The Importance of Service

So often it is easy to fail to see the importance of service, but service is an integral part of a Christian’s life, and it is only by God’s grace that we can do it. As Ephesians 6:7 says, our service should be “to the Lord and not to Man”. I personally struggle, when serving, to not do it “by the way of eye-service” (Ephesians 6:6a), instead of in the right way, as a servant “of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart” (Ephesians 6:6b). We often put the opinions of man higher than those of God.

To be able to serve the Lord fully, we need to look at His perfect example for us. Mark 10:45 shows us Jesus Christ’s perfect example of service: “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." If Christ himself can serve others, how much we ought to be doing it too! If we serve others with the ultimate motive of bringing honour and glory to God, then he is glorified in our service.We need to pray continually for the grace to serve him and him only, and in doing that serve others.

By Samuel van den Broek

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  1. I really appreciated reading this post. But wondered where do we draw the line with serving? Do we put others before ourselves so much that we neglect our own studies, or sleep... And what does it mean to serve?

  2. Samuel van den Broek27 January 2010 at 23:06

    Some really good questions, thank you. I would firstly say that Jesus is are ultimate example of service, as Mark 10:45 says. Therefore I would say that our service should be a constant, unending action of looking out for the needs of others.
    And I do not know where to draw the line for service, it seems to be like asking where you should draw the line for worship, it should a constant thing
    Sorry if I have not answered your questions thoroughly.
    Does anyone else have any ideas?

  3. Just some thoughts. Yes, we should be living our whole lives in service to God and to others. However, doesn't this include looking after our own needs too? If we don't eat and sleep, we won't be in a fit state to meet the needs of others. Sometimes we will be called to deny ourselves in service to others; other times we may enjoy looking out for the needs of others and find our own needs satisfied in doing so. What do you think? Are there any Bible passages that relate to this?

  4. As far as I can see our service is firstly and primarily to God (1 Cor 9:12, Ephesians 6:5-7)So having said that I have a question: is it perhaps true that service as well as being an action is perhaps more of an attitude? If service is an attitude which says "God first and others before myself" then it is natural that in some places the servant will be in discomfort. It must also be true, however, that in this case the servant will make sure he is taking care of himself so as to be of most use to God and to Naomi said.(have a look at Philipians 2:22-30 for a great example of service)

  5. Thomas, I think you are right that service is an attitude, not just action, i.e, it comes from the heart: (See previous references to Eph6:6)
    So on a case by case basis we can apply God's revealed will in his word to how best we can serve in a given situation.

    Samuel, you are right, it is ever so easy to end up doing things for the wrong motive, or to slip into wrong attitudes after starting with a good motive.
    It is only by God's grace that we do anything with an eye for His glory. We need to learn to be to say 'We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.' (Luke 17:10). And to say that also requires grace!

    Another good example of service is in 2Cor12:15,where Paul says 'I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.'
    Which is service done for Christ, since he wasnt getting any thanks from the Corinthians...


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