Service and Servants
• Service is a call to unite with God and serve as spirits that Go d has united to de liver the Word to His people. “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” (He brews 1:14).
• Service does not depend on our ability or knowledge or talents, but it is the power of the Holy Spirit, which will fill us and put wisdom and words in our mouths, which has the ability to change hearts .
• Service is being an ambassador for Christ in every place and in every situation. “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to Go d” (2 Corinthians 5:20).
• Service is not teaching or acting at the church or Sunday school, but rather living by the Bible – the word of God.
• We must take heed (that is, pay attention) of ourselves before serving others. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1 Timothy 4:16).
– How can we deliver the Word of God when we do not possess it?
– How we can ask others to follow His commandments when we do not do the same?
• Service is being with God and for God all the time. It is being with the real source of life, peace, and joy, and having the fee ling of His work and effect every day in our life. It is a real the blessing and reward in our life. “So He said to the m,” Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive many times more in this present time , and in the age to come eternal life” (Luke 18:29- 30).
• God will bless any effort or time that we give for our service even though it may be very little.
• If we serve, then service must b e a top priority in our life. We must give with all of our heart, without any limits. If we live according to the world, our priorities will b e very different. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).
Example: Saint Paul
– Through the Holy Spirit, Saint Paul spread Christianity all over the world with faith and became the greatest missionary who ever lived.
– He traveled and reached everybody in order to deliver the Word without limits, home or family.
– He had “in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths often” (2 Corinthians 11:23).
– He was the one w ho “From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep” (2 Corinthians 11:24-25).
2) Importance of Service:
1. Christ Himself was a servant – “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve , and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
• If He Himself came to serve, shouldn’t we?
• We serve to glorify Christ.
2. The Disciples served – “Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:3-4).
3. We are all called to service – “Now all things are of Go d, w ho has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now the n, we are ambassadors for
Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).
4. God is pleased and remembers our service – “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister” (Hebrews 6:10).
5. Service is not supremacy or authority, but humility and labor -• When Saint Augustine prayed for his people, he said, “I ask you O Lord, on behalf of your servants, my lords …”
• Service is labor to the last breath: “Are they ministers of Christ?–I speak as a fool– I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness” (2 Corinthians 11:23-27).
• Service is feeling everything that those whom you serve feel: “Besides the other things, what comes up on me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation ” (2Corinthians 11:28-30)?
References – H.H. Pope Shenouda III “The Spiritual Servant and Spiritual Service.