Ephesians 6:7 “AS TO THE LORD”
Every assembly has them. Sometimes aggravating, sometimes impatient, sometimes even pushy … yet their phone numbers are on every saint’s speed dial. These are the people who quite simply get things done. They are discontent to leave things until a convenient time, they won’t tolerate a half-effort, and they seem to be annoyingly tireless in their campaigns to start and finish every task. Despite having all of the commitments of employment, family, health, and households like everyone else, they refuse to use these as excuses for intermittent service. We put up with them, because we’d rather be irritated than recruited.
So this is primarily written to those frustrating few that refuse to watch something fall down without picking it up. You understand that you’re part of an invisible minority that often shoulders a majority of the workload.
How do you feel when you watch a brother or sister “pass by on the other side” when something obviously needs attention? Do feelings of anger or despair or resentment sometimes overcome you to the point where you say, “Why do I bother?” It seems as if so very few others are willing to pull their weight, so why should you be expected to carry the load? Is there any reason why you should even care?
The above phrase from Ephesians (and others like it) are reminders that our Lord is as cognizant of our motives as He is of our service, perhaps more so. He Who searches the heart always knows why we do what we do. If we often find ourselves serving out of resentment, then we’re serving self, not Christ. The tendency towards “man-pleasing” is just as real in assembly life as it is in the secular workforce.
Knowing that this private battle would be experienced repeatedly throughout the church dispensation, the writer of Hebrews reminds us that “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” (Heb 6:10) Others may not notice or appreciate or reward, but the true Master does. Others may be quicker to pick up the phone than to pick up the pace, but “you serve the Lord Christ” (Col 3:24), not men.
If the hectic speed of your time-managed life has you stuck in horizontal mode, then it’s time to regroup and reassess the reasons for your service. Scripture so faithfully gives us words to realign our thinking, so that we can have an attitude adjustment and serve Christ with a joyful heart. Take in and understand the spirit of the following three verses:
For His Glory
1) “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Cor 10:31) If done as unto the Lord, then no lack of support or assistance from others will produce a frown. The task is for His glory, not ours. The personal reward if service is rendered “as unto men” will be frustration, feelings of being taken advantage of, and continuous deep-seated resentment. Not much of a dwelling place for God’s Holy Spirit, is it?
2) “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Col 3:17) If done as unto the Lord, then feelings of being taken advantage of will be replaced by true and deep thankfulness for the opportunity to serve Him. Several opportunities to serve and suffer are recorded in the Book of Acts. Those who served their Lord only counted it a privilege to suffer for Him, as an almost expected outcome of rejection was anticipated. What calling could possibly be higher?
For Him Alone
3) “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” (Col 3:23) If service is rendered to the Lord and not to men, then no action or inaction of others can be a bona fide obstacle. If our eyes and ears are diverted to the attentions of others around us, how can we hear the Master’s voice when He speaks? It’s for Him and Him alone, and He never forgets.
Without belaboring this further, you now know why you should bother. Now roll your sleeves up and serve. Someone else may occasionally take notice and follow your example for God’s glory. Or, they may not. The One Whom you serve, however, will never fail to take notice.