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Faithful Words

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Faithful Words

By The Staff

 

FAITHFUL WORDS Dr. Kenneth L. Faught     Have you heard the one about service?”   “Then Peter said in reply, ‘Lo, we have left everything and followed you. What then shall we have?’” (Matthew 19:27; See also Matthew 20:1-16) What will we get for being Christians? What’s in it for us? These are the questions Jesus addresses in our text. Peter has asserted that the disciples had “left everything” to follow Jesus and was concerned about the pay-off! We may find ourselves wondering the same thing about our Christian service – and let us define that service: Christian service is work that is (a) prompted by the Holy Spirit, (b) offered in the name of Christ, and (c) for the glory of God. Opportunities for Christian service abound. Every Christian will become a drop-out, a spectator, or a servant. Jesus reminds us that “the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few”. Paul reminds us that we are “created in Christ Jesus for the purpose of good works (Christian service.” James reminds is that “faith without works (Christian service) is dead.” Jesus tells a parable of servants who are hired throughout the day, but all of them have the opportunity to serve. Regardless of when we come to Christ, we are all enlisted for service. The church, the only institution in the world which has been designated “the body of Christ,” is the primary outlet for Christian service. Attitudes toward Christian service are important.Sometime cowardice prevents service. Sometimes cockiness cancels service. We can serve legalistically or graciously. We can be driven by motives that are self-serving or Christ-serving. We need to pay attention to our motives and be on guard concerning our manner. Here’s an attitude that works for many: “With God’s help I will do the best I can with what I have where I am for Jesus’ sake today.” The rewards for Christian service are certain. They don’t always come immediately, but they are guaranteed. In Jesus’ story some workers were hired early in the morning, others at mid-morning, on throughout the day. But all were rewarded. The Lord knows our works, as individuals and as churches. The challenge before us is to serve in the right way, for the right reason, as God has called us and equipped us.    Dr. Faught is Pastor of The LaFollette United Methodist Church.