Serving His Way
You don't have to get what I call the "pious tremulant" in your tone and sound ministerial in order to minister to people.
And hello, radio friends. How in the world are you? Are you doing all right? Oh, I’m fine, thank you. Nice of you to ask. I feel great. Praise the Lord. No complaints. Well, I want to go on with you, if I may, in Romans chapter 15. What we try to do is to open up the Word of God and put a handle on it so that you can get hold of it for yourself. And so we’re looking at verse 25 in the 15th chapter of Romans. Paul has just been saying, “I want to go see you people at Rome whenever I can but now, I’ve got a job I have to do.” He said, “I’m going to Jerusalem to minister unto the saints”.
“For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia,” these are the people of Philippi and around, you know, “to make a contribution for the poor saints at Jerusalem.” “It hath pleased them. I’m telling you the truth,” he says, “It hath pleased them verily”. They’re happy about it and they’re debtors, they are. “For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them,” the Jerusalem people, “in carnal things. When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain. And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.”
Couple of thoughts here. God always leads you to deal with the other believers in terms of ministry. Always, your relationship to other believers needs to be in terms of ministry. Paul says in 2 Corinthians, “As we have this ministry,” that’s 2 Corinthians 4:1, isn’t it? “Seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not. We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.” That’s 2 Corinthians. Now over in Galatians, Paul says, “Brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not that liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another,” Galatians 5:13 is the verse.
The whole relationship that you and I need to sustain with each other and with other believers is that of ministering and serving. Have you thought about that? Well, it’s just opposite to the ordinary approach of human nature, isn’t it? Just opposite to the ordinary approach of human nature. Human nature wants to be served. Human nature wants to be served. God says, “Even the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto but to minister and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
Our Savior said to His disciples, “Whoever will be great among you, let him be your minister, your servant, your slave.” Have you thought about that in your relationship to other people? Most of the time, automatically we protect our own turf, don’t we? We protect our own ideas and we protect our own plans and we protect the outcome of our plans so that we ourselves will benefit. And God says now start thinking about it in a different way, start thinking about it in terms of service. “By love, serve” – and that’s the Greek verb for “serve like a slave,” – “douleuete” is the verve “serve like a slave;” “by love, serve one another.”
I wonder how that would work out in a person’s life. Well, it could start in so simple a matter as breakfast. Instead of expecting mother to set the table and get breakfast ready, you might get dressed a little earlier, daughter, and take the bobby pins out of your hair and put on your face and get dressed and come down a little earlier and help mother set the table and help get out the cereal and the jelly and put the milk on the table and pour the orange juice. You might do that without being asked.
Now, mother would faint but when she came to, she’d feel a lot better, wouldn’t she? Yup, you might just do that. Sonny boy, after dinner is over at night, you might just very quietly walk over to the garbage container and take that plastic bag out and tie it up with one of those little plastic ties that comes with it. And without saying a word, take it on outside. That’s right. Carry out the garbage without being asked. Interesting — small things that make up service in a home. Did you ever stop to think that mother has to pick up about 3 million things every day that people drop on their way to school or work?
If you’d like to serve a little, how about just walking around and picking things up? There used to be an old Pennsylvania Dutch expression that my relatives used when I was a boy, they said “I’ve got to red up the place”. Any of you old-timers hear that, “Gotta red up the place?” That meant just walk around and pick things up. Serve. Father, you see your boy struggling over his arithmetic. How about laying aside the sporting page of the newspaper which is a married man’s last refuge, as everybody knows?
How about laying aside the newspaper and just sitting down beside junior and say, “How are you doing, boy? Let me help you.” You’d be surprised at the results that would accrue in the family if you just start to serve a little here and there. What do you think? A good idea? Yup, a very good idea. “By love, serve one another.” Paul said, “I got a ministry I have to perform for the poor saints of Jerusalem. I want to do some service here.” How do you work out this concept of service on the job?
It does seem as though everybody’s asking you to do things, doesn’t it? Fix that budget, add that column of figures, change that ad, sell that product, market that concept, and fix that squeaking door, or whatever it may be, always somebody to give you orders and complain. Well, the first thing I think you could do would be, cheerfully to do your duty. One of the first rules of success as somebody has written them is “Whatever you have to do, do it with a smile and do it cheerfully.” Nobody likes a grumbler. And even if you do a good job, if you grumble about it, that kind of spoils it, doesn’t it?
So do what you have to do cheerfully. And remember that there’s a motivation in what you have to do according to Colossians 3, “Whatever you do, do it heartily as for the Lord and not just for people; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” So do it cheerfully. But you would be surprised at how you can help other people. You’re working in a big office, let us say, and you have struck a time when your own workload has slowed down just a little. But you noticed that Susie just across the way from you is snowed under with a load of paperwork that she is just completely covered up with, so to speak.
Now, how do you serve in a situation like that? You go to your superior and you say, “Mr. Probosniac,” or whatever his name is, “I noticed that Susie is just snowed under there. Would you mind if I helped her this morning? My own workload is a little less.” Like as not, he’s going to be grateful to have you volunteer because the trade union mentality has taken hold of Christian work and workers as well so that far too often, people say, “That’s not my job. Don’t ask me to do that; that’s not my job.” But, you know, he’d be glad if somebody volunteered to help.
And as far as Susie is concerned, she’ll be delighted that somebody cared enough to give her a lift. We try to do that at our place. If somebody is just covered up with work, somebody else finds that his or her workload is a little lighter, we pitch in and help. I was delighted the other day to have a young lady come up to our office and say to my secretary, “My own workload’s a little lighter today. Can I help you with some of these things?” Oh, could she help! Yes, indeed. Serve. To have a ministry to people means help them where they’re hurting or where they have a need or where the burden is heavy. And do so without being asked.
Years ago I took a course called Human Engineering which actually was a course in management with a fancy name. Again and again the man who taught that course, pounded home one thing. He said, “Go cheerfully out of your way to help others without being asked.” He said it in every way he could. He included the concept in his exams that he gave us. Go cheerfully out of your way to help others without being asked. Learn the value of “please” and “thank you.” Learn to consider the needs and the burdens and yes, the wants of others as you go on through a business day.
That was management according to his lights and he taught it to us. Now, I don’t think, as I recall, that he had any knowledge of my blessed Lord and Savior nor did he refer to the Bible but what he was actually doing was giving us some truth that for 2000 years had already been in the Word of God. “Look not every man on his own things only,” Paul said to Philippians in chapter 2, “but look every man also on the things of others.” “Bear ye one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ,” he said to the folk at Galatia. And so to minister to other people means to find out where the burden is heavy, find out where their need is, and without being asked, make an effort to help to lift the burden, to supply the need, to take care of some of the workload — that you could try on the job.
And then of course in all the thousands of casual contacts we have during the day, there’s always the chance that you can be of help to someone and of encouragement. You see someone on the job that looks nice, tell him or her so. You see someone who’s made an extra effort to put out a good-looking brochure or good looking ad or a fine piece of copy or whatever it may be, say so. Encourage people and help them. You’re having a ministry that way. You don’t always preach sermons in order to minister to people, have you noticed that?
You don’t have to get what I call the pious tremulant in your tone and sound ministerial in order to minister to people. What you do is you help them when they need it and you do it for Jesus’ sake. Talk about your Savior when you get a chance but help people when they need it and you’ll find an open door to talk about your Lord as a result.
Dear Father, today, we ask that we might serve other people for the glory of the Lord Jesus, in His name I pray, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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