WHAT IS MOTIVATING YOU TO SERVE OR NOT TO SERVE?
Every Christian Is Expected to Serve When we are born again and our sins are forgiven, the blood of Christ cleanses our conscience, according to Hebrews 9: 14, in order for us to “serve the living God.” Every believer’s Bible exhorts him or her to “serve the LORD with gladness ” (Psalm 100: 2, NASB). God’s Word has no place for spiritual unemployment or spiritual retirement or any other description of a professing Christian not serving God. Of course, motives matter in the service we offer to God . The Bible mentions at least six motives for serving.
Motivated by obedience. In Deuteronomy 13: 4, Moses wrote, “You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him.” Everything in that verse relates to obedience to God. We should serve the Lord because we want to obey Him.
How can any professing Christian think it acceptable to sit on the spiritual sidelines and watch others do the work of the kingdom? Any true Christian would say that he or she wants to obey God. But we disobey God when we do not actively serve Him. We sin when we refuse to serve God.
Motivated by gratitude. The prophet Samuel exhorted the people of God to service with these words: “Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you ” (1 Samuel 12: 24). When serving God seems like a burden, remembering the “great things he has done for you” vaporizes the burden. He has never done anything greater for anyone, nor could He do anything greater for you, than what He has done in bringing you to Himself . If we cannot be grateful servants of Him who is everything and in whom we have everything, what will make us grateful?
Motivated by gladness. The inspired command of Psalm 100: 2 is, “Serve the LORD with gladness!” God expects His servants to serve—not grudgingly, grimly, or glumly—but gladly. A believer does not look upon serving God as a burden, but as a privilege. I can understand why the person who serves God in an attempt to earn his way to heaven doesn’t serve with gladness. But the Christian who gratefully acknowledges what God has done for him or her for eternity should be able to serve God cheerfully and with joy.
Motivated by forgiveness, not guilt. In Isaiah’s famous vision of God, he became eager to serve the Lord once his sins were forgiven (see Isaiah 6: 6-8). Like a dog on a leash, Isaiah was straining out of his skin to serve God in some way, any way. Because he felt guilty? No! Because God had taken his guilt away! The people of God do not serve Him in order to be forgiven but because we are forgiven . When believers serve only because they feel guilty, they serve with a ball and chain dragging from their hearts. There’s no love in that kind of service, only labor. No one feels joy in it, only obligation and drudgery. Christians should not act like grudging prisoners, sentenced to serve in God’s kingdom because of guilt. We can serve willingly because Christ’s death freed us from guilt.
Motivated by humility. Jesus was the perfect Servant. With astonishing humility, Jesus, their Lord and Teacher, washed His disciples’ feet as an example of how all His followers should serve with humility. In this world, Christians will always live with an affinity for sin (the Bible calls it the “flesh”) that will say, “If I have to serve, I want to get something for it.” But this isn’t Christlike service. This is hypocrisy. By the power of the Holy Spirit we must reject this self -righteous, hypocritical service as a sinful motivation, and serve “in humility,” considering “others more significant” than ourselves (Philippians 2: 3).
Motivated by love. At the heart of service, according to Galatians 5: 13, should be love: “For you were called to freedom , brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” No fuel for service burns longer and provides more energy than love. Jesus said in Mark 12: 28-31 that the greatest command is to love God with all you are, and the next most important one is to love your neighbor as you love yourself. In light of these words, surely the more we love God the more we will live for Him and serve Him , and the more we love others the more we will serve them.
Whitney, Donald S. (2014-05-23). Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life Study Guide (p. 81). NavPress. Kindle Edition.