Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Saved to Serve
It is the Lord God whom you serve.
I am sharing my teaching this year with my daughter, Katherine. What a joy it is to watch her grow, not just in her teaching skills but in her study of the Word. This year we are using material that I had put together years ago but for next year, we are working on a new study. So here's what happens, as we study we call each other, all excited about what we're learning and it is at that moment that I experience the joy of my daughter's love for the Lord!
So today I have one nugget from my study that I just have to share. I am not worried that I am jumping the gun for next year because I am pretty sure you will all forget it by next year, but it's a matter of perspective that I think, heading into the new year, would be valuable for all of us.
When Moses went before Pharaoh and demanded the release of the Israelites he famously said, "Thus says the Lord, Let My people go!" He said it over and over and over. Songs have been written about it and if you walked up to a stranger on the street, he could probably tell you what Moses said, as well.
But did you know that is only the first half of the command from God? The whole quote is, "Thus says the Lord, "Let My people go, that they may serve Me." Hmmm...a little different than what we originally thought. When we think of God's saving of Israel, it was from slavery to freedom, right?
Kind of, but not exactly.
God wanted Israel free to serve Him. In captivity not only were they serving Pharaoh and the Egyptian people, but they were serving false gods. Four hundred years had passed and though they cried out to the Lord, their hearts were turning form the God of their fathers to the gods of Egypt. And the Lord said, Enough is enough! He wanted them out of Egypt and He wanted their eyes back on Him...to SERVE Him.
We all serve someone. We either serve God or we serve ourselves or Satan or others. Every choice we make is one of service. When you choose to watch a certain movie or listen to certain music or friend certain people on FB or pick out an outfit or make a meal - it is in the service of someone. The question to ask yourself is who, who am I serving with this decision.
The scriptures are clear. If you are a child of the King, you serve the King. If you are not a child of the King, you serve Satan. I John 3:10 says, "By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother." Ephesians 5:22 tells wives to be"...subject to their own husbands, as unto the Lord." When we willingly place ourselves under our husband's authority, it is an act of service to the Lord. Even in Colossians above we see that our service in all things is service to our King.
So when God wanted the children of Israel to leave Egypt, it was to serve Him. They were saved so that they could change masters, serve another freely without the bondage of a godless king's constraints. This is true in our lives today, as well. When the Lord saves us, He saves us to be free to worship Him without the constraints of our previous, godless master, Satan. Are we free to run into His throne room and approach the Father as a loved child? Absolutely yes, but the child still is serving the Father by the choices he makes.
As we start this new year, let's remember Who we serve. Our obedience is service, not to the church or to our spouse or to our family or to our neighbors, but service to the Lord. And if it truly is service to the Lord, then we should give our very best and be VERY careful to be thorough in what He commands us to do. We have been freed from the bonds of darkness, from not being able to know or love or comprehend God at all. Because of that freedom, we now can serve the Lord with gladness, we can come into His presence with great song, knowing that our Lord, our Master...He is God.