When I Lose My Passion For Service
So many times we approach serving the Lord in our local church and we fail to remember why we are serving. Many of us go into serving with a mindset of responsibility, duty, and sometimes even guilt. We feel it is our responsibility to serve because of what God has done for us; or we serve because we think that since we are redeemed, it is expected of us to serve. This can even lead to us feeling guilted into serving God. 1 Timothy 1, Paul addresses those that are serving the Lord in the church, but adding to the gospel of Christ. In verse 6, he states that their service has become empty words. They have become so empty that they don't even understand, or have confidence in, what they are saying.
For many Christians, this is a very easy place to be - but a very dangerous one. It is very easy for us to say the right things, sing the right words, and teach the right verses, but none of it is impacting and changing our hearts. Paul warns Timothy not to fall into this state. He then points out what will help Timothy stay away from falling into such a trap. In verse 5, Paul addresses the source that will help Timothy keep from making such a fatal mistake. Paul points out that the purpose of teaching, preaching, and serving in any capacity is love. What love is he referring to?
It is the love that a holy and loving God bestows upon unworthy man. In verses 8-16, Paul addresses how needful the law is to show the depravity of man, but also to show a merciful and gracious God. When Paul views this loving God who gave His Son, Jesus Christ, his reaction is recognition of his wretched state. This is the beginning of proper service. It is a recognition of a holy and righteous God reaching down to sinful men to bestow such an unworthy act of love through the person of Jesus Christ. When we keep this thought before us, we start to have our service unto God rooted properly in His person.
When we purposefully see what God has done for us, it causes a proper response of love in return. In verse 17, Paul explains that because of God's undeserving love that has been extended to him through the person of Jesus Christ, he has a desire to honor and glorify God. Paul is challenging Timothy and us that in order to prevent us from getting into the rut of improper service, we need to recognize the unmerited favor of God through the love of His Son. This will cause us to have the desire to bring Him glory.
But how is this accomplished? Paul explains that this proper honor and glory to be given is accomplished through the person of Christ illustrated in us. In verse 11, Paul states that he is enabled by Jesus Christ; and in verse 16, he obtained mercy so that Christ might show His long-suffering as a pattern unto all men. Not only is Christ love; not only is He the motivation for service, but He is also the source that enables us to serve.
If you are struggling with your service in your local church, then you need not look far to find your solution. Recognize that a holy God has bestowed upon you an unworthy gift of mercy and grace through the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a heart that is unworthy, but thankful, that honors and glorifies God appropriately.
Written by Andy Horner