Serving God Conscientiously
For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Christ’s blood cleanses our conscience by: first, making us participants in the New Covenant (Jer 31, 2Cor 3:6), which gives us the power of the HS (Heb 8:10) who moves us to desire and do God’s will (Phil 2:14), which results in victory over sin (Rom 8:13), a resulting clear conscience and confidence before God, followed by acceptable (Num 19) Christlike service rather than dead works.
Serve as God’s errand boy: What do you want Master? Loyally furthering His person (reputation) and program (agenda) Mt 28
I. We Serve God Because He is Our Master
1 Cor 7:22...he who is called while free is Christ's slave.
A. 1 Thess 1:9...how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,
B. Rm 6:22 having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.
C. We’re saved to serve Lk 4:39 He stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. And immediately she arose and served them
Acts 26:16...I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen...
D. The Righteous serve Mal 3:18...discern between the righteous and the wicked, etween one who serves God & one who does not serve Him
II. Requirements of Acceptable Service
A. Acceptable Service RequiresL: Fear of God Psalms 2:11 Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling.
Dt 10:12...what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
Josh 24:14...fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods...Serve the LORD!
B. Following Christ as His disciple Mark 15:41 who also followed Him and ministered to Him when He was in Galilee
Must follow for fellowship and to be honored Jn 12:26 "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.
C.Pure Conscience - Holiness 2 Tim 1:3 I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did...
1Tim 1: 5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, good conscience, and sincere faith, 6 from which some, having strayed...
Mt 7: 23 "And then I will declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!' (cf Red Heifer Num 19)
D. Knowledge and Loyalty 1 Chron 28:9...know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever
Exclusivity Ex 23:24 “You shall not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do according to their works; but you shall utterly overthrow them and completely break down their sacred pillars. 25 "So you shall serve the LORD your God, and He will bless
Worthily Mal 1:8 And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, Is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, Is it not evil? Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favorably?" Says the LORD of hosts.
E. Grace Heb 12:28 since we’re receiving a kingdom...us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
Stewards 1 Pt 4:10 As each one has received a gift/grace, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11...If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory...
F. Joyous Expectation of Reward Psalms 100:2 Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.
Hope Mal 3:14 You have said, `It is useless to serve God; What profit is it that we have kept His ordinance,
Acts 26:7 "To this promise our twelve tribes, earnestly serving God night and day, hope to attain.
Consequence pleasure Job 36:11 If they obey and serve Him, They shall spend their days in prosperity, And their years in pleasures.
Col 3:24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. (Lk 14:14)
V. Ways to Serve God Acceptably
Serve God Himself Acts 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, "Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul...
Serve Others Heb 6:10 God..not..forget your work/labor of love which you have shown toward His name..you ministered to the saints, and do minister
Rom 15:16 minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by HS
Serve one another Gal 5:13...called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another
A. Spiritual Needs Ac 20:19 serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews; 20 how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house
1 Tim 4:6 If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed.
Disciple Others Col 1:7....you also learned from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf
1 Thess 3:2 brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith,
Serve the Body/Church Col 1:24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you...for the sake of His body, which is the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God,
Prophets1 Pt 1:12 ...they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel...
Rulers Rom 13:2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.
B. Physical Needs Romans 15:25 But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints.
Rom 15:27...For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things
Mat 25:44...Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?'
1 Timothy 3:10 But let these also first be tested/proven; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless.
1 Tim 3:13 those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith...
Priority is Spiritual Acts 6:2...It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables.
Prioritiy is Believers Gal 6:10...as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
C. Workplace Worship Eph 6:5...with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; 6 not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord
IV. Things that Mar Acceptable Service
A. Lack of zeal/honor Rev 3:16 (Malachi: Lord of Leftovers) Rm 12:11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord
B. Misplaced zeal (w/o knowledge) Rom 10:2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.
C. Misplaced Worth External service can distract from internal service Luke 10:40 But Martha was distracted with much serving...
D. Satan as Master Lk 4:8 Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, `You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.'
E. Money as Master Mt 6:24 "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
F. Self as Master Titus 3:3 we were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts/desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.
G. Appetite as Master Rm 16:17 I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions /offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. 18 those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple
H. Looking for temporal results Phil 4:17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account.
I. Looking for Man’s Approval Gal 1:10...do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ
J. Failure to notice needs Phil 2:4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Pr 24:12
V. Things that should Mark Our Service
A. Wisdom: Go for the best return on your investment, that which most pleases God (Col 1 & multiplication) 1Cor 3: 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.
B. Endurance: Expect to be misunderstood, mistreated (like a servant), attacked by Satan, tired (even when tied into the Vine)
Gal 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
1 Cor 15:58...be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
C. Continual sacrifice Rm 12:1... present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable/spiritual service.
Dan 6:20..."Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?"
D. Diligence Romans 12:11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
E. Singlemindedness 1 Cor 7:32 But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord----how he may please the Lord. 35 And this I say for your own profit...and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.
F. Faithfulness Mt 25:21 "His lord said to him, `Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' (See Faithfulness Series in TOYL)
G. Joy Phil 2:17 Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice
H. In the Spirit Rm 7:6 ...having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit... Cf Rom 1:9
I. Other-centered Phil 2:20 no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your...21 For all seek their own, not the things of Christ
J. Doing more than the Moral Pagans Mat 5:46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?
K. Christlikeness Mk 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many
1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Questions for Discussion/Reflection/Response:
1. What needs does God have that He desires us to meet/serve? Why does God desire our service?
2. Is service of God and others mandatory for NT believers? What happens if they don’t serve? What if they don’t fear God?
3. What motivates you to serve? Why/When are you tempted to not serve/quit? What results if you serve with dirty hands and a bad attitude?
4. What would God point to in your life at the judgment seat when He says “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
5. In what ways can you serve God this week? What needs exist around you? (1Tim 2:15) Within the Body? At Work? How can you draw on God’s grace to acceptably meet those needs so that God is glorified?