Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Friday, August 26th. What kind of behavior characterizes a great leader? The Bible points us to the role of a servant. Today's podcast helps you embrace servanthood as the believer's highest honor. Now, I think there are lots of people that God has called into service. And oftentimes we have the idea that service means preaching the gospel, being a missionary, or playing in a church orchestra, or singing in a church choir, or doing some specific work in the church, which all certainly are very, very important areas of service.
But think about this. If you're a mother raising godly children, and you see that as the place that God has called you to serve at this particular time in your life, it will be forever because your children are going to grow up. But it's the place that God has called you to serve with your husband at this point in your life. You are serving God in that place.
It may be in your business. You may be the president, the vice president, or you may work somewhere else along in that business, but you're there because you believe that's where God's placed you. You're trying to make an impact on the people around you. You are doing exactly what the apostle Paul said in Colossians when he said, we're to do our work as unto the Lord, that we are serving God by doing our work with equality, doing our work the best we know how, doing our work in the right spirit and the right attitude, doing it as unto the Lord himself, and doing it in a fashion that's making an impact on the lives of those around us. That is, our attitude, the decisions that are being made either about us or decisions we make with a principled subscription mind, you're serving God in that place. He said we're to be like salt and like light, so he certainly isn't going to put us all in the same place. He's going to put his servants in different aspects of society, in the business world, wherever it might be. He's placing us there in order to be like salt, changing the flavor, like light, driving out the darkness, so that all of us who believe us fall into the category of being servants of God.
Now, I want to say this, and I want to make this point clearly. I am not talking about the fact that only preachers and missionaries are servants of God. But I'm simply saying again that every single believer is a servant of the living God.
Whether you're carrying out your service or not, it's not even the issue. That's what God called you to do, and I want you to listen why I believe it should be considered a great honor. First of all, it's a prelude to what you and I are going to be doing when we get to heaven. Now, somewhere along the way back in the past, somebody put out these big, huge family Bibles, got all these pictures in there, those black and white pictures, and they have angels. And what do you see on those angels?
They're floating around in the sky and flying around and so forth. And if you ask some people, well, what are we going to do when we get to heaven? Well, I don't know. I guess we're just going to worship God.
Let me tell you something. Heaven's going to be a very active place. Some people say, well, I'll just be sure when it's all over. Maybe one of these days when I get to heaven, I can just rest. Well, forget it, because number one, there's going to be a rest through our souls. But if you think that means sitting down doing nothing, listen, God is not inactive. Jesus isn't inactive.
And the saints of God on this earth are not inactive. And why do you think heaven's going to be some inactive place you sit around and do nothing for all eternity? Jesus said, I'm going to prepare a place for you. I'm going to get busy and prepare a place for you so when I come again, I'll call you to myself. Heaven's going to be a very active place. So I want you to turn, if you will, to Revelation, because somebody says, well, you mean to tell me that after I labor down here all these years that I ought to go to heaven and go to work? Amen. Amen.
That's right. And for you folks who decided you're going to retire, listen, you may retire against God's will, but I'm telling you, he's going to wake you up when you die. Listen to this.
Listen to what he says. He says, for example, let's begin in verse one of that 22nd chapter. Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, he says, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street on either side, he said, the river, there was the tree of life bearing 12 kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month, and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will be no longer there any curse, and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his bondservants will serve him.
Wake up. His bondservants will serve him. That is, God is going to give you and me the privilege, the high honor of serving him in heaven for all eternity. There's not a single verse in the Scripture that gives anybody the legitimate excuse for not serving God. The idea of joining a church and sitting down and filling up a pew or a seat and going home and forgetting it and not serving God is totally unscriptural, totally unscriptural. There's not a single verse in the Bible whereby a person can defend that kind of attitude. So let's think about this for a moment. One of the other reasons, for example, that we should honor him and feel extremely honored for being one of his servants is this, and that is that to serve him, to serve the living God is an opportunity for us to exercise our spiritual gifts. If somebody says, you know what, I'm glad you brought that up because I don't have any spiritual gift.
Well, I'll tell you what. If you don't, the Bible is absolutely in error. So turn to 1 Peter and then let's decide who's in error. Either we are or the Bible is. I have a sneaking suspicion that there's nothing wrong with this Bible.
Amen. In other words, God doesn't make any mistakes and he's certainly not making a mistake here. Listen, whoever you are, listen carefully, whoever you are, I want you to look at every word in this verse because every word in this verse is important and it's easy, listen, to skip over.
Now, I want you to watch something. We all have the capacity to read something and miss it, right? And we've all done that. So word by word, listen to 1 Peter chapter 4 verse 10. 1 Peter chapter 4 verse 10. The honor we have of serving our Lord.
Listen to what he says. As each one, how many is that? Each one. Is that every one? Each one has not will. He's talking about believers now. Each one has received a special gift.
Employ it, put it to work in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold or indescribable grace of God. Somebody says, well, he didn't give me a gift. What does he say? Is that what he says in this passage? Each one has received a special gift.
Now, watch this. Why would God give you a special gift? Are you listening? Say amen. Because he's given you something special to do. You say, well, now you lost me on that one. I am nearly a mother.
I'm home with my children all day. Dirty diapers, dishwasher, how am I serving God? Listen carefully. God places us in areas to serve him at different times in our life, different seasons of our life. He'll give us one area of service here, another area of service there, another area of service over here.
Don't belittle, become discouraged, get depressed because you think this will never end. You've got to remember that you are serving God in the place that he's put you for this moment, for this time. And when you're doing that as unto the Lord in the spirit of a servant, you know what? God's going to honor you. He's going to bless you.
He's going to bear fruit through you that you will never be able to imagine. There's no such thing as an unimportant place in the kingdom of God. Whether it's in your business or wherever it may be, you and I are servants of God and he has equipped us to be servants to do whatever he's called us to do. Now, if I don't see myself as a servant, I'm going to become very self-centered because I'm going to be looking out for me.
I'm going to be looking out for my security and what people think of me about me and my their approval and so forth. No, a servant of God is not self-centered. A servant of God is God-centered. A servant of God is Christ-centered. A servant of God is depending upon the Holy Spirit. A servant of God does not serve him for the approval or even for future rewards in heaven. But listen, simply because we have a love for God and desire that the quality of our service be as excellent as we can make it. Because Paul said we are to serve him as unto the Lord. Where in the world did we ever get the idea that serving God is only limited to preaching and teaching the gospel in a church building somewhere? Listen, you are servants of the living God and you and I have been privileged to serve him. We've been so privileged we have been given spiritual gifts, special gifts by which to serve him.
And so, listen, because we are his servants and because he's given us gifts, it is our responsibility to discover what that gift is and ask him to show us how to utilize that gift to the maximum of our potential. And you say, well, but you know what? I could have, maybe that would have worked back yonder years and years ago when I was younger. Your age has nothing to do with it. And people say, well, I'm sixty-five. It's time to quit.
That's not time to quit. Show me that in the Bible. Where as in the Bible that you retired sixty-five, seventy, seventy-five, eighty, eighty-five or ninety?
It's not in there. We're to serve the living God till, listen, in some fashion until we breath our last breath. And tragedy of tragedies is that some people have lived their entire life and it's never dawned on them. I have a personal responsibility to my God, to my Savior, to the Holy Spirit who enables me to serve the living God daily, whether it's in my home or in my business, in my school, among my friends. I am to serve the living God. And you see, the truth is we're all His servants.
That's who God has made us. It's one thing to be called a saint and a Christian and a follower and a soldier and an ambassador and all the rest. Servant of the Most High God. Every single one of us is a servant of God. And so our spirit is, we're to serve Him in humility. We're to serve Him to the best of our God-given ability through the gifts that God has given us.
And certainly we should consider it indeed a high honor. Well, there's another reason for it and that is this. To serve God is a means by which I can express my gratitude to God for saving me. Now listen carefully. We do not serve God in order to be saved.
I'm going to say that three times because that's what people hear. We do not serve God in order to be forgiven. We do not serve God in order to go to heaven. We do not serve God in order to be saved.
We do not serve God in order to inherit eternal life. We serve God because we are saved. Because we do have the gift of eternal life. Because we are His children. Because we are eternally secure. Because we are born again. Because we are saved. It's because we are that we serve Him. God in His grace and mercy and love and patience and long suffering has put up with a whole bunch of junky stuff in all of our lives. God is, He just kept on loving us, kept on blessing us, kept on using us.
What? Listen, He's not looking for perfect people. You say, well I'm so imperfect. Join the ranks of the imperfect.
We're all imperfect. We don't come to church because we're worthy. We don't come to church because we're good. We don't come to church because we're perfect. We don't come to church because we're saints. We come to church to worship Him because we're His sons and daughters and servants of His and we want to honor Him, serve Him, love Him, praise Him, worship Him and adore Him because of who He is, not because of who we are. How do you express your gratitude to God for saving you?
How do you express your gratitude? You know, He couldn't let you die and go to hell. Every single one of us could be in hell right now. Can you tell me one good reason God saved you? The only reason I can tell you God saved me, pure love, period. There's not a single other reason.
Not one. He didn't have to save any of us. Any one of us could have died a long time ago.
Any one of us could have died in sin. Any one of us could be in, listen, living in torment today but with the grace of Almighty God, He's kept us alive. He's saved us. He's blessed us. He's graced us. He's made us His servants. How in the world can we live our lives and never give it back to Him? Servants are God-centered. Listen, carnality is self-centered.
If I'm worried about where, when, how much, listen, how much approval, how much affection, how much rejection I'm going to face, if that's what my concern is, then my whole attitude's messed up. I'm going to serve God because I love Him, because of what He's done for me. I could never repay Him.
You can never repay Him for what He's done for you. And so it is a high honor to serve Him because it is a way that I can express my gratitude toward Him, that I have the gift of eternal life. But there's another reason, and that's simply this. That is to serve God is a high honor because, listen, it's one of the reasons He saved us. Look if you will in Ephesians chapter two, and I turn to these because there are a lot of people who are new Christians. We have lots and lots of new Christians and lots of people who, listen, who do not know where these Scriptures are.
Look at this. Ephesians chapter two verse eight, he says, for by grace, God's goodness and love and mercy toward us. He saved us, he says, listen, but by grace you've been saved through faith, that not of yourselves, it's the gift of God. Not as a result of works, so that, so he says, listen to this, I didn't save you because of works, so you could boast about it, but we are here, listen, we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus, that is born again through Christ, for the purpose of good works, service, which God prepared beforehand, listen, so that we would walk in them.
You know what he's saying? That servanthood is a way of life. When he says walk in them, that's, servanthood is a way of life. He has saved us in order to do what? That you and I may serve Him.
Look if you will in Hebrews. Look if you will in the 19th, or the ninth chapter of Hebrews, and notice if you will what he says in this passage. He's just talking about Jesus being unlike the other sacrifices of, of goats and bulls and so forth and all the rest, listen to what he says now. He says in verse 12, the middle of that verse says, he entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption, for if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of heifers sprinkling, those who've been defiled sanctified for the cleansing of the flesh, and he's talking about what happened in the Old Testament, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God. One of the reasons He saved you and me is to serve Him. What am I going to say to Him, I won't be able to say anything, but I simply ask the question, what am I going to say to Him in eternity, in the judgment, when I've lived my life self-centered, what I can get, what I can do, what can please me, what can indulge me, what can satisfy me, instead of living for the very purpose for which God called us to serve Him?
You see, whatever He's called you to do and whatever gifts He's given you, it is irresponsible to do what? To give it back to Him. How do we give it back to Him? In serving one another.
That's what He said. Employ your gift in service to one another. He says, because it's a grace gift. That is, we didn't deserve it, it's a grace gift. One of the reasons He saved us is in order that you and I would serve Him.
Well, let me give you one last reason. That's simply this. To serve God is to be placed in the highest position there is in the eyes of God. It's to take the place of the highest position there is in the eyes of God. Now let's go back to Matthew chapter 20. He said in verse 25, Jesus called them to Himself and He said to them, rulers of the Gentiles, that is the world's leaders, lord it over them, control them, exercise authority over them, over the Gentiles, lord it over them and their great men exercise authority over them. That is, those in positions of power and prestige and prominence and all the rest, these are the great men.
Listen to what He says, it is not this way among you. Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your diakonosh, your servant. Whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave, your doulos. Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many. Somebody says, well, I'd like to be a great person. Well, I can tell you the route is not the world's route. To be great does not mean we climb the ladder to be number one.
To be great means that you and I kneel before the Lord Jesus Christ and say, Lord, I humble myself before You as Your servant. I'll go where You want me to go. I'll do what You want me to do.
I'll say what You want me to say. I'll be what You want me to be. I am available twenty-four hours a day to Your divine call. I'm willing to work. I'm willing to labor hard. I'm willing to employ my gifts. I'm willing to suffer. I'm willing to do whatever is necessary to please You, my Master.
Created in Christ Jesus for the purpose of good works which He foreordained that You and I should walk in them as a lifestyle. Father, I pray the Holy Spirit will speak to every single one of us. I want You to speak to my heart, God.
Every single one of us. We owe You everything. You have honored us with allowing us to be saved and to be Your servants. I pray, Father, for those who have never even thought about it until this very occasion, that You would grant them the wisdom and the courage to say, Lord, here am I.
Send me. Period. For we ask it in Christ's name. Amen. Thank you for listening to part two of The Believer's Highest Honor. If you'd like to know more about Charles Sandling or In Touch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-05 21:16:22 / 2023-03-05 21:24:59 / 9