North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

    Once a long time ago, a concert pianist entered the concert hall through a lighted marquee that bore his name. As he prepared for his rehearsal, an insignificant-looking man stepped up to him and said excitedly, “Tonight, we’re going to give a concert.”    “What did you say? No, I’m going to give a concert,” the pianist corrected him.

    Feeling a bit rebuffed the man decided not to turn the spotlight on, didn’t move the props from around the baby grand, and didn’t unlock the entrance door to the stage. When it came time for the performance, the musician went running to the man and said, “Where have you been? Don’t you know I need you to do these things before the concert can continue?”

    This so-called “great and famous” man had never learned the lesson of teamwork that is so simply explained in 1 Corinthians 3:5-9: “We are servants. The one who plants the seed and the one who waters it are the same. Each one will get his own pay. For we work (serve) together with God”.

    I have always believed in teamwork. This is one of the valuable lessons I myself have learned through many years of participation in team sports. In basketball, baseball, and other sports everyone has a part or position to play to achieve the victory. This lesson can no doubt carry over into your professional life especially when working in service-oriented positions. While service occupations are not glamorous, nor are they high-wealth producers, there is a great satisfaction in helping people and working with others to achieve a goal. In spite of the efforts of each of us, or all of us put together, it is God who accomplishes the achievements (1 Corinthians 3:7).

    The Bible says, “Let us be thankful and have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably” (Hebrews 12:28). Many people, including Christians, do not know how to serve effectively with God and others. The five (5) letters in the word “S-E-R-V-E” bare-witness in how to be effective.

    We are to SERVE, S-acrificially. Hebrews 13:16 says, “Remember to do good and help each other. Gifts like this please God.” Millions of people in our affluent society do not know what it means to sacrifice. What has happened is self-indulgence has replaced self-denial. This is not the way to true service. The Bible says a person “must deny themselves” (Luke 9:23). God must have first place in our lives. His cause and Kingdom as well as our purpose for living, must come before ease, comfort, pleasure, and personal gain.

    You need to SERVE, E-nergetically. How many of us, when tired, find the energy to work at our own selfish pursuits, but lack enthusiasm when it comes to cooperating with God’s appointed work. God does not require you to forsake family and job duties that are His will for you. But we are to give priority to His work, serving Him with our might, and giving Him the best of ourselves. Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, “Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your strength”. Do not forget what you do for Christ’s sake counts most in this life and in the life to come.

    To SERVE effectively you must do it R-outinely. It’s not negative thinking, but you and I know some people cannot be depended upon. They hit or miss; working only when they feel like it. To be effective, we must serve even when the odds are against us. In your faithfulness, God will reward you. “Be strong, always do your work well for the Lord, knowing that whatever you do for Him will not be wasted” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

    Some of the most dedicated people are those who volunteer. Working in the YMCA, the church, and other program-related organizations, I have seen passion in people that really inspire. Therefore, to SERVE effectively, one must do so V-oluntarily. Men and women of pride and valor volunteer to serve their country in the military. The followers of Christ should offer Him their service and become soldiers in his army (2 Timothy 2:3). Look for ways to be involved and contribute. Do not wait to be forced into service, but give willingly of your time, talent, and treasure. “Whatever work you do, do it for the Lord and not for others. Remember, you will get your reward from the Lord. He will give you what you should receive. You are working for the Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24). And the Bible says, “Do good and be rich in good works; give much; and be ready to share” (1 Timothy 6:18).

    Finally, “SERVE the Lord with Gladness” (Psalm 100:2). A negative image presents an ineffective witness. Do it E-njoyably. Count it a privilege to serve the Lord and do it gladly. The world is searching for happiness and will run to where it can be found.

    Here is the wonder of it all: God could have written the gospel message in the skies, or sent ten thousand angels as messengers to the lost world. Yet, He designed the plan to include us; to let us have a part in the “concert” He is giving. Our work is nothing in itself, no matter how good you are at what you do. But the marvelous thing is God lets us work with Him—and no “partner with God” can be a nothing. You may not be a musician or even able to carry a tune, but God, you and those you know can produce a symphony of sweet music. To God be the glory, great things He has done. Be real, be a team player, and be faithful to all things good and true.

• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s a health educator for the State of Florida, U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain, and the Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in the New York Community. His “Living With Purpose” Book series can be found and purchased on www. Amazon.com. You can contact him by email: rmdobson@liberty.edu.

Posted by on Jul 14 2019. Filed under Church News, Churches, Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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