MPGC45- SAVED AND REMADE TO SERVE
The salvation that God has provided for us by His Son's death on the cross is far bigger in scope than just our personal salvation. We are not saved so that we can have a cozy, happy life with Jesus (although that will certainly be part of it).
We are saved by God's grace so that we can be REMADE into the men and women that God originally intended us to be. We still have the same outer body but the very nature inside of us is different. We now have the Holy Spirit of Jesus living inside this new nature of ours and He wants to get out! No sooner does He move into your life when He's saying to you, "Let me out of here!"
You'll remember that God gave us a job to do. We are to "fill the earth and subdue it" -- plus rule over all of creation (Genesis 1:28). In other words we are to transform our world into a Heaven on earth. Every one of us is put onto a section of the earth, with a certain group of people, so that we can serve them and share with them how they can be remade to serve God as well. The Holy Spirit within us wants to get going in this important mission and He won't let you stay contented with your "new creation" status for very long.
He'll start the process of prompting you to speak to someone. He'll urge you to share something with others. He'll challenge you to give beyond what you feel capable to give. He'll share God's truth with you so that you'll act it out. He'll convince you when you fall back into sin so that you'll stay in fellowship with God. He'll encourage you to stand with those that others don't care about.
If you obey and yield to His prompting's day by day you'll be living a more active life than what you ever imagined. For everyone of us is .......
Saved and Remade to Serve
WE WERE MADE TO SERVE GOD
Day 1 - Before we were even born God planned for our arrival on earth. We see an example of this in Jeremiah.
Day 2- We are here on earth for a special assignment. Jeremiah was being called to be a prophet to the nations. You and I have a different calling. Each of us is unique. We are here on earth to do the work that God gave us to do.
1 Corinthians 3:5-6 (Note the phrase in verse 5b).
The world teaches us how we are to "get the most out of life" but that's not why God made us. We are created to "give all of our life" back to His world. This giving is our ministry or our service.
Day 3- This verse gives us an incredible glimpse into the preparation God goes to with everyone of us.
The word for workmanship in Greek is poy-ay-mah which means a product, a thing that is made. Everyone of us is God's work of art. We are each a one-of-a-kind original. We derive our word "poem" from this same Greek word. You and I are God's poem -- an expression of His big heart.
According to Ephesians 2:10 God has created us in His Son Jesus to do what?
These "good works" (which you'll notice that God prepares in advance for us) are our service to God. For when we do them for others we are doing them for Him.
Day 4- It's never our service to God that saves us. No, it's because we are saved that we have great significance and value. Here is another verse that gives us a glimpse at how special we are to God.
2 Timothy 1:9
Let me print this verse out in the King James Version.
"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. "
The "holy calling" we have is a life that is dedicated for one purpose -- to God. We are consecrated (set apart or made holy) so that we can fulfill God's purposes on earth. Notice that once again preparation for the "good works" we are to do during our lives were given (or assigned) to us in Christ before the world even began! Amazing!
Day 5- We owe God our entire lives because He bought us back at the cost of His Son. Therefore what should we do to honor Him?
1 Corinthians 6:20
Honoring God with our bodies means that we honor Him with our service in gratitude for all that He has done for us. And when we do this what does Paul call this dedicated service?
Day 6- A heart that is saved is always going out in service to others. It's this service that shows we are truly saved.
1 John 3:18-19
BUT, BUT, BUT..... I'M NOT QUALIFIED
In the world we get a degree and then we become officially "qualified" to do a task. But in God's kingdom it's always "on the job training". Many of God's saints (which may include you and I) have had a few excuses to bring before God as to why WE just wouldn't be right for the job! Let's look at a few.....
Day 7- God had seen the misery of His people under the hand of Pharaoh and it was time to do something. He asked Moses to go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses was not excited by this assignment. What was his first excuse and God's reply?
What was his second excuse and God's reply?
What was his third excuse and God's reply?
Day 8- Someone has said that an excuse is a "reason stuffed with a lie". What was at the heart of all of Moses' excuses?
Day 9- Then we see Gideon. God was asking him to save Israel from the Midianites. What was Gideon's excuse?
And what was the Lord's reply?
Day 10- Then there was Jeremiah. God was asking him to be a "prophet to the nations" which means he had to talk! What was Jeremiah's excuse?
And what was God's reply?
Jeremiah 1: 7-10
You might by this time notice a pattern. God will call us to do things that seem beyond our abilities so that we will go in the strength of HIS might. In all these examples God promised His presence and His supernatural strength to Moses, Gideon and Jeremiah. And that is what He promises to us.
Day 11- It's in whatever way we feel we are weak, that God wants to use us the most.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29
When we allow our body to be filled with God's spirit then He works in partnership with us and actually becomes for us what we need. What four things does Jesus become for us listed in this verse?
1 Corinthians 1:30
Day 12- The truth is ALL of us have some kind of natural weakness. God designed it that way so that we wouldn't "take off without Him!" Even the eloquent and bold Apostle Paul had something that tormented him so much that he prayed over and over for God to take it away. But what was God's answer to him?
2 Corinthians 12:8-9
And so it will be for us. God will use whatever weakness, imperfection or inability that we have for His glory if we let Him use our bodies for His purposes. Like a hand that fits perfectly inside a glove, God's spirit will enable us to do whatever He calls us to do because He will be doing it from within us. ALL that we are called to do will ALWAYS be in lock step with God's Spirit within us.
You might wonder why God doesn't immediately take us to Heaven when we are saved. It's because He wants to use us for HIS goals and purposes here on earth. EVERY Christian is called to serve God, no matter what they do for their job or career.
Day 13- Why are we specially chosen and dedicated?
1 Peter 2:9 / Romans 7:4 (especially 4b)
Day 14- Every one of us is a part of Christ's body.
1 Corinthians 12:27
In summary it is so that we might declare the praises of God and then bear fruit to Him on this earth during the course of our life.
We are all called to play a part -- a service -- to the body as a whole. Our service to the body of Christ allows us to serve others in practical ways. All of it matters because there is no small service to God.
1 Corinthians 12: 18-26
Day 15- Jesus, the Son of God, truly deserved to be served. But He set an example for us in regards to service. Service is not an option but a command. It's to be the heart of the Christian life.
Giving and serving should define our Christian life and one day we will have to give an account for what we did for others. Maybe God will ask us, "How much time did you spend on others vs. yourself? "
Day 16- According to these verses, only those who spend their life for Christ and for the gospel's sake will ever truly know what it means to live.
Matthew 10:39 / Matthew 16:25 / Mark 8:35 / Luke 9:24 / Luke 17:33
Day 17- What will be God's reaction towards those who live only for themselves?
In Rick Warren's book called "The Purpose Driven Life" he reminds us, "In the end what will matter is not the duration of your life but the donation of it."
SERVING STARTS IN THE MIND
Day 18- Thinking like a servant is difficult. We are by nature selfish. But when Christ's Spirit comes to dwell in us we'll find ourselves thinking more of others than ourselves. And when we do so we'll be taking on the very attitude that Christ had.
Philippians 2: 3-8
Day 19- Before we are servants of men we are servants of Christ and this means a realization that God owns it all and we act as his stewards or managers (not owners). With all that God gives us in the way of people, things, money and time what is required?
1 Corinthians 4:2
Day 20- God expects of his servants full time allegiance and loyalty -- NOT part time faithfulness. Therefore one issue especially must be settled in a servant's mind and heart.
This means a servant will always be more concerned with ministry than with money. God will use money to test us.
Day 21- Only a person secure in their identity in Christ can serve, because most people are busy comparing themselves with others and looking for approval. A true servant knows that only one person's approval matters.
2 Corinthians 10:18 / 1 Thessalonians 2:4 / 1 Thessalonians 4:1
And when we act only to please God our master, we act as Jesus did.
Day 22- A true servant thinks of serving as a privilege, an opportunity, and a joy. It is not an obligation. As you read these verses write out the attitudes a true servant takes on.
Deuteronomy 10:12 / Psalm 100: 2 / Ephesians 6:7 / Hebrews 12:28
And as we serve in this matter we'll have the confidence that God will use everything large or small for his purposes because everything we do for God is important.
1 Corinthians 15:58 / Hebrews 6:10
THINKING LIKE A SERVANT MEANS THAT WE ACT LIKE ONE
Day 23 - Paul in his letter to Timothy gives an example that describes how focused a servant of the Lord must be.
2 Timothy 2:4
If we're available for God's work then we are always available to Him even when it is inconvenient.
Day 24- A servant will seize any opportunity that comes his way -- to do what?
John Wesley said that we are to, "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you can."
Day 25- Servants are not like the farmers described in this verse.
Instead they do the best they can with what they have.
Day 26- What is the primary attitude of a servant no matter how big or small the task?
Colossians 3: 23-24
Day 27- In day 19 we looked at this verse which we should read again.
1 Corinthians 4:2
What does it mean to be faithful? It means that we can be counted on to finish tasks, keep promises, fulfill responsibilities, and complete our commitments. In a world full of talkers, rather than doers, it means that a servant will stand out in his work for the Master.
Day 28- Servants are God pleasers -- not man pleasers. Their service isn't just a show.
Ephesians 6: 5-6 / Colossians 3:22
Jesus hates the kind of attitude spoken of in this verse. It was the sin of the Pharisees. What does he warn us will happen if we partake in it?
Real servants work for God alone.
START WITH WHAT YOU HAVE
I was one of those "insecure servants" that felt I had to have it altogether before I could launch out on anything. But the Holy Spirit opened my eyes one day to see an important truth from this story. Read it through first in its entirety. Mark 8:1-9
Day 29- The situation was four thousand people who had been following Jesus for three days. The Lord was about to dismiss them but not until he had given them food. It was a test for his disciples and they were probably asking their question with a bit of excitement. Reread:
And how did Jesus answer them?
I like to think that the Lord asked this question with the emphasis on the word YOU.
Day 30- Now here's the truth not to miss. If you want God to act, then don't wait for Him to do everything. He expects us to get involved with Him in a partnership. Turn over to God whatever little you have. What will He do with it?
Mark 8: 6-7
Day 31- God wants us to learn to trust Him, and to believe that He will always provide for us -- even when there is no visible resource at hand. And we will find that the supply will equal the demand. He won't stop giving while a need remains.
God's resources are all sufficient. There were seven baskets leftover that the disciples picked up! The number seven means completeness and perfection. It implies a full manifestation of God.
GOD USES OUR WEAKNESSES
Every one of us has a bundle of imperfections and flaws. Add that to uncontrollable circumstances (such as financial or relationship limitations) and we are left feeling weak with no power to change.
Day 32- The truth is, God has purposely allowed our weaknesses and flaws so that He can show HIS power through us. It's through our weaknesses that we learn to lean on God and depend upon Him.
1 Corinthians 1: 26-29
Remember, the Apostle Paul had something (a messenger of Satan) that tormented him so much that he begged the Lord to take it away not once but three times. How did the Lord respond to him every time that Paul asked?
2 Corinthians 12:9a
Finally Paul got the message and took on the right attitude.
2 Corinthians 12:9b-10
Day 33- This attitude of Paul towards his weakness is the number one attitude that God blesses. It's what Jesus meant by being "poor in spirit".
How does Paul liken servants of God with all their flaws and weaknesses?
2 Corinthians 4:7
"Strength breeds an independent spirit and creates competition. Weakness breeds fellowship and a community spirit."
God wants to take our greatest weakness and transform it. For as Hudson Taylor said, "All God's giants were weak people."
WE ARE MADE FOR A MISSION
God is at work in this world and He wants us to join him in a partnership. Each of us is called to serve the family of God and that service to believers is our ministry. Our service to unbelievers is our mission.
Day 34- When Jesus reappeared to his disciples after He rose from the dead what did He tell them?
And what is the task that he was calling them to do?
2 Corinthians 5:18-20
Day 35- In other words, we are called to be Christ's continued life here on earth. We continue his mission among men. First we are called TO COME to Christ ---
Then, we are called TO GO for Him. It's not an option.
Matthew 28: 19-20
Day 36- In fact, there is a time element involved in our "going". Can you hear the urgency in the Lord's words?
The end will come when Christ's message has been heard around the world.
No matter how contented or successful people seem to be without Jesus, they are hopelessly lost and headed for eternal separation from God. While only one can save (Acts 4:12), God needs each of us to be His ambassadors in our corner of the world. He loves each of his children. Everyone matters to God. We must learn to love people the way that He loves them. If we don't, we might as well say to them, "Go to Hell!" because that is what will happen.
Day 37- As we mature in Christ we'll find a shift in our thinking just as Paul did.
1 Corinthians 10:33
This shift will come as the Holy Spirit reveals God to us, and helps us to put our focus on others and not just ourselves.
1 Corinthians 2:10-13
Day 38- We'll find our thinking shifting from ourselves, to others, and then out to the world at large. For this to happen prayer must become an important tool. People can reject our message and our love but they are defenseless against our prayers. As you read these verses write out what we should be praying for.
Matthew 9:38 / John 17:20 / Romans 1:10-11 / 2 Corinthians 1:11 / Ephesians 6:18-19 / Colossians 4:3-4 / 2 Thessalonians 3:1
Day 39- As wild as it may seem we can pray for specific countries and see God at work in them.
Day 40- This verse lays out the pattern for our mission.
First we share about Jesus in our local community (Jerusalem). Then to others in our country (Judea). Then the Lord may guide us to other cultures (Samaria) and finally to other nations (the world).
Day 41- We'll also see our thinking shift as we mature in Christ from the "here and now" to "eternity". If it doesn't shift it means that we are focusing on something that is passing away.
1 Corinthians 7:31b
And this is clearly opposite to Christ's directive to us.
Day 42- So let's be up and going for our Lord Jesus who gave His ALL for us.
Hebrews 12: 1-3
Give what you have to the Lord to break and bless and never look back!
Hebrews 10: 36-39
May God bless each of us as we continue Christ's work in our world today.