Serving the Body of Christ – Who, How & 4 CheckPoints

Shyju Mathew

"Experience the Word of God, in the power of the Spirit."

March 6, 2012

This entry is part 26 of 30 in the series Featured Bible Study: 30 Christian Basics

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Countless messages and sermons have been dispensed from the pulpit about serving the body of Christ but today, I want us to backtrack from the actions of service and take a moment to realise and understand why we do what we do.

While preparing to write on this topic, my mind was immediately filled with a lot of deeds being performed. It suddenly felt like I was trapped in Martha’s head. “So much to do! Jesus is almost here. There’s so much to do!” And serving the body of Christ can be like that sometimes; a whole list of things that need to be done. But the essence of service is not about the action but about the motivation.

Who Do We Really Serve?

Your immediate answer to this will be God, just as was mine. But what you and I have understood about the God we serve will determine the passion with which we serve. If we see God who ‘returns the favour’ after we have done something then we are serving under a false perception.

Think about the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the One who Moses served, the Lord over Israel, the Magnificent One seen by Isaiah, the glorious One in heaven as seen by John. He holds all creation in the palm of His Hands. If we go on to describe all that we know about God from the Bible, this post would not be enough. Words cannot express His awesomeness and glory. And it is this God that we are called to serve.

Why Do We Serve?

We serve because Christ did. Christ came to earth to serve. In leaving all His glory and coming down to earth, He performed the greatest act of service to God and mankind.

But this has nothing to do with the Body, you might think. The fact is unless you have not had a revelation of God and His love, expressing His kind of love will be close to impossible. Let me say it this way, if we don’t love Christ who is the Head, we would find it difficult to love the Body that is the church at large. And service, my friends, comes out of a place of love.

When you let God fill you with His love and you are brimming over with it, you can’t help but find a way to express it. Everyone you meet becomes a recipient of His love through you. You unknowingly start to serve the Body of Christ not because you stand to gain anything but because you have so much to give! Now isn’t that liberating? You do not have to perform.

Each and every one of us has been given a set of skills and abilities. Love becomes the compelling force that makes you use all that God has placed in you to bless the body of Christ.

Who Can and How Can We Serve?

Serving the Body of Christ does not come with a title. Nor does it come with a set of things that you have to do. It is “Attitude more than Action”.

So that automatically qualifies everyone to serve! We do not have to wait for someone to come and pray over us and charge us to go. But when love moves us, we obey.

These are a few things that we could keep a check of whenever we serve.

Humility – Serve with humility. Consider everyone else better than you; not only in words but even in thoughts. Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. He didn’t have to but in doing that He showed them what serving truly is; where the leader is the greatest servant of all. …in humility consider others better than yourself (Philippians 2:3)

Submission – You submit to the Head in serving the body. Also make mindful notice to submit to the spiritual authority placed above you, in alignment to the Word of God.

Unconditional – Never be conditional in your service. We cannot gain anything out of what we do here on earth but our Father who sees in secret (the heart), will reward you greatly. Nobody is dispensable. If someone is a hand, then someone else is a leg. Each and everyone has a part to play. Be an encourager of service than an exploiter of it.

And above all, Love – In 1 Corinthians 12, the last few verses we see a whole list of services that God Himself has ordained in the church.

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues[d]? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. And yet I will show you the most excellent way.

And this goes on to say in 1 Corinthians 13 that 1 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Let Christ’s love compel you to all things.

Spend time with Him in His presence and be filled with the love that will cause you to serve wholeheartedly!!

Discuss: How do you serve your part of the Body of Christ?

If there is one top motivation behind what you do for the church, what would it be? 

Next in the series: Offering and Tithes


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