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Series: All In – Prayers, Presence, Gifts, Service and Witness
Text: John 1:40-42; Mark 10:45
Rev. Audrey Spencer
Introduction: We are in a series of messages titled “All In.” These messages are based on steps we can take to go “all in” with regard to our response to God’s love and offer of relationship. We have looked at being present in worship on a regular basis and how we can improve our prayer life by looking at a few methods of prayer. Today we will look at what serving God looks like in the church and in our world.
What is servanthood? A servant is someone who takes vacation to work on a mission trip, coach a little league team, teach Sunday school, playing ball with your kids, teaching your kids to make cookies for the first time, a doctor who refuses to abort a child, a husband who stands by his wife receiving chemo. Serving does not always mean you are upfront in the limelight of the church or in your community.
Biblical example: We will look at Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. Read John 1:40-42. What do we know about Andrew? He was a disciple of John the Baptist, one of the twelve called by Jesus, he was on the first to recognize Jesus as Messiah, brought his brother to Jesus, worked as a fisherman. He was always second best, second in line and living in the shadow of his brother Peter. He was the guy who made the disciples look great. Servant hearts like his make a local congregation look great!!
The Value of Invisible Service: Look at the people of our church who serve behind the scenes to help make this church run, make worship more pleasant for us all and help us connect to our community. Those who coordinate the organizing of the Sanctuary, run the media on Sundays, cook and clean the kitchen at events, support us in prayer, help the church office function and work on repairs all over the campus. Andrew was this kind of servant. Always in ministry for others. He didn’t preach the sermons, heal all the folks, but he found the little boy with a lunch that fed 5000, he went to Jesus and spoke of the Greeks who needed the Good News. This type of servant doesn’t serve for the applause, the recognition, or the praise. Jesus says these are the ones who are truly great in the kingdom.
The Value of ALL Gifts: We may think our gifts are insignificant. By ourselves they are. But with God, all gifts are used to further the Kingdom. You may think your gift is insignificant, but Andrew teaches us that a small gift used for God is far more important than a great gift that is squandered or hidden under a bush.
How does God measure success? Most would say whether or not we are saved. Not so. Jesus paid it all. Will God look at our acquisitions and purchases, or place on the corporate ladder, our worldly accolades? NO! He will look at how we served. He will judge how we used the gifts He gave us. Jesus gives us the specifics on serving: feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit those in prison. We are to serve OTHERS, not ourselves. None of these require big upfront, in the limelight gifts or ability. They require a willingness and desire.
Conclusion: At the end of the day think back and ask yourself who you served. If you say you did not have any opportunity, then ask God to forgive you for not seeing all the opportunities he gave you that you did not see, and ask him to help you see them tomorrow. God wants us to be conformed, re-shaped, molded into the image of Jesus. And what is Jesus like? We are told in Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
What is the measure of success? Serving and Giving. Not being served and getting. Which are you after? How will you measure up? How will you be “All In?”