Reasons to Serve

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24

In His Word, God commands us to serve one another. (See Gal. 5:13.) However, in life there will inevitably be difficult people who make this mandate challenging.

Thankfully, a biblical definition of service can help us obey the Lord’s instruction, no matter who the recipient may be. And the reason is that God is actually the One whom we serve.

When we have this motivation underlying everything we do, it will impact the quality of our work and keep us from becoming discouraged. Then, whatever our task—whether we lead a company, teach children, or do something less appealing—if our goal is to glorify God, we will do our best in His strength. And we trust Him to use us for His purposes, even if our labor should appear fruitless to us or to others.

When I was in college, I worked on a 1920s living history farm. My whole life I've tended to animals. Wake up before daylight, work into the evening. Even in rain or snow, holidays, etc, I still had to complete the job. This was hard for me to do. Then the Lord impressed upon my heart that I was not merely bringing feeding animals but also bringing joy to the people that came to visit and learn about them; I was serving Jesus. As I understood this truth more, waking up and working was purposeful and doable. Truthfully, I still did not always feel like facing the work, but feelings were no longer relevant. I was serving my Maker.

Recently this hit me again as a family member requested financial assistance from us. I struggled with the decision as to why couldn't someone else help. That was putting us in a predicament of giving up some of our savings for our family vacation for someone that probably wasn't even going to appreciate what we were giving up for them. Slap in face moment. Do I always appreciate the sacrifice Jesus did for us? Yet he still served us with love and Grace and we are called to do the same. We gave her that $430. Went on our vacation, still awaiting the promised repayment 3 months later, but as always God provided and the kids had a good time.

Whomever God calls us to serve and whatever He tells us to do, we can obey with joyful hearts when it’s done for Jesus Christ. If this is our motivation, we won’t need worldly approval or evidence of impact. We need to know only that God is pleased and promises to reward those who serve Him (Heb. 11:6).