Serving Because of Your Love For God

The last few articles have been focused on the Bible’s teaching in regards to service. We first saw that we are commanded to serve, then we learned we are slaves for Christ ,and that lastly our motive for service is love. Last week I introduced the motive for love by expounding on the two greatest commandments (see Matthew 26:33-40). I showed how one of our motives is serving others out of deep love for them. That our service may be very task oriented when the bible teaches it should be people oriented and God oriented.  Instead of the focus being on getting the task done it should be on loving the individual. Today we will see our greatest motive for service; our love for God. If, as Jesus taught us, our loving God is the greatest commandment because it will cover all other commands, then loving God would automatically tie in to our command to serve. 

How is your relationship with God? How would you characterize it? Do you love Him? Truly love Him? Is He the reason for all that you do? The way you work, relate, talk, spend your money and time? Is your love for Him the reason you serve? Or maybe that is the reason you don’t serve? Or maybe it is the reason your service is not fulfilling? Does service feel like extra work you don’t have time for? Does your service seem very weighty? Bogging you down? Taking up precious time, money and energy you could use elsewhere? Do you feel overworked? Strapped? Spread thin? Have you contemplated not serving anymore? It very well could be that you feel this way because you are serving for the wrong reasons. 

Did you ever stop to think why you do or do not serve? You should examine yourself (see Lamentations 3:4) and your motives in regards to service. Ask for the Holy Spirit’s assistance (see Psalm 139:23-24) and take a real hard look at why we serve. Or maybe we don’t think about it because we are afraid of what the answers might be if we were honest with ourselves. Should we serve? Yes! But the “why?” is just as important. Why do you serve? Is it out of duy? Guilt? Peer pressure? Obligation? Shame? Because you feel you owe God for saving you? What is the reason? If your answer is not love than all other reasons do not matter. If it is not because you love God, your service is legalistic, hollow, shallow and religious works. You shouldn’t look for work to do because that is what Christians do. You should love God so much that you are eager and zealous to serve your master. 

Jesus taught us that you can not have two masters. You will only have one that you serve. What is interesting about His teaching is the way he worded the allegiance to one master over the other; “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Matthew 6:24) You not only serve just one master but you will only love one too. Your devotion, your actions, your allegiance goes to whom you love more. If you do not serve, then it is not because you love Him. If you serve sparingly or serve with a sense of frustration then you are not serving Him because of a love for Him. Don’t believe me? Ask yourself this: if you do something that you truly love, would you feel that its work? If you do something you truly love, would you do it begrudgingly? If you did something you love, would you be frustrated with it? Would you not look forward to it? If you did something you loved would you have a sense of wanting to do something else? If it was something you loved, would you avoid it? See our love for something springs forth action. Our love for God should spring forth service. 

Our service is a form of our worship to God (see Romans 12:1). Our worship is an expression of how much we love, honor and glorify God. Is this why you serve? Because you love Him? Are you active in your local church because of how much you love Him and His people? Or maybe your lack of service shows your shallow love for God and His people. Now I am not focusing on the action itself. The “What?” is not as important to God as the “Why?”. What you do is immaterial. Why you do it means everything. You can sweep floors out of love for God. But at the same time you can teach a class for reasons other than your love for God. 

We need to examine ourselves and look at the “Why?” when it comes to service. Oftentimes our motives are based on self interest. We have to remember that true love to God is a love of action not just mere words (see 1 John 3:18). Your service should be a love song to your heavenly Father. If that is not how you view and approach service, then I can certainly see why you are either unhappy while serving or don’t serve at all.
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