Section Three: The Lifestyle Characteristics of a Godly Life.
Our current theme: Characteristic One: Having A Servant’s Heart.
Our reading for today: Ephesians 2: 7-10 (MsgB)
Now God has us where He wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all His idea, and all His work. All we do is trust Him enough to let Him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join Him in the work He does, the good work He has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.
So, when it comes to servanthood, the New Testament offers us both good news and bad news.
The good news?
God, our Father, is on the move, sending Jesus of Nazareth to serve and save this broken and bleeding world of ours. We are among those who are recipients of that amazing grace. Now, Jesus has called and commissioned His followers to go, in His Name, into this same broken and bleeding world, bringing His message of mercy and grace, serving those around us in the same manner we see Jesus serving us. This, my friends, is God’s good news gospel. This is God’s Plan A.
The bad news?
God has no Plan B!
As I see it, there is no other redemption plan in God’s mind other than the one spelled out for us in the Scriptures. God will not snap His fingers, rescuing His creation, while leaving all of us Christ-followers to sit on our duffs and watch. There just is no other way the Creator has this Jesus-rescue plan put together outside of the Master’s call and commission for His people to go, serve, and love.
For nearly two thousand years now, every generation of Christ-followers has been given a holy assignment to go to their generation and literally love “the hell” out of those around us. Church history shows us that there have been seasons of great success in that assignment, and sadly, seasons when we have failed. Indeed, there have been golden moments over the last two millennia when the world has seen the church be all Jesus desires it to be. Times when we totally forgot about ourselves, humbled ourselves, and gone out into the world, offering faith, hope and love, in and for the cause of Christ. And yes, there have also been times when we’ve failed miserably by forcing our way upon society, insisting upon our will while literally picking up swords to kill those who might not look at life the way we do.
So, the question is this?
How will the generation of Christ-followers we live in respond to God’s Plan A?
Will we go, as servants, in the name of Jesus, and love “the hell” out of people? Or will we choose another route of ministry, following our agendas more than His, and end up winning the battle, but losing the war?
You see, Paul, when writing to his friends in Ephesus, was addressing this same question when he writes this:
Now God has us where He wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all His idea, and all His work. All we do is trust Him enough to let Him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join Him in the work he does, the good work He has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.
From Day One, the church has been on assignment from the Master. But as Paul states here, it’s vitally important that we servants of the Living Christ don’t go out in our own strength to save the world, but simply remember that Plan A has come from God, is being directed by God, and will be summed up by that same God. Our goal, as servants of Jesus, is to simply be about the business of serving, as we listen carefully and follow the Master as He is working in and through our world today!
So friends, as we close this section on Having a Servant’s Heart, take heart that you and I are not called to rescue or redeem our lost and dying world! That’s God’s job, for heaven’s sake!
Our role is to simply follow God’s Plan A, going out in Christ’s nature and His love to be the faithful servants He’s needing in this generation, so that Jesus will receive all glory, honor, and praise. Amen and amen.
My prayer: Jesus, please forgive me when I lose sight of the Master Plan of God. As Paul states here in Ephesians, God is the one who has a plan of redemption and I don’t need to be creative in developing additional ministry programming for the world around me. Father, keep me centered in on Your Plan A and give me the daily sustenance to work your plan of servanthood. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: So how have I wrongly expanded upon God’s Plan A, adding my other good ideas of service to help poor old God out with His redemption plan? What might it look like to throw out all other options and simply work the Master Plan (servanthood) that Jesus spells out so clearly in the gospels?
So what is God speaking to you today as we attempt to live the Christ-centered life?
Over a thirty-six week period, you and I will take a deeper look into twelve key characteristics of a godly life. In other words, we’ll take A Journey into Christian Discipleship. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Journey home page for ease of use. ENJOY!
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If you’ve been reading our A Servant’s Heart series, this concludes the 9-session blog. Click here to go back to our A Servant’s Heart homepage…