Serving ChristWritten by Stephen Kingery
One of my favorite Scriptures is found in last chapter of Joshua, "And if it seems evil to you to serve LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. . . But as for me and my house, we will serve LORD" (Joshua 24:15) I purposefully left part of this verse out to get to heart of matter. Joshua was giving Israelites a speech prior to their entering Promised Land. He was telling them that they could choose to serve either gods of people who dwell in land, or they could choose to serve Lord.
Just like Joshua and Israelites we in America have a choice to make. Are we to serve gods of American culture – cable TV, sports, pleasure, sexual immorality, drugs, politics, gambling, drinking, money, power, prestige – or will we serve Lord.
Joshua and Israelites made correct choice, they chose to serve Lord. Unfortunately, they did not eliminate culture of people whose land they conquered. The people and culture, little by little, invaded lives and hearts of Israelite people. Soon they were up to their eyeballs in "serving" gods of people whom they conquered. Are we, as Christians in America today, falling to same fate that they did?
I would like to look at three areas where we need to be steadfast in our serving our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Those areas are – our lives, our talents and our finances.
Serving Christ With Our Lives
First, and foremost, we need to serve Christ with our lives. Now you may say, "I am a Christian. Of course I am serving Christ with my life." But are you really? What does it mean to serve Christ with our lives?
I just imagine that all too often typical Christian feels that as long as he/she attends church on Sunday morning and then tries to live a decent life rest of time that they are living a life serving Christ. But this is not so! Serving Christ demands much more than this.
Serving Christ with our lives means that we will be faithful to worship services as often as it is possible for us to attend. That means that attending worship service, Sunday School, mid-week Bible Study and so forth is our first priority. Not that we will attend if something else doesn't comes up. We should plant to attend all of these occasions to worship and praise God. The only time that we should miss one of these is when we simply cannot attend!
Serving Christ with our lives means that we take Him to work with us every day. I cannot imagine having a job that I could not talk about Christ with others. I realize that often we must be selective with whom we speak of Christ for many will simply not accept any instruction in becoming a Christian. However, we should always be looking for an opportunity to tell our fellow workers about Jesus and what He means to us. Then there are those that we work with that are Christians as well. It is really great to be able to talk about Christ with those we work with and to share with each other. I am not talking about ignoring our work duties. It is important that we give our employers a good days work for money we receive. But there are always times and opportunities to witness for Christ.
It is also important to have Christ on our minds as we work. The day seems to go so much better when I can think about Christ and what He has done for me as I go about many tasks I must accomplish. I have a job where I must make decisions each day which affect people. To ask for God's guidance and trust in Him makes those decisions easier to make and uphold.
What about serving Christ during those times which are recreation in nature. I certainly do not mean to imply that when one serves Christ that he/she cannot attend sporting events, play golf, go to movies, watch TV or any number of other recreational activities. However, how we approach those activities does have an affect on our serving Christ. Do we put those things first? If so, then we are not doing right thing. Are we selective when we choose things we want to do for fun? Again, we must be selective if we are to serve Christ with our lives. We should not watch most of filth on TV and movies. Most of it is nothing but sex and violence. Be selective. Don't watch filth.
Seek First the Kingdom of GodWritten by Stephen Kingery
In my life there has been much joy, pain, defeats, victories, and sin. Through all of this I have spent many years trying to be successful in my profession as well as a good father, husband, and member of a local congregation. I have been an officer in church for many years and have tried to be effective in that capacity as well.
A few years ago I came to realization that no matter how successful I am at any of those things which I have mentioned above, it is all for naught if I do not have a genuine relationship with God. So I began to pray and search God's word for answer. Jesus gave us answer, "But seek first kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (Matthew 6:33)
The conclusion which I arrived at, as a Christian trying to serve God and to do His will, is that we should seek God. This is single most important thing which we, as children of God, must do to show ourselves approved of God. Paul, in his epistle to Romans says, "I Beseech you therefore, brethren, by mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service." (Romans 12:1)
Paul's admonition to Christians in Rome has a lot to do with yielding to Holy Spirit and being an instrument for God's service. But it also has a lot to do with seeking God, for he continues in verse two, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." How can we truly be transformed unless we seek God?
What does it mean to seek God, or how does one go about seeking God? To seek, as it is used in this capacity, means to beat a common path to something. Or, in other words, to constantly seek. It doesn't mean to seek, find, and have something. It does mean to do same thing over and over again, to constantly be seeking.
A few years ago my wife decided that she wanted a new lamp for living room. She knew just exactly where she was going to put it, but she didn't know exactly what kind of lamp she wanted. She spent many hours over a period of several months looking for (seeking) that perfect lamp for that one spot in living room. I heard her fretting over fact that she could not find a lamp she liked for those several months. Then one day she came home with a lamp. She announced that she had found lamp she wanted, she placed it on table, and I never heard another word about that lamp. She sought lamp, found it, and then had it. She probably didn't think much about it after that.
This is not what seeking God is all about. We cannot simply seek God, find Him, and then have Him. We can't put Him on a shelf somewhere and forget about Him. Paul, in his epistle to Colossians gives us some insight into what it means to seek God. He tells Colossians, "If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on earth." (Colossians 3:1,2) We need to set our minds on things above. In other words, we need to have God in forefront of our consciousness. As we meet problems in life, or as we make decisions, we need to be asking ourselves, "What would God have me do in this situation?" We need to throw off phoniness of "playing Christian," and be known as a person who seeks God.
There are many ways in which we seek God: through prayer, memorization of scripture, fasting, Bible study, attending worship services, communion service, listening to gospel music or taped sermons, meditating on God and His word, and sharing Christ with one another.
The book of Isaiah tells us that we should seek God while He is near, "Seek LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near." (Isaiah 55:6) Seeking God is also exercising our faith in Him. It is impossible to please God without faith. (See Hebrews 11:6) However, for many Christians, only time they make a conscience effort to seek God is when there is trouble, when they want something, or when they expect a blessing. This is not wholeheartedly seeking God.
So why don't people seek God? The answer is spelled out for us in fourth chapter of Deuteronomy in verses 25-28. Many of us have fallen into same trap as Israelites, we have set up for ourselves false gods. Some of our false gods are: money, job, family, things (cars, houses, etc.), sports, and pleasure. Do you serve any of these false gods, or perhaps others?