On the Mission with Jesus (Series 3/3 )
Today's message given by Jessica Wang was a good reminder of the many ways we can serve God. She shared with us that you don't have to be a pastor or volunteer at church to be able to serve the Lord. Romans 12:1-2 says: "Therefore I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--His good, pleasing and perfect will."
What is our ministry?
As Christians, we are to use the gifts and talents that the Lord has bestowed upon us for His kingdom. If our gift is teaching, then let us be preachers;if it is caring for the needs of others, then let us give our resources freely; if it is working with our hands, then let us build or repair for the glory of God. In Matthew 25:40, it is written, "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'" We should serve in every way that we can, even if it seems insignificant. In Jesus' eyes, the person cleaning the church is just as important as the pastor. I used to struggle with doing small, behind-the-scenes service work. I felt that if I wasn't recognized by other people for the work I did, then my work was meaningless. This is not so! Jesus notices the little things too. So, whether it is sweeping the church steps, making the weekly power point, or replacing lightbulbs, God smiles at these works if we do them with a loving, servant's heart. We all have our own place, and we should give thanks to God for whatever opportunities He gives us to serve Him. I am reminded of the passage in 1 Corinthians 12:4-12 that says: "There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. "
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ." --So let us all recognize our own personal strengths and find out how we can serve the world as Christ would want us to serve! Let us serve with a humble heart, a faithful heart, and in small ways. Let it be in every aspect of our lives, not just at church once a year or once a week. We should always be ready to be missionaries no matter where we are: in our homes, at work, with our friends, or helping people we don't know.
What is our motivation for engaging in a mission with Jesus?
It should not be our of fear, because we are insecure in our own self-worth, or to try to earn God's grace. Our motivation for serving should be out of the abundance of love for God in our hearts. We want to serve God because we love Him, not out of a feeling of duty or obligation. Imagine if someone walked up to you and gave you $1 million--out of the blue! You did nothing to deserve this free gift. What would you do or say to this person? I would want to do something for them in return out of my own gratitude. Jesus, however, gave us something MUCH better than $1 million. He gave us his life so that we may live eternally with Him. As sinners, we have done nothing to deserve this free gift. It is only because of Jesus' great love that he has showed us mercy and provided us with a way to escape the punishment for our sins: death. This freedom that I have received from God is my motivation to serve Him.
How should we live as missionaries with Jesus?
We need to serve with pure hearts and right motives. Matthew 6:19-21 says "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Let us not put stock in how much power or money we have. These things are all meaningless to God if we do not use them to serve Him. What will our priorities be? Serving money, people, and things that will not last? Or will we serve God, the church, and things that will have an eternal, heavenly value? As we go about our daily lives, when we walk out of the church doors, let us remember that we need to live our lives as Jesus' missionaries at ALL times!
Worship Song: Let Your Kingdom Come
Your glorious cause, O God, engages our hearts
May Jesus Christ be known wherever we are
We ask not for ourselves, but for Your renown
The cross has saved us so we pray Your kingdom come
So that everyone might know Your Name
Let Your song be heard everywhere on earth
Till Your sovereign work on earth is done, Let Your kingdom come
Perform Your wondrous deeds through those who are weak
Lord use us as You want, whatever the test
By grace we’ll preach Your gospel till our dying breath