Ephesians 2:10 tells us, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do.”
God’s power is experienced firsthand in our lives through serving Him and others. It is exciting to watch God work in the lives of others around us. And, also to see how He works His power and will in our own lives as well when we serve Him. What happens to us when we see these changes in others and ourselves? Our faith is increased.
Serving helps us to see and to experience what we have been made for. We see our purpose. This is what Paul means when he tells the church at Ephesus that they are God’s Handiwork. They (and we) are created in Christ Jesus to do good works. And, not only to do, but to know that God has prepared specific works to accomplish. Often, even as Christians, we may believe that God really doesn’t have anything for us to do in His kingdom. We may feel inadequate to serve in a way which will make a difference in the lives of others, or in our own lives for that matter.
We all, everyone, have been gifted by God. We are all equally valuable to Him and to the church. Ephesians 4:7 says “ … to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” That tells us that each of us is important to the church. We all don’t have the same gifts, the same abilities, or passions. So, we don’t all look alike, speak alike, or act the same. We are called upon to train each other up through encouragement to use the gifts, skills and abilities God has given us.
When that happens we can all move in rhythm with one another in response to God’s Son as fully mature, fully developed followers of Christ, who look like Christ, and are fully alive in Him.
Peter says in his first letter: “As each of you has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (1 Peter 4:10). When we are involved in gifting to serve God and others, we can experience the kind of joy we were made for.
Serving draws us into a vital and authentic community. Remember how Jesus prayed in John 17. He prayed for God to protect us so that we would be one as He and the Father are one. This oneness is best experienced through participation in His Church. And, by participation we mean by serving and loving one another in the attitude of Christ.
Serving also requires obedience and a change of focus from ourselves and the world, to a heart and mind that is keenly focused on Jesus Christ. We are called by Christ through His words in Matthew 28:20: “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His live a ransom for many.” By practicing obedience to following Jesus in this way, we get to know Him on a personal level because we experience His love for others by His example.
Avoid being caught in the untruth that the church doesn’t need you robs you of the joys God designed you to experience through serving. God will honor your step of faith and He will begin to grow your faith. ------- Gary K. Fair 25 August 2020