I hope you have been enjoying our Back to the Basics series. We’ve been learning about things that apply to our daily walk with God. Just a recap if you are reading Christian Life Magazine for the first time. The first month (September 2018 Issue) we talked about the importance of having a daily devotional time to connect to God. Last month we learned about faith and how important it is. This month we are going to talk about serving and how it operates in the local church. I encourage you to get your Bible and a notepad, as you may want to write some of this stuff down.
The act of serving puts you in a humble position!
C.S. Lewis said this: “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
The economics of the Bible is the counter opposite of the world’s economics. Let me explain:
The world says that life is all about you. Do what makes you happy. Do what makes your bank account grow. Climb that corporate ladder, knocking off whomever gets in the way. Let’s now compare what Jesus says in Matthew. In Matthew chapter 19, we are going to read verses 16 through 30.
“Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” “Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” the man asked. And Jesus replied: “‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.” Verse 20: “I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?” Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” Verse: 25 “The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked. Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Then Peter said to him, “We’ve given up everything to follow you. What will we get?” Jesus replied, “I assure you that when the world is made new and the Son of Man sits upon his glorious throne, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life”. Verse 30: “But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.”
Let’s take a moment to examine this a little.
To glean a little better understanding of verse 21, let’s read it from the Amplified Translation: “Jesus answered him, “If you wish to be perfect [that is, have the spiritual maturity that accompanies godly character with no moral or ethical deficiencies], go and sell what you have and give [the money] to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me [becoming My disciple, believing and trusting in Me and walking the same path of life that I walk].”
This is powerful! I want you to understand the latter part of verse.
21: [becoming my disciple, believing and trusting in Me and walking the same path of life that I walk].”
Servant-hood is equivalent to trusting Jesus with everything.
Trusting in Jesus is often difficult. However, it is a must. It goes back to what we talked about last week, faith. Even Jesus Himself learned how to trust God. Let’s look at what happened in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Matthew 26:36 “Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
Verse 39: “He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.” When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open”.
Verse 44: “So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again. Then he came to the disciples and said, “Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But look—the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Up, let’s be going. Look, my betrayer is here!”
I want to bring Your attention to verse 39, and we are going to read it out of the Amplified Bible: “And after going a little farther, He fell face down and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible [that is, consistent with Your will], let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”
Jesus, who is fully God and fully man, was struggling. He did not want to die that horrible death which was fast approaching Him.
Jesus Christ is the ultimate servant. His record is impeccable, and He will never let you or me down.
Romans 15:7-8: “Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory. Remember that Christ came as a servant to the Jews to show that God is true to the promises he made to their ancestors”.
I find it very interesting that Jesus went down to go up. Let me explain:
Philippians 2:5-11: “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Verse 9: Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”.
Being a servant will help you learn where your heart truly is.
Proverbs 4:23 says: “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life”.
Our hearts are naturally wicked. Jeremiah pegged it when He said this in Jeremiah 17:9, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked”. Who really knows how bad it is?
One of the ways I believe we can keep our heart under check is to serve. Serve your neighbor, serve your family, serve your church, and even serve your community. God will reward you as you begin to serve each other. Why? Because you are ultimately serving Him.
Next month I’m going to finish this 4 part series. We are going to discuss the importance of tithing to your local church. My family and I would like to say that we hope you have a Merry CHRISTmas and a blessed 2019!!!
Please contact me as I’d love to hear from you!
Pastor Jeremy Empie
(641) 569-7024 Ext. 101
201 High Avenue East
Oskaloosa, Iowa 52577-2838
Office Number: (641) 569-7024
Church Service Time:
Saturdays, 6:00 P.M. (Meet & Greet)
6:30 P.M. (Worship)
Web Site: www.TheBethesdaHouse.org