“Called to Serve” Commissioning of church leaders 12th February 2017
12th February 2017 Commissioning service Psalm 27 Galatians 6:1-10
Last week I asked you the question, what business is the church in?
I said that our primary responsibility as God’s people is to be people of worship, private and corporate and the proclamation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus.
What a great place to start as we meet together today, as we commission our church leaders.
The how we do these things may vary- culture, and past practices will obviously influence us in the how- This is why it is important to go back to the word of God, for teaching and instruction in what it means to be a servant of Christ. 2 Timothy 1:13
”What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
There are many Biblical principles spelt out for the child of God.
A W Pink 1945
What is a servant. “to “serve” Christ is to love Him, to give Him the supreme place in my heart and life, to devote all my powers and strength unto the doing of what He requires, and abstain from all He prohibits. Love to Christ is to be expressed in obedience unto Him: “If you love me—keep my commandments” John 14:15. “
I like the way Pink sums up what it is to be a servant of God: to “serve the Lord” is not to do something for him—as though we showed Him a favour—but it is to render something unto Him. It is to perceive His just requirement of me, to own His absolute authority, to dedicate myself wholly unto Him.
This does not negate my freedom of choice; on the contrary it should challenge and sharpen it.
How should we live as God’s servants? The answer is found in Philippians 2, the supreme example is that of the Lord Jesus. John 6:38 (did the Fathers will, He was a servant)
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
I have chosen two readings today the first from Psalm 27 one that I have shared on many a time, and Galatians 6:1-10 they both speak of servanthood, a deep desire to serve, not a group of people but God the Father himself.
This is why I said that we are initially in the worship business, both private and cooperate- our personal relationship with God the Father, with the Lord Jesus, in the power of the Holy Spirit will in fact influence all that we do.
In saying these things, my personal experience has been that there is always a tug o war between my desires, my will and the interpretation of what I think God wants and what God may actually require of me. I believe that this is a normal thing- a struggle that each one of us faces, and I have a suspicion that this is how it is supposed to be.
To struggle with what I call “God’s will verses my will” is healthy.
It shows that we are alive; it also shows that we are at least thinking and open to change. Yes open to the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
For many Christian service is a list of things that we do- I know that there is an element of truth in this, but strongly believe that this is not Christian service-
Christian service begins in the heart and mind it starts with worship and an attitude of submission- not to man but to the Lordship of Christ.
I believe that once my heart attitude is right then my service will be in the right direction.
In life each one of us has responsibilities, these responsibilities are not exclusive to the Christian faith and the Christian way of thinking for they are part of being human. Many who have faith and who do not have faith take their responsibilities seriously and this is how it should be.
What sets the Christian apart?
What makes a difference is the fact that we begin with an attitude of servanthood, where we seek to serve one master and do His bidding. Or to use the words of our Lord Jesus in Mark 12 : 29
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”
This will inevitably influence the how we serve the Lord question.
The Psalmist struggled in life as he did so he did not waver in his faith and acknowledgement for what God had done for him, and can do.
It is in his testimony that we can find encouragement as we seek to ”walk in a manner worthy of the calling.”
I would like to leave you with 5 thoughts that come form this psalm, five thoughts that should encourage us in our commitment to faith.
1.Salvation- clarity, strength is found in the provision of God to all his people- Acts 1 speaks of ‘being endowed with power from on high’.
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?
2. I believe that worship is important- a desire to fellowship with God is the beginning of the journey.
4 One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
3. If God is for us Who can be against us? Seek to be in the centre of His will.
5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.
3. Desire in your heart to be taught by God’s word, to be led by His Spirit.
Hear my voice when I call, LORD; be merciful to me and answer me.
8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek.
11 Teach me your way, LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.
4. Our strength and confidence in life is in the Lord- for He will never leave or forsake his you.
13 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.