Part 4 - Growth Through Serving
PART 4 - GROWTH THROUGH SERVING
Faith without works is dead. We can study doctrine and attend Sunday services, but if we do not live out a radical love, the kind that makes people say, “I want what they have,” then where is the love? Where is Christ in us?
SERVICE SHOULD MAKE US UNCOMFORTABLE.
Let’s return to the book of James.
James 1:14-20 (WEB)
What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith, but has no works? Can faith save him? And if a brother or sister is naked and in lack of daily food, and one of you tells them, “Go in peace. Be warmed and filled;” yet you didn’t give them the things the body needs, what good is it? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead in itself. Yes, a man will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
You believe that God is one. You do well. The demons also believe, and shudder. But do you want to know, vain man, that faith apart from works is dead?
• How many times have we genuinely done this: seen someone cold on the side of the highway and just driven by? Are we not living out this exact passage in contemporary America?
• It’s uncomfortable to share what we have, be it time or money or food or donated clothes and toys. It takes effort. But we are called to care for those in need in our communities.
SERVICE IS HOW WE WALK THROUGH THE STORMS OF LIFE WITH EACH OTHER.
• A strong component of the historical Jesus Movement is that the church welcomed people who were struggling, be it from addiction or temptation.
• In the movie JESUS REVOLUTION, we see church members serving each other in practical and immediate ways: providing meals, welcoming people suffering from mental health issues and addiction. People are given warm places to sleep and literally welcomed into the family and community.
SERVICE SHOULD BE DONE PRAYERFULLY.
• Service is not about proving our faithfulness or looking like a good Christian.
• We need to adopt a prayerful attitude toward service, that our intentions may be honorable and aligned with Scripture.
• Service humbles us: when we look back at Jonah, we see that he did not want to go to Nineveh, partly because he feared God would be merciful. And he thought those people didn’t deserve mercy. Are we ever like that? Afraid that if revival comes, some people in this country won’t deserve it?
A Jesus Revolution cannot be manufactured by human will or desire—we cannot snap our fingers and bring about another Great Awakening. But we can assess our own lives. We can ask ourselves the hard questions: who’s really allowed in my church? Is my prayer life rich and rewarding? Am I giving back with what I have? Am I demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ in my life?
“Won’t you revive us again, so your people can rejoice in you?” — Psalm 85:6 (WEB)
Jesus Messiah, we profess that You are Lord and we long to see every knee bow and every tongue confess. Revive us again. Revive our hearts, our families, our churches, our cities, our nation. Let Your Spirit move in this place and equip your church to be the light to the lost. Amen.