Topic: Sunday Message Verse: Ephesians 2:8–2:9, Ephesians 2:10,
A Simple Definition for Serving
Serving is using your unique, God-given gifts to help others by putting their needs ahead of your own.
Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
The Banner of Grace
Grace changed the Apostle Paul's life and it can change our life as well. His life used to be grace-less, where he thought he had earned and deserved God’s favor by keeping all the religious rules. Thankfully for Paul, God’s grace invaded His life, and it saved him--grace rescued him from God’s righteous judgment, and it restored him back into the relationship with His Creator he was always meant to enjoy. The same is true for us. For it is by God's grace through our faith in Jesus Christ that we are saved.
Obstacles to Grace
Grace demands a response. You can either accept or reject it, but you have to do something with it. Unfortunately, reject the grace of God for one of two reasons: ignorance and stubbornness.
Ignorance says "I didn't know," an obstacle that can be overcome by our knowledge of the Gospel. Stubbornness says "I don't need," an obstacle that requires humility before God to receive His unearned and undeserved favor. Either way, don't let these obstacles get in the way of experiencing the life-changing grace of God that our hearts long for.
Ephesians 2:10 NIV
10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
You Are God's Unique Handiwork
As Christians, God has prepared "good works" for service for us to do for others. These "good works" are actually "great works of goodness" that bless other people as we help them in our serving by putting their needs ahead of our own. These great works of goodness are based on our uniqueness as God's handiwork where He uses our one-of-a-kind gifts, talents, personalities, temperaments, backgrounds, and experiences.
Three Possible Motives for Serving
GUILT (which makes the heart of God SAD)
GREED (which makes the heart of God MAD)
GRATITUDE (which makes the heart of God GLAD)
Gratitude is the only proper response to grace and the only genuine motive for serving.
Colossians 3:17 NIV
17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Our Unique Serving Purpose is Worth the Discovery
God has a faith-stretching, life-giving, world-changing serving purpose for everyone who knows and follows Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter if our kingdom assignment is high-profile, low-profile, or no-profile, because the very fact that the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords has called us into His service means that what we do for Him is of the utmost importance.
Now some of us have a really good handle on how and where we’re supposed to serve Him. Others of us might be on the front end of the spectrum and just starting the discovery process. Wherever we are, know that our greatest purpose in life and our deepest fulfillment can only be found in serving Jesus Christ, our Savior and our Lord. So let's do whatever it takes to chase after that purpose with all our heart.
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What you do matters. There are no insignificant assignments. There are no unqualified people. The invitation to serve as part of God’s Kingdom work is for everyone. Pastor Dan
1. Skim through the titles of the New Testament books on your smart phone—or look at the table of contents in your Bible. Which “books” did the Apostle Paul write? Which of his letters have you read?
2. What did Paul claim as his purpose in life (see the verses below)? Should our purpose in life be the same as his? Why or why not?
* Acts 9:1-6
* Acts 20:22-24
* Philippians 1:20-25
3. What are some ways you have served the Lord by serving others recently? How have you grown in Christ and connected with others through these opportunities?
4. Look at the Spiritual Maturity/Ministry Skills Graph. Do you see how it works? Where would you put yourself on the graph right now? Explain.
5. What practical steps would help you grow in serving and deepen in spiritual maturity this year?