Isn’t it such a pleasure to encounter an individual that gives you exceptional service-- perhaps one who is working in a restaurant or a lumberyard?
This is something that I always greatly appreciate. But, finding good service these days is often rare—especially service with a smile. In a calloused and cynical world, we’re sometimes almost surprised by it when it occurs. Here’s an important question to ask yourself: Do I possess the heart of a servant? If not, why not?
Christians ought to always go the extra mile when it comes to serving others. Our exemplary service is an appropriate response to the way is which God has blessed us. Jesus says, “But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:26-28). Jesus was a greatest servant of all mankind, and he calls believers to the humble task of serving others.
Because we serve to please God, we should serve with a smile. According to Jesus, when we work, we do it heartily as we are first and foremost serving the Lord rather than people (Matt. 25:31-46). Moreover, we are promised a wonderful spiritual inheritance as members of God’s household for our faithful service (Col. 3:23-24).
I believe there are a few powerful dimensions or aims of genuine Christian service:
First, service is a disclosure of Christ. In other words, it shows and reveals Christ to others. So how do we go about revealing or disclosing Christ? According to 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, we do so by leading a quiet life, minding our own business, and working with our hands. When we engage in humble service, we win the respect of outsiders. Our Christian reputation in the community is enhanced as is the cause of Christ.
Second, service is a demonstration of faith. James, the half-brother of Jesus, explains the deed dimension of our faith. He even defines what he means by good works (see James 2:14-18): to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and take care of people’s physical needs. Faith and works always go hand-in-hand. You can’t really have one without the other. James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” A deedless faith is an empty faith.
Finally, service is a display of love. Even if we give all of our possessions to feed the poor or sacrifice our bodies in God’s name but lack love, it’s meaningless (1 Cor. 13:3). If we're not careful, we can do all the right things for the wrong reasons. As believers, we must focus on having the right heart—one filled with God’s love—as well as the right actions. Let’s consider our attitudes toward the poor, the lonely, the aged, and the forgotten—toward those persons who are unable to effectively cope with life’s demands. We must love our neighbors as ourselves (Gal. 5:14). The body of Christ should be the ones leading the charge to heal the brokenness in our communities. You see—Christianity is something we do!
The famous preacher, Dwight L. Moody, once said, “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And that which I can do, by the grace of God, I will do.” With that simple commitment, he was used by God to bring spiritual revival to England and America.