Sabbath, October 1, 2005
Our Wholehearted Service for the Lord
“Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28: 19, 20 (ASV).
“The commission given to the disciples is given also to us. Today, as then, a crucified and risen Saviour is to be uplifted before those who are without God and without hope in the world. The Lord calls for pastors, teachers, and evangelists. From door to door His servants are to proclaim the message of salvation.” –Gospel Workers, p. 29.
Before Jesus will return to this earth the second time, the gospel commission must be fulfi lled by His people. The world needs to know about God’s love for fallen humanity and the plan of redemption. The cross of Jesus is to be uplifted so lost sinners can look and be saved. Since this earth’s history will soon come to an end, God’s servants are to take an active part in missionary work. We need to awaken to the urgent need of our times and use our talents for God’s honor and glory. Isn’t it high time to labor more earnestly and effectively for our loved ones in our families, for our neighbors, at school,
at our place of employment, and in the church? The Lord is willing to impart His Holy Spirit to those who have a sincere desire to teach the truth of salvation to the unsaved. Have we been sleeping at our post of duty, or are we motivated by God’s love to go, teach, and baptize?
“There is not one inactive in heaven, and no one will enter the mansions of bliss who has failed to show love for Christ, who has put forth no efforts for the salvation of others.” –Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 208.
All can be richly blessed by doing something for the Master. The joy and satisfaction we receive in sharing the good news of salvation will help us to develop a strong faith, patience, courage, and a well-balanced character. The rewards of service are immeasurable and eternal.
“By giving the gospel to the world it is in our power to hasten our Lord’s return.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 633.
Jesus is waiting for you–won’t you answer His call TODAY? There is a place for you in His work.
Our wish and prayer is that the Holy Spirit will motivate and help us today to prepare for the finishing of the Lord’s work on earth.
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:19, 20.
• To be partners with God in the work of saving souls.
• To experience the joy and satisfaction of helping others.
• To be motivated to use all the talents God has given us.
A UNIQUE PURPOSE
1. What special purpose do God’s people have in this world darkened by sin?
Matthew 5:14-16 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
“Christ’s followers have been redeemed for service. Our Lord teaches that the true object of life is ministry. Christ Himself was a worker, and to all His followers He gives the law of service–service to God and to their fellow men. Here Christ has presented to the world a higher conception of life than they had ever known. By living to minister for others, man is brought into connection with Christ. The law of service becomes the connecting link which binds us to God and to our fellow men.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 326.
2. What descriptive names are given to those who are fulfilling Christ’s gospel commission?
Isaiah 44:8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.
2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
“Since His ascension, Christ the great Head of the church, has carried forward His work in the world by chosen ambassadors, through whom He speaks to the children of men, and ministers to their needs. The position of those who have been called of God to labor in word and doctrine for the upbuilding of His church, is one of grave responsibility. In Christ’s stead they are to beseech men and women to be reconciled to God; and they can fulfill their mission only as they receive wisdom and power from above.” –Gospel Workers, p. 13.
A DIVINE PARTNERSHIP
3. What will we personally experience when we fulfill God’s plan by blessing and serving others?
Philippians 4:4, 7 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice… And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Colossians 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
“All heaven enters into copartnership with those who come to Christ for eternal life, submitting themselves to him as those who have made a surrender of all to God. God requires his servants to stand under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel, striving in his power to keep the principles of truth pure and uncorrupted. They must never step aside from the path of self-denial and humility which every true Christian must travel. As they thus co-operate with God, Christ is formed within, ‘the hope of glory.’ Clad in his meekness and lowliness, they find their highest joy in doing his service. Earthly ambition gives way to a desire to serve the Master.” –That I May Know Him, p. 123.
4. What hopes can be realized when we enter into partnership with God?
Ephesians 6:6-8 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
Matthew 25:23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
“To His servants Christ commits ‘His goods’–something to be put to use for Him. He gives ‘to every man his work.’ Each has his place in the eternal plan of heaven. Each is to work in co-operation with Christ for the salvation of souls. Not more surely is the place prepared for us in the heavenly mansions than is the special place designated on earth where we are to work for God.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 326, 327.
5. Why shouldn’t the responsibility for Christian service rest on the ministers only?
Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
“Not upon the ordained minister only rests the responsibility of going forth to fulfill this commission. Everyone who has received Christ is called to work for the salvation of his fellow men. ‘The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come.’ Revelation 22:17. The charge to give this invitation includes the entire church. Everyone who has heard the invitation is to echo the message from hill and valley, saying, ‘Come’.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 110.
“Christ commits to His followers an individual work,–a work that cannot be done by proxy. Ministry to the sick and the poor, the giving of the gospel to the lost, is not to be left to committees or organized charities. Individual responsibility, individual effort, personal sacrifice, is the requirement of the gospel.” –The Ministry of Healing, p. 147.
PRIVILEGE AND RESPONSIBILITY
6. Ultimately, how should the Christian view his ministry to others in relation to his accountability before God?
Romans 14:10, 12 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ…. But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
“Personal responsibility, personal activity in seeking the salvation of others, must be the education given to all newly come to the faith…. Personal faith is to be acted and practiced, personal holiness is to be cultivated, and the meekness and lowliness of Christ is to become a part of our practical life. The work is to be thorough and deep in the heart of every human agent.
“Those who profess to receive and believe the truth are to be shown the deadly influence of selfi shness and its tainting, corrupting power. The Holy Spirit must work upon the human agent, else another power will control mind and judgment. Spiritual knowledge of God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent is the only hope of the soul. Each soul is to be taught of God, line upon line, precept upon precept; he must feel his individual accountability to God to engage in service for his Master, whose he is, and whom he is required to serve in the work of saving souls from death.” –Evangelism, p. 354.
7. In what areas of life do we carry special responsibilities?
Matthew 12:36, 37 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
Matthew 25:14, 15, 19 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey… After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
Ephesians 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
“Our time belongs to God. Every moment is His, and we are under the most solemn obligation to improve it to His glory. Of no talent He has given will He require a more strict account than of our time…
“The power of speech is a talent that should be diligently cultivated. Of all the gifts we have received from God, none is capable of being a greater blessing than this. With the voice we convince and persuade, with it we offer prayer and praise to God, and with it we tell others of the Redeemer’s love. How important, then, that it be so trained as to be most effective for good.
“God also entrusts men with means. He gives them power to get wealth… All we possess is the Lord’s, and we are accountable to Him for the use we make of it.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 335, 342, 351.
8. What blessings will we experience if we keep our attention focused on Jesus and on doing His will?
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
James 5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
“We should live in this world to win souls to the Saviour. If we injure others, we injure ourselves also. If we bless others, we also bless ourselves; for the influence of every good deed is reflected upon our own hearts.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 72.
• Have you personally answered the call of God to bring the message of salvation to those living without hope?
• When was the last time you experienced joy in serving others?