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Serving God's Purpose

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
July 14, 2023 12:00 am

Serving God's Purpose

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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July 14, 2023 12:00 am

Love expressed through selfless service to others is the best legacy we can leave.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Friday, July 14. Today's lesson closes out the study of 1 and 2 Samuel by looking at King David's life and how believers can learn from his example. Here's more on faithfully serving God's purpose. One of the most beautiful epitaphs ever to be written about any person is found in Acts, chapter 13, verse 36.

And so if you'll turn there with us for just a moment. And I want us to read a passage here in this book. But it's interesting how God through his Holy Spirit summarized in one small capsule of a verse, the life of a great servant. Listen, for David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid among his fathers.

That is among all the qualities and the characteristics of David. Beyond being a king and a soldier and a statesman, David was a servant. He grew up serving his father as you read his life. He served his brothers. He served Saul when Saul loved him and he served King Saul when King Saul hated him. He served the nation of Israel. He served God. All of his life, he served the Lord. He wasn't a perfect servant.

Isn't that wonderful? He wasn't a perfect servant. But isn't it significant that God said about him, a man after my own heart. David above all else was a servant of God. When someone looks at your life and thinks about you, do they see a person who is climbing the ladder and who's striving to be number one, whose real goal in life is to accomplish and to achieve, who really wants to be number one in whatever he or she may do, or do they see you as a servant? Do you, for example, see the idea of being a servant as being sort of second rate, second rate in your business, a second rate citizen, second rate in the kingdom of God? If you see that the idea of being a servant is being less than, being insignificant, you need to turn to Matthew chapter 20. Because in Matthew chapter 20, you and I get a very clear picture of Jesus' viewpoint of a person who is a servant. For Jesus says, it is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant.

And whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many. When you and I in our attitude begin to see ourselves as servants, we begin to view our life from the same perspective Jesus viewed himself. He said he didn't come to be served, he came to serve. Jesus, he's called servant of man. That's the label that the Father through the Holy Spirit placed upon him, servant of man, servant of God. He came not to be number one, but he came as a servant.

And here's something you and I forget. Because we read the gospel and Jesus is the theme of the gospel, and he is the person of the gospel because it's a account of his life. But when you read history, you have to realize this, that in the days in which Jesus Christ lived, multitudes of people totally ignored him. He was not significant to the vast populations of his society when he walked this earth. They saw him as a revolutionary.

They saw him as a troublemaker. He came as the servant of the living God, very insignificant and overlooked in the minds and lives of multitudes of people, but who changed human history and has altered eternity itself. He came as a servant. Do you think that you're less than because you're a servant?

No. If you're a servant, you're the most significant one in your circle, whether it is in your family, in your business, among your friends. He that is greatest among you will be servant of all. And isn't it interesting that God wrapped up the whole life of David by saying, David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep. Now, David was a servant of the living God. But the second thing I want you to notice about him and in the process of looking at his life, we began to glean and begin to see what God is trying to do in our own lives. The scripture says, for David, after he served the purpose of God.

Let me ask you a question. What are you living for? Are you living to serve your purpose or God's purpose? Do you think that you're here simply to live a life of ease, comfort and pleasure, and so you're working to serve yourself? If I should ask you as a businessman, when you began your business, did you begin your business by saying, now, how can I serve the people who are going to work for me? How can I serve my clients, my patients? How can I serve my customers?

What are you working for? So you can have this, this, this, that or the other. There's nothing wrong with that. But if that's the motivation, if that's all you're living for and all you're working for, so you have one more promotion and achieve one more goal and possess one more earthly possession. If that's all it's about, I want to tell you, you've missed the point. You and I were born to worship and serve the living God. We were born for that purpose. We're on a mission of service, created in Christ Jesus under good works which He predestined beforehand could be true in your life. A servant willing to give of yourself.

What are you doing with your life? My friend, listen to me carefully. It's so easy to become an island and to protect your shores and your income and your future and your goals and your plans. And before long, while you may be floating among many, you're still your little island all to yourself, you and your family and your plans. And I want to tell you, God has nothing to do with that. He said He created you to serve one another. We are to love one another and to serve each other.

You cannot be an isolated person in your personality. You cannot be isolated in your lifestyle and be a servant of the living God. Servants don't stand behind pulpits and church members sit in pews. Every single one of us is a servant of the living God. Whether we serve or not, God sees us as His servants. Here's what I want you to see from God's wonderful, loving viewpoint. He has gifted you, He has equipped you, He has given you talents, He has given you His life to live within you and through you. He has given you His grace and His favor.

And what He wants to do is He wants to serve the people around you by serving them through you. Now, let me ask you a question. Let's get real honest.

Now, you know, it's amazing how dishonest we are under the guise of being, oh yeah, I'm willing to be honest. But I want to ask you a question, my friend. You may not be in the habit of going to church or you may be a committed Christian or you may be just as backslidden as you can be, but I want you to ponder very soberly this question with us.

Now, remember this. God will never ever ask you to do anything that you cannot do. He will never ask you to do anything without equipping you, preparing you, and providing for you whatever is necessary. So on the basis of that, let me ask you a question. If God asks you to do something, will you say no to God?

No, I'm not going to do it. Now, let's don't have any rationalization. Let's just be forthright and honest. If God says, here's what I want you to do.

Is there anything? He's not going to do anything foolish, absurd, or beyond your capacity. Is there anything that God could require of you that you would say to God, no, I'm not going to do it? Or you say, well, I wouldn't say no.

I know you wouldn't say it in that way, but here's what you say it. You say, Lord, you got to be mistaken. You couldn't be talking about me.

You've got to be talking about somebody else because there's no way I could do that. There's not a person in you isn't smart enough to reason their way out of serving God. Well, I'll tell you, you just don't know about my circumstances. Who do you think gave you those circumstances? God sometimes puts us in dire circumstances to do what? To equip us for a tremendous opportunity of service.

And what we do is we moan and groan about our circumstances. Oh, God, if you just hadn't done this, and if this, and if that, and if the other, and what God's doing is in the process of preparing you for a fantastic opportunity. David served the purpose of God, not his own purposes. Well, I want you to look at the third thing the Scripture says about him.

David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, he fell asleep. After he served the purpose of God in his own generation, now listen, you cannot serve the past, that's over. The only way you can serve the future is by serving the present.

The only way you and I can prepare for the future is to do something in the present here and now. And all of us have something to give, and all of us are serving our generation one way or the other. There are people today who are serving the desires of an evil segment of this generation. You think about the people who are serving those in this generation who want pornography, and who want drugs, and who want alcohol.

They're serving the evil desire of an evil segment of this generation. And then think about those who are serving the other way. And you see, I'm not talking about just serving God in the church, though that is a vital part of what I'm talking about. He served the purpose of God in his own generation. That is, David didn't say, someday I'll, one of these days, I hope so, but in his lifetime, he made his life count there and then. And God is expecting the same thing for you and me.

First of all, in your family, in your business, among your friends, making your life count. Is it that when you leave this earth, it's going to be just one empty void? You are there and you are gone.

It's all over. Or will there be impressions and indentions? Will there be a pathway? Will there be a trail that someone else will say, oh God, give me the capacity to walk in those footsteps and to have the same kind of character?

And God give me the opportunity of growing up in you like her, unlike him. He served his own generation. My friend, don't belittle yourself and say, well, you know, I'm just a, did you know that as a servant of God, you never just a? Just a what? Just a servant of God.

Can you beat that? Somebody says, well, I'm working for the top. I want to tell you, if you're a servant of God and you see yourself as a servant of God, you're already on the top. You may not be on the world's top, but I want to tell you, when this whole thing all becomes ash, it's not going to be, but one wonderful top.

That's God's top. And every single servant of God's going to be on the top. He says the servant of God whose heart is bent toward God and who's committed to doing the will of the father.

Well, let me ask you to get a pencil and piece of paper out. I want you to jot down several things because I want to talk about how you can serve your own generation. How do you serve your own generation? Number one, you refuse to be a slave to it. You don't let yourself get entrapped for the fads and the fashions and the secularism of your generation. If you're going to serve your generation for God, you refuse to become enslaved to it.

Secondly, you refuse to run from it. You're not the kind of person who wants to get out here and build yourself a little island and have your little community. And all of us Christians are just going to love each other and love Jesus till he comes. We're not going to get ourselves involved in the big city. We're not going to get ourselves involved in all the troubles and the heartaches. We're just going to hide out over here till Jesus comes.

I want to tell you, my friend, that is totally unscriptural. If you notice the life of Paul, where did Paul spend his ministry? He spent most of his ministry going from one big city to the other and leaving an indelible impression that they would never, never forget. You don't run from it. Number three, how do you serve your generation? You discover a need and give yourself to meeting that need by the help of Almighty God through his power. Discover a need and give yourself to meeting that need. Next, you serve your generation by being willing to perform the commonplace things.

You're not the kind of person who's waiting for the big opportunity. You just start where you are. You just start doing the thing that you see needs to be done.

You become involved now in somebody's life and the life of the church. You do what needs to be done. You don't wait for the big opportunity.

That'll come. But the next one is this. You prepare yourself for future opportunities. Not only are you doing the commonplace thing now, but to serve your generation, you prepare for those future opportunities. To serve your generation, you must serve it continuously.

Lots of folks who start, many people who quit, but are you one of those who hangs in there? How do you serve your generation? You serve your generation faithfully. You can be counted on to keep hanging in there and helping meet the need till the need is met. Lastly, you serve your generation by preparing a way for those who are going to follow you. How many of us do anything that we know that we'll never get any credit for? It'll never mean anything personally significant to us, but we know that because we did it and because we were there, the generation that follows us is going to be better simply because you and I were there.

That's how you serve your generation. Then I want you to turn just a moment to Psalm 92. Very significant passage that I want you to notice here. Psalm 92.

Let me ask you this. Notice what the Bible says here about David, that after he served the purpose of God in his generation, the scripture says that he was laid to rest. He served God until he was laid to rest. Verse 12, the righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, lots of coconuts. He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon, stalwart and strong, planted in the house of the Lord. That is, he's a vital part of the work of God. They will flourish in the courts of our God.

They will still yield fruit when? In old age. Now listen, when you leave, is this all that's going to be left?

Well, he was there and now he's gone. Are you going to leave something that folks will never forget? Something about you. Listen to what that says. Flourishing in the courts of the Lord, even in old age, bearing fruit. Now I want you to notice two of the verses and then I'm going to close. Look in John chapter 12, verse 26. If anyone serves me, let him follow me. And where I am, there shall my servant also be. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him or her.

Honored by the Father. Then if you'll turn to Hebrews chapter six, these are two wonderful verses. Hebrews chapter six.

And I want to read this out of the King James Version because somehow it just says it a little bit more beautiful to me. Listen to what the Lord says to all of us who are his servants and that's all of us. And it may be that you're one of those faithful servants of God and you're serving him in a very difficult place today and you think, God, do you know where I am? Do you know how I'm hurting?

Do you know how I'm suffering? Listen to this verse. For God, Hebrews 6, 10 now, for God is not unrighteous or unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have showed toward his name in that you have ministered to the saints and do minister.

He's not going to forget. He says he's going to honor you and he's never going to forget a single thing that you ever do in his name as a servant. Lord Jesus, we pray that the Holy Spirit will sink this message deeply into our hearts. That we'll not be able to squirm out of it, weasel our way out of it, rationalize it or excuse it, deny its presence and its power and its personal reaching into our own heart to examine our own spirit.

Father, I pray in Jesus' name that every person who has heard it and who will hear it will come to grips with, will come to reality, will face the truth, will be honest about their life. And I pray that multitudes of people, that every person seated here in this congregation will say, Lord, here am I. Send me. Here am I.

Send me where? To do whatever, however and when and as long as you see fit. Here am I. Father, send me is my prayer today in Jesus' name. Amen. Thank you for listening to Serving God's Purpose. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by intouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-14 03:49:25 / 2023-07-14 03:56:42 / 7

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