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Faithful Service: Work Without Want

 

“For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another, but having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: whether prophecy, in agreement with the faith; or service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with generosity; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness”

Romans 12:4–8

One of the best ways we can faithfully serve God is to work without want. Whenever we do any kind of service in God’s name, we should do so without wanting anything for ourselves. Knowing that what we’re doing is service to God is, or should be, fulfillment enough. In many ways, we can serve God through the gifts that He has given us. Just as there are different parts to the human body, there are different parts to the body of Christ. Everyone is gifted in one area or another. I like seeing the faithful woman in the church who prays constantly for everybody about everything. That woman is serving God in her church in a way that she can, the best that she can.

The following verses from the book of Romans really highlight the above idea nicely.

“For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another, but having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: whether prophecy, in agreement with the faith; or service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with generosity; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness” (Rom. 12:4–8).

First off, I want to look back to Paul’s words to the believers in Rome: “I exhort you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice—living, holy, and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Rom. 12:1).

Some translations say “living sacrifice,” referring to our bodies if we have died and been raised with Christ.

“For you were bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:20).

Our service to God is a form of worship. The way in which we live should please God. In the same way, living a holy life is one that is dedicated to God.

The aforementioned verses in Romans 12 list some spiritual and practical gifts,  reiterating that everyone has their place in the local church, serving others and serving God through His church. We are each individually tasked, I think, to discern what our gift is. This can take some time and help from others closest to you, but eventually, it will be revealed as to what your particular gift is. “[S]o we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (Rom. 12:5).

We are all serving one another when we use our gifts for the betterment of others and, ultimately, the church body. Just like when we give healthy food and drink to our physical bodies, it is made well and functions optimally. This should be the aim of every believer: to want the church body to function well so that it can be better equipped to make disciples and spread the truth of the gospel to all nations.

In verse 6. we see that these gifts we’ve been given come from God by grace. God is gracious to give us all gifts that differ but work together in the grand scheme of things. Like I said earlier, discerning what your gift is can take some time. Asking other Godly-minded people what they think yours might be is a good starting point. There are likely signs of things that you have a particular bend towards. Take some time to really look at yourself and your life to search them out, searching the scriptures for examples of where you’d be fit to serve. Obviously, praying to God for help in the same manner is crucial.

Verses 7 and 8 give us some examples of service. Serving others in a wide variety of areas is another useful way to sort out your gifts. Serving is a key element in the Christian life, and doing so over a wide range of areas and ministries will help you narrow down the list of possible gifts and learn what yours are.

It’s a Christian’s duty to work. Full stop. We just have to find where God has gifted us to perform said work. Everything we do must be rooted in the person and work of Christ, done for the Glory of God alone!

For further reading
Desiring God by John Piper
Knowing God by J.I. Packer
The Preeminent Christ by Paul Washer
The Promises of God by C.H. Spurgeon
Matthew Smith

Matthew Smith

Matthew Smith lives in McCune, Kansas, alongside his wife, Nichole, and their 9-year-old son. He experienced the regenerating working of The Holy Spirit after 32 years of disobedience, thanks to God’s grace. This transformation occurred through the expositional preaching of a faithful pastor, who shed light on God’s word, drawing Matthew to repentance. His life’s purpose now revolves around serving God and His people.

December 15, 2023

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