Volume: 796 February 8, 2021
Theme: Surrendered to Serve
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Whatever You Want, Lord”
“Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?” Matthew 20:15
Does a Christian have the right to do whatever he wants with his life? According to God’s Word, no!
The context in Matthew 20, where this verse is found, is the millennial reign when Christ rules this earth for 1,000 years (Matthew 5). It gives one an idea of what will happen during that time and how some will be rewarded.
In Jesus’ illustration, He told how workers starting at different times of the day got paid what the master thought was fair. They got paid the same, whether they worked 10 hours or one hour. The “boss” was doing the hiring, and all agreed to work for what he offered them. The illustration’s whole point was to teach that the master was the one in charge, and it was by his rules by which they had to abide.
Although Matthew 20:15 was the landowner’s reply that was doing the hiring, it illustrates a great truth in describing a Christian’s relationship with the Lord. We are not our own. Those that are born-again are purchased with Christ’s blood. We have a promise of Heaven. Everything after getting saved is a bonus! Let us surrender our lives and do with our lives what God will have for us!
When an adult is asked what they want to do in their future, they usually respond with what they would like to happen. When a child is asked the same question, one similarly gets a battle plan of their intentions. Seldom does one answer, “Whatever the Lord wants me to do, I’ll do!”
Sadly, that open-invitation to do God’s will is rarely even thought of by Christians. Unfortunately, when you hear of someone handing their life to God with no reservations, it is often only after they had tried it their way and that way had failed.
It would save many heartaches and much of a “wasted” life if one would immediately, after they are saved, hand their life over to God as a blank check. “Fill it in with what you want me to do, God, and I will gladly, happily, and faithfully do it until you tell me otherwise!” Boy, would that attitude change lives and Christendom as we know it.
“Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?” Romans 9:20-21
Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord to Thee;
Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love
At the impulse of Thy love.
”Take My Life, and Let It Be,” Hymn by Frances Havergal
After one is saved, God’s intention for each person is not to sit around and soak up God’s goodness. His desire is for each to do something that would get more people saved and more living for the Lord. It is God’s hope for each of us that we serve Him.
Each child of God should be a tool that God can use for His glory, using the spiritual gifts (Rom. 12:4-8) He has entrusted with each individual. Those gifts, special talents, and abilities can be used to reach the lost and glorify God in many ways. Each of us can be an important cog in winning the world for the glory of God. We all can do something.
Here are some ministries in which I have seen many serving the Lord:
- Preaching ministry. Some are called by God and directed to reach the world with His message by enabling them to preach. Preaching is not always from the pulpit on Sunday. Many have preached at subway stations, by the side of the road, public gatherings, or wherever they can publicly expound God’s Word. Some have “preached” without uttering a word, but “spoke” boldly by their public Christian example. Most of us would not be saved if it were not for someone’s “preaching” God’s truths to us!
- Teaching ministry. Some have been burdened to teach the world what God’s Word says. If a teacher does not teach them, who will (Acts 8:30-31)?
Many have used their talents, hobbies, or interests in making God’s Word clearer to those they have taught. I have seen some use Gospel magic, art, puppets, and even their interest in animals to get the attention of many and use their teaching medium to instruct audiences in biblical principles.
- Visitation ministry. Many churches have organized visitation at least one day a week where all go. They often go in groups of twos to visit shut-ins, those that have previously visited the church, or just to knock on neighboring doors to invite people to church. Sometimes there are even opportunities to tell the people how to be saved. Millions have been saved by this method.
If a church does not have this opportunity, then people can still visit their neighbors, canvas their community, or contact anyone the Lord puts on their heart as a ministry unto the Lord. Telling others God’s Good News is not just a pastor’s responsibility. We are all to go and tell!
- Nursing home ministry. I call it the “Last Chance Ministry.” For many of the home’s residents, it is the last opportunity they may have to hear how to be saved or to learn more of God’s Word before they leave this world. In this ministry, one can preach to those living at the facility or just visit them. Many in the homes have lost their loved ones, are lonely, and could use an encouraging visit.
- Tract Ministry. A “tract” is a little piece of paper with the plan of salvation on it or teaches some biblical truth. They can sometimes be gotten at one’s church or purchased at a Christian bookstore (The Bible Views available at https://openthoumineeyes.com/newsletters.html were created for that purpose). These tracts can be left in bathrooms, given to toll booth attendants, handed to a person waiting in line with us in a restaurant, included in an envelope when paying bills, or be given out to those that we encounter every day.
- Van or Bus ministry. Many churches have a bus or van ministry where a vehicle picks up children and adults and brings them to church. Get involved as a driver or worker. If your church does not have such a ministry, start one with your vehicle. Bring as many as you can to hear God’s message. Someone may be saved because of your efforts.
- Singing or music ministry. Singing in church services is available in most churches. Some have taken their ability and sung on their own in hospital or nursing home rooms. One nursing home worker asks if she can sing a hymn as she visits each patient and sings one if the resident desires. Another man visits those sick in the hospital. He brings his guitar with him and sings and plays for anyone that wants him to.
- Minister to those that are sick or shut-ins. Have you experienced health problems where you were bed or house-bound? Perhaps you felt cut off from the world because no one visited you. Others feel the same way. When you hear of one that is not well, send them a card or call on them. It is a wonderful opportunity to be a Christian influence for someone that needs encouragement.
- Prison ministry. Prisons are often a place where folks will listen to what the Bible has to say. It may be difficult to get into this ministry. However, if the Lord desires you to get involved with those that are detained, He can open the doors of opportunity.
- Card Ministry. People need encouragement. Send a birthday, sympathy, get well, or “praying for you” card to people God puts on your heart to encourage. E-mailing or calling them are also ways to be a Christian encouragement to others.
- Writing ministry. God has always preserved His teaching with the written Word. His Message can still be given out using this media. One can expound what the Bible teaches by getting articles published in newspapers (letters-to-the-editor). Articles can be published in Christian newsletters, web sites, and other publications. Some have even prayerfully picked names out of phone books, written those strangers, and given them the plan of salvation.
- Help ministry. Some notice a need in others’ lives and help meet it. They may visit a lonely person, babysitting for a working single parent, or even doing household chores for someone who physically cannot do certain things.
- Prayer ministry. People have needs everywhere you look. We cannot always do something physically to help others, but we can pray for them. Make others’ needs your prayer burdens and bombard God’s throne with pleas for His help in the lives of those that are needy.
- Discipling. People may be saved, but they rarely know what to do next or how to do it. For this reason, many never grow spiritually. If you feel led by the Holy Spirit, take a person under “your wing.” Spend time with that person. Perhaps your influence will encourage them to live for the Lord.
- Meals. Prepare meals for those that may be going through a difficult time and may not be able or have the time to cook a meal.
- Exhorting others. Everyone gets discouraged or goes through hard times. While down in their “valley,” they could use someone’s kind words of encouragement. Checking up on people by telephone when they are missed in church or elsewhere tells them that they are important to someone.
- Widows ministry. There are not too many things harder than being married to a person for a long time and losing them in death. Widows need to be encouraged. Visit them. Help them do things that perhaps their deceased spouse used to do. They are often alone, can use a friend, and help.
- Reading the Bible to people that cannot read it anymore. Some cannot read or cannot see to read. Make it your ministry to faithfully read to them.
- Be a friend. Some take it upon themselves to be a friend to someone who does not seem to have one.
- Deaf or language interpreting ministry. Hearing the Word of God is essential. The deaf, or those that speak another language, may not understand it unless someone helps them hear God’s truths in the language they know.
- Hospitality ministry. Meet others’ needs by allowing visiting preachers or others to stay in a spare room.
- Flea market or fair ministry. One man goes to a flea market, rents a booth, and witnesses to all that pass his table. He gives out tracts, gives out Bibles, and even hands out “Bible Views.” Others have a full-time ministry doing the same thing at state fairs.
One of the great commandments that each Christian is to obey is to “… love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31 Doing something for others and making their needs important to you is showing them that you love to them. Making others a priority in our lives also gets our minds off ourselves. It can enable others to see the love of Christ through our efforts.
If you have the desire to make a difference in this world for the cause of Christ, ask God to give you the ministry He wants you to have. After that, look for the opportunity He gives you to do something for Him. There is something all can do. Everyone has a hurt, a discouragement, or a need. God often uses other Christians to meet those needs. He wants to use you if you are willing.
“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” Eccl. 9:10