How can YOU be a more effective help in the Church of God? How can you have a greater part in SERVING your brethren? Here are ways you can be a valuable servant — ways you may well have overlooked!
MANY continually ask, "What can I do to serve in God's Church?" They are eager and very desirous of doing MORE to help the Work of God — but they don't see what they can do — they wonder how they can be of greater use to God. Yet many, who ask these same questions, are overlooking a vital part of service — a way in which they can have immeasurable influence on the lives of others!
WHERE Does Service Begin?
To most people. the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence. They are constantly wishing they had some other job, are dissatisfied with their particular talents, would like someone else's position. Outwardly, they tell you they want to SERVE MORE — but inwardly, their basic motivation is selfish — they want greater "glory" and "honor" for themselves! How do we know? The answer is obvious — by the FRUITS of their personal lives! By the EXAMPLE they set in their everyday living! By the fruits of their CHARACTER — or lack of it! The KEY to being of greater service in the Work of God, and the Church of God, is not persistent pestering or importuning one of God's ministers. The KEY is to QUALIFY for greater service — on your knees, before the throne of God; and by studying God's Word daily, absorbing His truth into your very being! And then — put this influence to WORK in your OWN personal life! This vital Scriptural principle is amplified in I Corinthians 14:12 — "Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel TO THE EDIFYING OF THE CHURCH"! Too often people have a lethargic attitude toward the very Church of God — the Church Jesus Christ built (Mat. 16:18), and gave His life for. Too many think of it as just "another church" — at least, they seem to bear witness to this attitude in their personal lives! They have not had the very mind of Christ toward His Church (Phil. 2:5). Christ gave His ALL for the body — the Church. But — do you realize His sacrifice would have been totally IN VAIN if His personal life had not been sinless, perfect in character, holy before God? If Christ had sinned, YOU would have no Saviour! And all His service would have been in vain! The point is simply this — are YOU QUALIFYING to serve in God's Church, by setting the RIGHT KIND of Christian, godly EXAMPLE? Take a long, HONEST look at yourself! Are you walking WORTHY of the tremendous vocation to which you have been called? (Eph. 4:1.) Although God has indeed called the WEAK of this world (I Cor. 1:26-28), He does not intend that we REMAIN that way! If we are to enter God's Kingdom, and if we are to SERVE in God's Church, then God shows we must GROW spiritually, OVERCOME past weaknesses and shortcomings — even to the point where God can use us to confound the wise of this world! Personal growth is a vital KEY to service! Are YOU growing, in the following ways?
Grow in Wisdom
Jesus Christ meant that wisdom, knowledge and understanding should come through the Church of God. Note in Proverbs 9:1 that wisdom has built her house in seven pillars. As mentioned in chapter eight of Proverbs, this wisdom is priced far above gold or any other precious metal. You will note in Revelation that there are seven stages or eras of God's Church, and in Ephesians 3:10 Paul, under the inspiration of God, tells us: "To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known BY THE CHURCH the manifold wisdom of God." Paul again in I Timothy 3:15 tells us, "... the house of God, which is the church of the living God, THE PILLAR AND GROUND OF THE TRUTH." Yes, Jesus Christ shows us very pointedly that wisdom, knowledge, understanding and truth do come through His Church. Can you honestly, before God, say that the Church of God is cleaning you up and washing you through the Word of God (Eph. 5:26)? If you are not growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ every day as the result of the broadcast, PLAIN TRUTH, GOOD NEWS magazines, Correspondence Course and regular church services, you need to examine yourself to find out if you are even in the faith and not reprobate (II Cor. 13:5). Remember, your only source of true and lasting knowledge and wisdom comes through the Church of God. Why is Jesus Christ cleaning you up as an individual and all who are a part of the body through His Church and the Word of God? This is answered in Ephesians 5:27: "That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." Jesus Christ is in the process of perfecting all of us and using His Church and ministers to do it (Eph. 4:11-13). Are you letting Jesus Christ work and do this in your life?
How to Edify the Church
To "edify" means to "construct, build up, improve, enhance or benefit." Sad to say, God's ministers spend the vast majority of their time during a given week with people who are not edifying the Church of God, but on the other hand are tearing down, bringing degradation and shame upon the Church that Jesus Christ gave His very life for. There are many areas where you as an individual, IF YOU WILL, can grow in wisdom and knowledge and edify or build up God's Church rather than tear it down. In one area, an individual — uneducated, uncouth and unconverted, but yet in his vanity assuming himself to be spiritual and full of knowledge and wanting to be a teacher — on occasion would frequent a local bar and drink excessively. After consuming too much alcohol, he would proceed to preach and try to convert all with whom he came in contact. Paul mentioned a circumstance of excessive drinking to the Church at Corinth and accused the individuals concerned of DESPISING the Church of God (I Cor. 11:22). Do you ever drink too much? Do you ever, through vanity, try to teach when you are not called to teach? God plainly in Romans 10:15 and Ephesians 4:11 tells us He calls His ministers. Then in James 3:1 He warns against being a teacher when you are not called to that office. Do YOU DESPISE THE CHURCH OF GOD? Or on the other side of the ledger, are you striving with all of your being to be temperate in all things and are you one hundred percent behind God's called and chosen ministers? In other words, ARE YOU EDIFYING AND BUILDING UP THE BODY OF JESUS CHRIST? What about cleanliness of the flesh and the spirit (II Cor. 7:1). The works of the flesh are listed for us in Galatians 5:19-21 and Paul concludes the section by stating very dogmatically that "... they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God." Uncleanness is one of the things listed there, yet when we ministers walk into the homes of some who proclaim to be Christian, to be members of the Body, we find that home dirty and unkempt. Many are not particular about the area in which they live, but will move into the slum and dirty areas of some of our major cities.
Is Your Home Clean?
Let me put it to you in this way, God's way of life laid down in the Bible is the epitomy of perfection and the way of life that He would have all men live. In fact, in a few short years We — IF WE QUALIFY — are going to help Jesus Christ (Rev. 20:6) educate this entire world to this way of life. Now with this in mind, ask yourself HONESTLY — would you want to see the entirety of this society living in the same way, in the same area in which yon are now living? What about your home? Would you want everyone's home to be just like yours? What does your home LOOK like? Is it clean, orderly, well kept — an example of a home that Jesus Christ would enjoy entering and possibly even living in? If it isn't, you need to make some changes. Be an example or light in your community that through your good works men might glorify God (Mat. 5:16). God's Church and ministers through the various media we use, The PLAIN TRUTH, GOOD NEWS, broadcasts, sermons in church and so on, are teaching you the way God would have you live. God lays a responsibility upon you to take these sermons and act on them. Be a doer of God's Word and not a hearer only. This is one of the greatest ways you can be a help to the ministers and all of God's Church. In summarizing it all, examine and look at yourself. Christ wants you as a part of a glorious Church (Eph. 5:27). From the dictionary we find that "glorious" means, "showing qualities or doing acts that deserve glory, or renown; splendid, magnificent." Are you really working on yourself to become a part of a group that is to become this way? Are you striving to do acts that deserve glory or renown?
Perfection Our Goal
This Church is finally to be presented to Christ, the Creator of this universe, not having spot or wrinkle. Look at your life in the light of the Bible. Are you diligently striving to get rid of your spots and wrinkles? Are you setting the example in your family and your home that you hope to be teaching the whole world in the future? Would you want the world to be like you? If you are honest, you will have to answer that, "No." Begin to do something about it — CHANGE! Develop not only the mind of Christ, but also the very character and habits of Christ so that in the future you can help pass this way of life on to a miserable and unhappy world. This Church is to become HOLY and without blemish! It is not blasphemy to strive to become holy. God tells us through the pen of Peter, "But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye HOLY in all manner of conversation [conduct]; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy" (I Pet. 1:15-16).
How YOU Can Serve — NOW
Do you see the point? Do you grasp the lesson? Right NOW, in the example you set, by the very WAY you live, YOU can serve in God's Church! You can help EDIFY the very body of Jesus Christ! You can help, inspire, and build up your brethren by your personal conduct — your personal cleanliness and neatness — by the way you take care of your home, the way you guide with wisdom your family — in short, by the WAY YOU LIVE! Radiant friendliness, hospitality, constant good cheer — a positive, exuberant outlook on life can do wonders for other people who may feel cheerless, depressed, or who have been suffering setbacks and reverses in their own lives. These BASIC things are fundamental to being of service in God's Work. No matter what your talents, or supposed abilities, if you are neglectful of your person, or negligent of your family and home — these physical things are sad commentaries of your SPIRITUAL condition as well! Often, if we diligently take good care of the details — the LITTLE things — the big things will take care of themselves! God desires earnestly that each one of us GROW "... in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a PERFECT MAN, unto the measure of the stature of the FULNESS OF CHRIST; That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro..." (Eph. 4:13-14). God wants YOU to be a MATURE Christian, serving others by living an exemplary life of Christian conduct! Examine yourself — and set yourself to accomplish these goals! God will bless and reward each one of us, according to his WORKS! If you are diligent, your life will be blessed abundantly, far more than you ever imagined — and you will have that rewarding sense of real usefulness and SERVICE to God!