Service in love done with sincerity and truth, is worship.
So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them. Genesis 50:21 (NIV)
It seems Genesis 50:20 is such a popularly quoted verse, You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (NIV), and rightly so, as it reminds us all of the much needed “but God…” trump card in our lives! However the verse after that one, verse 21, is just as, if not more astounding! Verse 21 gives evidence to the power of God released within a person willing to fully trust and obey; to hang their hope on Jesus Christ alone and who fully understands that the unconditional love of God found in Jesus is stronger than the worst of themselves! How else could one step forward from those that intended to harm them, into… so then I’ll just go ahead and comfort you with kind words and provide for you and your next of kin (as verse 21 indicates)?!!
When we are so entwined, so enraptured with the One who has served us first, loved us first, our acts of love and service become motivated by Him and for Him alone – it’s an act of self sacrificial worship. Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. Hebrews 13:15 (NIV)
Remember, You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit- fruit that will last- … John 15:16 (NIV) For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV)
The only way any of us produce acts of service that reflect the love of Christ, is through His Holy Spirit in us, Jesus flowing through us. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5 (NIV) He is our Source of life and all worthy things that flow from our life. However none of our acts earn us more of His favor, more of His love. On the cross Jesus said, it is finished (John 19:30). He did all the work needed to secure our salvation because we could not, even if we tried. So any good work produced from our lives is a byproduct of God’s amazing grace, His connection with us in a love relationship in such a way that He produces in/through us a display of HIS splendor (Isaiah 61:1-4)!
A love relationship requires our surrender to Him who loved us first (John 3:16). Any love relationship requires trust and our trust in God is demonstrated via obedience to His Word. John 13:34-35 (NIV) “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Why is this love the tell tale sign that we belong to Jesus? Because the kind of love we are to love with is not naturally human (like displayed in Genesis 50:21), we are to love with the love we have received from Jesus and that love cannot be found in this world.
The way we understand the Father’s love will determine how well we are able to serve others in love. 1 John 4:11 (NIV) Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. He SO loved you and me with a love that is STRONGER than the stench of the worst parts of ourselves. WOW! What motivation to reflect this kind of love no matter how it is received by the outside world for the sole reason of showing worshipful gratitude to the One who loved us this way!! 1 John 3:16-18 (NIV) This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
See also James 2:14-26. For where there is genuine faith there will be genuine deeds because faith produces; not in an effort to earn something it doesn’t yet have, but rather to prove what it already possesses – a place in the Vine.
Our obedience does not stem from a need to earn our way to God but rather our obedience proves our trust in a God who already paid the way for us to be with Him. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (NIV)
Dear one, may your trust in Jesus, who is your sure hope of salvation, and the One who loves you unconditionally, be proved through your obedience to His Word. May how we serve others in Christ’s love be genuine worship and produce in us the kind of worshipers He seeks. John 4:24 (NKJV) God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Serving and loving others like Christ first did for us (and continues to do for us) is not easy. At times we will fall short but if our motivation is a love relationship with our God (that He initiated) and Who we trust loves us unconditionally, and Who has given us a sure hope of a better day yet to come, then we can take hold of an unshatterable joy within even unhappy circumstances and continue to follow through in obedience to His Word; submitting a sacrifice of praise in humble worship because He is so worth it.
God bless you muchly dear one~