Why do we Serve God?
In Luke’s testimony, “And Jesus answered him, It is written, You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.”
But have you ever wondered besides being commanded to serve, why do we really serve the Lord? I think this is a great topic that is overlooked at times. I want you to think deeply, and sincerely ask yourself, Why do I serve God? Did you know that God did not create us to serve Him, as though he needed anything from us. But serving God is a way of pleasing Him. It is one way of demonstrating our love for God. Mark 10:45 states, “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus came to Earth not to be served but to serve. How did Jesus serve then? He obeyed every command given to Him by the Father and showed love, kindness and grace to the people around Him – where the greatest act of love was on Calvary.
Different people are motivated by different things to serve God. Some may desire to serve Him largely out of gratitude for the great forgiveness He has given. Others may desire to serve out of gratitude for the life purpose He gives. Some may want to serve in order to share the goodness of God with others. Some may be excited about God’s plan for the world and want to serve in order to be an active part of that. But the one thing clear to all of them is that when a person is in a real relationship with God, he will serve God. An inherent part of knowing Him is the desire to serve him. We are taught to be more Christ-like each day, to learn His values, His character. Ephesians 5:1-2 says, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” Christ has shown us many examples of how to serve others. One could possibly argue that how much more humble can Jesus be by washing His owns disciples feet. John 13:5 says, “…he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” Could you imagine the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords washing His own disciples feet? Jesus is all about serving, and God wants to make us more like Him, therefore it is relatively obvious that we too, should also be all about serving.
Have you ever thought of your purpose on Earth? There are many people around the world trying to search for purpose in their life when actually it is right in front of them – serving the God almighty. Matthew 4:23 says, “And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.” Jesus’s life was centered for serving God – by teaching, healing, and proclaiming the kingdom of God. We are in this world because God has purpose for each and everyone of us. In 1 Peter 4:10, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” We have been given a gift, each one of us, and God wants us to use that gift to become a source of blessing for others. However, we must not stray from the fact that we are serving for God. Improving our own standing is not what He desires, but we should work for the betterment of others. Anyone could be a kind, charming, likeable person, but if they are doing it for their own reputation – for a good name for instance, or to give off a good impression to others, then that mentality of serving is futile. Serving isn’t about us receiving attention or glory; it is for Him to receive glory.
Genuine service of serving others/God cannot be separated from love. We can go through the motions of serving God, but if our hearts are not in it we are missing the point. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” Unless our service is rooted in love, it is meaningless. Moreover, it is not by our own might or knowledge that we are able to serve, but it is through Christ’s guidance and supply. 1 Peter 4:11, “Whoever serves, [let it be] as one who serves by the strength that God supplies — in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” It is God who gives us strength to do all things.
Serving God out of a sense of obligation or duty, apart from love for God, is also not what He desires. Rather, serving God should be our natural, love-filled response to Him who loved us first. John 3:16, ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son..’ to die on the cross for our sins. Us serving should be not just because of obligation or duty, but because we want to honor Him and to love Him. Wouldn’t you do the things that your loved one asks you to do? When we serve, the transforming power of Jesus Christ is on display for people to see that we have traded selfishness or selflessness.
Ephesian 2:10 says, “For we are..created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” However, one may think that they do not deserve to serve Christ. They are not worthy enough to receive the love of Christ. They did too many sinful things that they may never be a light in the dark for others. But those people are wrong. We have already been bought by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 6:20, “ For you have been bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body.” Our chains are gone, we have been set free. Therefore it is only ideal/fair/righteous, that we obey what God has in stored for us and know that in every downfall, every temptations, God wants to help us grow more intimately to Him. Ephesians 1:7, “In Him we have redemption through his blood the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.” Paul, whose real name was Saul, killed many believers and followers of Christ. But once he knew Christ, he devoted the rest of life after knowing God to truly serving Him by spreading the gospel of Christ. 1 Timothy 1:13, “Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.” Calvary has covered it all, your sin and shame, they do not count anymore. Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” It’s only reasonable that we serve the God who has provided the greatest service of all: salvation from sin and self and eternal life with Him in heaven.
Finally, isn’t quite puzzling why God wants to use us to serve others? What is the purpose of changing our priorities to accomplish tasks that God could honestly do better and more quickly without us? But know that our service proves our faith and causes others to praise God because God sees and rewards our labor of love. Hebrews 6:10, “For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.” Serve the Lord with gladness. The more we are aware of and experience God’s love in our own lives, the more prone we are to respond in love by serving Him. And this could only happen if there is a personal relationship between you and God. When one has a personal relationship with Jesus, everything in one’s life will revolve around Him. Therefore, our natural response would be a desire to love and serve Him. We seek to serve Him out of gratitude, love, and desire to live the way God intended us to.