In last week’s bulletin we examined what God demands of us in the realm of service. We specifically looked at what our duties were to the assembly. We learned that we have the responsibility to edify one an other and that meant that the men of the church needed to take an active role in leading the church’s worship hour. (Not just some of the men, but all of them). We also learned that some of the needs that the assembly had were providing for some physical needs. These included but were not limited to building up keep, preparing the Lord’s supper, etc. Each of these acts of service, while not necessarily often praised are of vital importance to the church. If they were not done, we all would take notice. This week, I would like for us to continue down this road and learn in what other areas does God expect us to serve. To answer this question, let us now turn to Heb. 13:1-3, “Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”
God expects us to love the brethren. Love is not something that is accomplished without action. We know our spouses love us not just because they say the words, but because their actions prove that they love us. They remain faithful, they take care of us when sick, they provide meals for us, they take out the trash without being asked, they buy roses just because, etc. Actions speak much louder than words for the brethren too. If we love our brethren, then we are going to have to be active in our service towards them. Furthermore, contact with the brethren is also needed to show love. You need to get into their homes and have them in your home. Talk to them more than once or twice a week. Just as you might call your wife at work just to say hello, call a brother in Christ. Just as you might do something kind for your husband, do something kind for your sister in Christ. Whatever it is, let your love motivate you to be at their service.
God expects us to be hospitable. I realize that the Hebrew writer specifically says to be hospitable to strangers, but do not let this fact escape you, we ought to be hospitable to one another too! Hospitality is the great lesson Jesus used to teach his Apostles to serve. He got down on his hands and feet and washed his disciples feet (John 13:3-13). He stated quite clearly we are to wash one another’s feet. Now, I realize that this is a custom we often say is no longer relevant today. Do we say this because we don’t want to serve? Or do we say this because we don’t want someone to serve us? The truth is, both mindsets are condemned by Christ here in this passage. (Peter was rebuked for not wanting to be served and Jesus would later state that night that if we love him we will keep his commandments). It seems to me brethren that if foot washing has fallen out of practice, we ought to be looking hard for its replacement so that we can serve one another thought hospitality.
God expects us to remember those in bondage. While many Christians in America today are not bound as they were in the 1st century, we still ought to remember that there are still those bound. Bound to spouses that do not want them attending services, bound to parents who want nothing to do with God, bound to bosses that make their lives miserable because they are Christians. To them, we are told to serve. Our service to them will remind them that even though they may feel all alone they are not. If we are going to their home, inviting them to ours, talking to them daily they will be encouraged. This is our duty.
God expects us to remember those that suffering persecution. Again, here in America we do not have those that are actually suffering for the cause of Christ, but then again the Hebrew writer did not state ill-treated for the cause of Christ either. He simply said “ill-treated.” Sometimes we suffer in this world because we live in this world. The truth of the matter is there are many who need our serive because of how others are treating them. I have often wondered how many young people would not resort to violence against others or themselves if someone would have simply showed some compassion and for at least a short while made that person feel special. You see, when you are busy washing someone’s feet you have to look up to them. You make that person of higher rank than you. Those suffering at the words of others certainly need this. And if you see a brother or sister in Christ suffering in his fashion, service is exactly what he/she needs. Not only does God expect it from you, he demands it.
Grinnell church of Christ
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What Kind of Service Does God Expect of Us
Volume 4 Issue 9