28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:28–29, NKJV)
The kingdom of God will not be destroyed by evil men under the power of the devil. It is a spiritual kingdom that endures, even as the kingdoms of men fall (Daniel 2:44). Therefore, Christians are to live unshakable lives of faith. We graciously serve God according to His will, to be accepted by Him (whether or not people accept us). Our service is to be marked by awe and pious dread of displeasing our God. Boisterous, impious, irreverent conduct is not acceptable service to our holy God. We are kingdom citizens and kingdom servants, remembering our place before our King. God is a “consuming fire” against all who do not fear Him and fail to faithfully serve Him. Make no mistake; God does not favor those who dishonor Him with disobedient, sinful and shameful living. He will punish sin, even as He reward the faithful. Choose wisely, and serve the King acceptably.
Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. (2 Corinthians 4:1, NKJV)
The apostles of Jesus Christ were commissioned by Him to preach the gospel to the world (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15). As they did their work, they were “ministers of the new covenant” (2 Corinthians 3:6). Their service to Christ and to the world was certainly motivated by the merciful forgiveness they had received under the new covenant. But also, God’s mercy continued to be with them as they served His will. And so, Paul could boldly say, “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). Christian, do not lose heart and faint as you fulfill the service the Lord has given you. You live in the mercy of God (Galatians 6:16)! Be patient and endure the trials that test and purify your faith. As the Master came to serve, even so He calls on you to persevere and have patience, and do not become weary as you labor for His name’s sake (Revelation 2:3).
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24, NKJV)
Divided loyalty dooms one to failure. Jesus laid down this simple, yet profound principle, which plays out in our lives every day. We establish priorities that reflect our values, our motives, our goals, and our aspirations. We will either serve the spiritual, or the material. We will either serve God, or riches. Attempts to serve both God and the world lead to spiritual demise. Double-mindedness prevents effective faith and wisdom (Jas. 1:5-8). Christians cannot successfully live by faith with one foot in the world, and one foot in the church. “Limping between the two sides” will never lead to heaven (1 Kings 18:21). Disciples of Jesus must wake up from spiritual apathy, clean up lives that have been defiled by sin, and grow up in Christ by abandoning every vestige of the flesh (Rom. 13:11-14). Love and serve the Lord God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30). Commit yourself to being God’s servant every day, with all your being.
If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:11, NKJV)
We ought not think that God will automatically accept whatever we say and do in worship and service to Him. Our teaching must be according to the utterances of God. God inspired the Scriptures, and what we say and teach to others must conform to them – the “pattern of sound words” given by the apostles and prophets of Jesus Christ (2 Tim. 1:13). Our worship must be “in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). Our service to God will be “acceptable to God” when it agrees with the “perfect will of God” that He has given us in His word (Rom. 12:1-2; Jas. 1:22-25). By conforming to the revelation of God, our words and our service will honor Jesus Christ, not ourselves. Since Jesus possesses glory and the sovereignty to rule over us, He deserves nothing less than our full strength and vigilance to only speak and follow His word.
25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.” (Matthew 20:25–26, NKJV)
People of the world measure greatness by the position and power one has over others. Yielding to the appeal of pride and superiority, many succumb to this facade of importance. In the sight of God, however, greatness is defined by service. A humble heart that helps others, free of self-interest, is the standard of greatness pursued by disciples of Christ. After all, Jesus not only taught the virtue of humble service, He lived it: “…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). Be great today. Serve someone instead of yourself.
25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor. (John 12:25-26)
When you serve Jesus Christ you value His will more than life itself. Are you willing to lose your life for Jesus? Perhaps the more pertinent and pressing question is, Are you willing to live for Jesus? If so, then follow Him. Being His servant is far more than saying you love Jesus; it is following His word first and always. By following Jesus the Father will hold you dear and your life is preserved for eternal life.
8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ” 11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him. (Matthew 4:8–11)
The devil offered Jesus the world and its glory if only He would worship him. He still uses that line on people today. Those who yearn for what they see with their eyes yield to his temptation. They fall down before the devil and pay homage to him by fulfilling sinful lusts. But, Jesus’ daily purpose and deliberate decision was to only and always worship and serve only the Lord God. In due time the Lord God would bless Jesus with glory, honor and power (see Jno. 17:1-5; Matt. 28:18; Eph. 1:20-23; Phil. 2:9-11). Set your eyes on eternity, not on worldly attractions. Walk by faith, worshiping and serving the God of heaven and earth, and He will sustain you unto the day of eternity.