Therefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be
moved, let us have grace, by which we may serve God
acceptably with reverence and godly fear.(Heb.12:28)
We who are Christians belong to a kingdom that is permanent and unchanging – it cannot be moved. This kingdom will never pass away, will never be replaced by another, nor is there any power in heaven, on earth, or in hell that can destroy it. God's kingdom is perfect in every way, and we will dwell there with our Lord for all eternity.
We are admitted to that kingdom by the grace of God, not by our own efforts. Grace means “unmerited favor”. It isn't something we can ever earn or deserve. We are adopted into the royal family of God when we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and it is by grace that we are given all the privileges of that kingdom.
Having privilege also means having responsibility. We aren't saved, and adopted into the kingdom of God, just to sit and soak up the grace that has allowed us to be in this position
of being a favored son or daughter. God gives us love, and mercy, and grace, not so that we can keep them all to ourselves, but so that we can share them with others.
God wants us to be His hands, His feet, His voice while we are here in this world, to reach out to others, that they may also receive God's grace. We serve Him by growing His
kingdom. We are saved to serve!
So, how are we to serve God? That depends to some degree on our own unique talents, abilities, and circumstances. No one person can do everything, but everyone can do something to serve God by reaching out to others. The Holy Spirit of God gives each of us some talent or ability we can use to serve Him. We have different gifts so that we can reach different people, and each one is important to building the kingdom. But there are some things we need to do, in order to serve with reverence and fear of the Lord. We should begin by making sure we are clean before God, not just making a show of our righteousness like the Pharisees did. We should be putting off the old sinful man, and our old, wicked habits, and putting on the new man.
But now you also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy
talk out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that you have put off
the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, that is renewed
in knowledge after the image of him that created him. (Collosians 3:9-10)
Putting off our old sinful selves requires constant commitment on our part. It isn't a “once and done” sort of thing. We are still (for the time being) living in this fallen,
sinful world, and our sinful flesh is constantly tugging at us to live for our own pleasures. It's been said that our old sinful nature and our new nature are like two dogs fighting.
One is good, and one is evil. The one that will win is the one we feed and nurture. We have to starve (put to death) our old fleshly desires, and submit ourselves to the Holy
Spirit of God, feeding and nurturing our new heavenly desires. (See Romans 8:13) We have to put away our former evil doings, and wash ourselves clean in the blood of the Lamb, which removes all our sin.
We must offer ourselves daily as a living sacrifice, putting God above our own plans and
Wash you, make yourself clean; put away the evil of your
doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil; (Isa. 1:16)
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that
ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable
unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1)
We serve God by making a conscious effort to do good, to seek justice for those who are being misused or unfairly treated, by helping the oppressed.
We are to reach out to the fatherless and to widows, who have no fathers or husband to take up for them or provide for their needs. We meet the very real needs of
those around us when we support (either by going ourselves or contributing financially) good programs that feed the hungry,
give clothing to those who lack adequate clothing, and provide safe shelter for those who need it.
We serve by extending hospitality in His name to strangers. Or by visiting the sick and imprisoned, Even something as simple as writing cards and letters or making phone calls to
the sick is a way of serving God.
And always remember that nothing that we do in His name goes unnoticed or unrewarded by our Lord!
Learn to do good; seek justice, relieve the oppressed,
judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. (Isa. 1:16-17)
Then shall the King say to those on his right hand, Come,
blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you
from the foundation of the world: for I hungered, and ye gave
me to eat; I thirsted, and ye gave me to drink; I was a stranger,
and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me; I was ill, and ye
visited me; I was in prison, and ye came to me. Then shall the
righteous answer him saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry
and nourished thee; or thirsting, and gave thee to drink? and
when saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in; or naked, and
clothed thee? and when saw we thee ill, or in prison, and came
to thee? And the King answering shall say to them, Verily, I
say to you, Inasmuch as ye have done it to one of the least of
these my brethren, ye have done it to me. (Matt. 25:34-40)
Most of all, we serve God when we help carry out the Great Commission. It isn't just the preacher's job to share the gospel - that task is given to every single one of us!
We are to go and tell them the gospel, the story of God's great love for us, and how Jesus made it possible for our sins to be forgiven and we can be reconciled with God, and spend eternity
in heaven with Him. We are to make sure they are baptized in Scriptural baptism, not to obtain salvation, but in obedience to Jesus and following His example. And we are to teach them
all the things He commands. Reach, preach, baptize, and teach - those are the tasks Jesus commands for all His disciples.
Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in
the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy
Spirit:Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have
commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto
the end of the world. Amen. (Matt. 28:19-20)
Each of us has some gift, given by the Spirit, to fulfill our part of the Great Commission. Do you know what your gifts are? Are you using them to serve the Lord by building His kingdom?
As we've said, no one can do it all, but all of us can do our part. Some can teach, some can preach,
some can be missionaries, others can support those missionaries financially. Some cannot go and do themselves, but have a powerful prayer ministry, interceeding
for the needs of the saints and lost people.
Some are equipped to organize and plan. Others use their ability to sing or play a musical instrument to draw people to the Lord. Working in the kitchen or the nursery is a ministry gift. Maintenance and cleaning of the church building is an act of service to the Lord.
Some minister behind the scenes, rather than
in the spotlights, but every act of service is important to the kingdom and is meaningful to God. If we assist in any way, we can be assured that God knows, and will reward His faithful servants!
He that receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive
a prophet's reward; and he that receives a righteous man in the
name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.
And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a
cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto
you, he shall in no wise lose his reward. (Matthew 10:41-42)
Whether we preach, teach, pray, or just clean the church building, each one of us is contributing to the kingdom of God. Whatever your gift may be, it is wasted if you are
not using it in God's service. We are not saved to SIT, we are saved to SERVE!