Our Attention in the Work
If we have the attitude of a servant, it will impact the attention we give to the work Jesus has given us to do. It will not be half-hearted but we will be fully engaged. One person said, “Mediocrity is the enemy of excellence.” This is so true! What sets Chick-Fil-A apart from so many other quickness’s service restaurants is their determination to “Be America’s best quick-service restaurant.” We love their product, but the process behind it where it all starts. It an excellent process. From how the employees talk and dress to how the food is prepared and served, the process is excellent! From the moment you walk in the door you have a sense that every employee exists to serve you and it shows in the attention they give to their work. 1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us that, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” We must give our attention to give Jesus excellent service.
- Our Awareness in the Work
We must remember, if we plan to serve Jesus with all our focus and attention, the devil will plan to fight us. Ephesians 6:12–13 instructs us, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Satan does not fight the mediocre servants, they are no threat to him. He will fight against those that strive to be the very best servants for Jesus. Those that engage in the work of the LORD. One of the ways that satan fights us is by tempting us to get focused on the problems we will face as we serve rather than staying focused on the Problem Solver. If we focus on people and problems, we will become discouraged in the work. Sometimes people will say unkind things. They may do something or make decisions that are disappointing. However, if our eyes are on Jesus, we will be able to continue to serve with excellence.
Regardless of where you serve Jesus, recommit to giving Him the best service you can give. Don’t forget to yield yourself daily to His Spirit so that you will be empowered in your service.
Late on Memorial Day evening, the Dayton area experienced the terror and horror of over 13 tornadoes of varying levels touching down. When the alert came on my iPhone somewhere around 11:10pm, my wife and I wasted no time getting the kids out of bed and into our basement. We prayed and asked God for protection on us and those in our community. We reminded ourselves of the verse in Psalm 56:3, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.” We watched the news casters as they did their best to alert the Dayton area of the tornado activity. We were shocked by how close the tornadoes were to our home. Later that evening, we understood that one of the tornadoes had gone through our neighborhood. Obviously, until morning, it was impossible to realize all that that meant. Overnight most of our neighborhood was evacuated due to concerns of gas leaks as well as the powerlines that were down. Amazingly, our house along with several of our neighbors receive no damage, though we could see the damage beginning right across the road.
As we ventured out the next day to look at the damage and see how we could help, I was dumbstruck by all that I saw. The area looked like a war zone. People were in a sort of shock…we all were. It is devastating to see.
All this brings me to a several observations I would like to make:
Life is uncertain. For many people in our area, we never expected to see something like this. Even a good friend of mine said, “Dayton never gets tornadoes, Xenia does.”
Life is precious. As I talked with many in our subdivision who had been severely impacted, multiple times in our conversations we found ourselves saying, “Thank God for life.” Things can be replaced, but life can’t be.
Life is serious. Proverbs 27:1 says, “Boast not thyself of to morrow; For thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” We do not know what the rest of this day holds, let alone tomorrow. We need to take life seriously. The Bible also tells us that TODAY is the day of salvation. If you have not yet received Jesus Christ by faith, today is the best day to do that while you still have life and opportunity. Furthermore, for believers, we never know when our life will be over. We should serve God while we have life and opportunity.
Thank God for His gracious protection on so many lives! May this crisis draw us close to God and to show the love of Christ by serving others.
When you stop to consider the events of this Wednesday about 2,000 years ago, it is mind-blowing that the creator and sustainer of life was put on trial by His own creation for sins He had not done. In the late hours of Wednesday, Jesus Christ was put on trial as a criminal. By Thursday He would be hanging on the cross. There he would take upon Himself the wrath of God for your sin and mine. While all Israel celebrated the passover in Jerusalem, just outside the city, on a hill called Golgotha, Jesus would become THE final passover lamb.
About a year ago, I preached a sermon series through the Gospel of Mark. I thought that I would share the sermons related to the events of the Passion Week beginning today. On this day, I encourage you to meditate on your Savior, Jesus Christ.
Wednesday—God on Trial (Keynote)
Thursday—Viewing Calvary (Keynote)
Sunday—His Resurrection calls us to Total Abandonment (Keynote)
Timeline of the Passion Week
Light illuminates. It makes it possible to see and to take steps. It exposes. It reveals clearly what was dark or vague. It answers questions. What was unknown and causing wonder, light cuts through the darkness giving certain answers. That fact is light is a good thing…a really good thing. Can you imagine living a day without light? Can you image if the sun did not come up and you had no electricity. Can you imagine what you would do? Can you imagine how much you would long to have light?
We have just been talking about physical darkness. While that may be intolerable, many will tolerate living days of their lives in spiritual darkness. What do I mean? The Bible tells us in Psalm 119:130, “The entrance of thy words giveth light; It giveth understanding unto the simple.” I often hear as a pastor, “I just don’t have time to read my Bible.” “I don’t read my Bible as much as a should.” “My life is busy, so I just depend on the pastor’s message.” Many believers live dark lives. They stumble and fall. They struggle to have victory over sin. They have no sense of God future will let alone His daily will. They live without the comfort of God. They feel helpless against the onslaught of temptation and pressure from the world, the flesh and the devil. God has told us that His Word is the light, the illumination that we need. As believers, we have Holy Spirit indwelling us and the Bible tells us that He is our guide into all truth. He is there to teach us the truth of Scripture as we read and receive it.
Let me encourage you not to live in spiritual darkness. Dive into the Bible! You will be amazed at how the things you are facing in life all of a sudden become clear as the light of Scripture illumines your heart and mind.
Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, And a light unto my path.
Here are a few reading plans you might find helpful.
Recently I was listening to a sermon that really gripped my attention. We live in a day of so many false realities. The world is in search for something is real. This message challenged my heart to seek the power of God on my life and ministry as opposed to pursuing pragmatic philosophy. I hope this message will encourage you in the same way.
“There is an app for that.” While that certainly seems to be true, I have found some apps to be especially helpful. Here are some of them!
Here is one I use on a daily basis. This app enables me to have a plan for reading or listening through the Bible. I also love its ability to create church events on it for free. We are testing it our with our Acts series.
This is an app that I have been using for about a year. Essentially it is your public library at your fingertips—anytime, anywhere. This gives you access to TONS of digital content for free. I have been blessed to listen to many Christian audio books from great preachers and writers in the past and present.
This is an app that I have been watching for a couple of years and seems to be making great improvements. It is a soulwinning management app. Recently testing it for our church’s outreach.
Ever wish you could pull up a tract on your smartphone and use it to give the Gospel? Well, now you can. You can even keep a prospect list on it! It is a fantastic Gospel tool.
What you listen really influences you! Many times Christian radio does not sound so Christian. I have enjoyed listening to this internet radio station through their app. Give it a try! You will find the music to be Christ-centered and spiritually nourishing.