Sabbath 11/29/14 Daytona SDB Pastor Wray “From Serve-Us to Service”

Sabbath 11/29/14 Daytona SDB Pastor Wray “From Serve-Us to Service” Matthew 25:31-46, II Chron. 16:19, James 2:14, 17

The Church should not be a place to be served but a place to do service and embracing God’s call to do service. Do you remember the full service gas stations? This was where the station attendants would surround your car offering to serve you. Many people used to go to church to be served and some still do. We would hear our favorite hymn, hear an inspiring message, watch and listen to a well-trained choir and have the pastor pray over our family. We would get our faith encouraged and then after being well fed, we went home. This is how I remember it. Little has changed and many people still go church shopping to evaluate what they can get from the church.

Somewhere in our journey of faith, a change takes place, a transition happens in our thinking. We find ourselves moving away from serve-us to service. The church is a place to go serve. James 2:14, 17 say that faith gets proved by the actions and good deeds we do. Faith without works is dead. Church membership has a lot more to do with servicing when the church is following the pattern set out by Jesus. A church like ours, as the media stated, is a tiny church. We may be a small church but we are well put together! The word tiny doesn’t bother me as long as you are tiny and doing something! Can you say Amen? The Lord intends for us, the Church, to be a full-service station equipped and committed to serving the needs of our community. Not just being in the community but serving the needs of the community. A full service station for Daytona and beyond. The Lord is looking for a church like that. In II Chron. 16, it says the eyes of the Lord search the earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. My question to you this morning, do God’s eyes land on us? Does He find us fully committed to Him?

In Matthew 25, Jesus says He will separate the sheep from the goats. He will separate the righteous from the unrighteous folk. The righteous fed, clothed, cared for the sick people in their community. Jesus said that when they did this for others, they did it for Him. The unrighteous didn’t do anything for anybody that was hungry, naked or sick. Jesus sent them to Hell. Jesus said they didn’t take care of Him when they didn’t take care of other people. The righteous go to Heaven and the unrighteous go to Hell. This is what Jesus said He will be doing on Judgment day in the final judgment. Jesus separates his obedient followers from the pretenders and unbelievers. Jesus seeks from us the service of basic acts of mercy that we can do every day. He wants to see us put into action the faith we profess with our mouths. This is part of the criteria He will use to separate the sheep from the goats. We can feed the hungry, be kind to strangers, clothe the naked and look after the sick. According to God’s word we will be judged more on what we failed to do when we had the opportunity to serve others. We will be judged less on what we actually said and did.

There once was a couple who went to church and came back telling their grandmother how good service was. They told her how loud the choir sang, how loud the preacher shouted out the sermon and how high the people jumped from their seats. The grandmother said she was not concerned about how loud they sang, preached or how high they jumped. She was just concerned about what they did when they finally came back down. This is what counts. Jesus said it is not how good you feel when we leave from here, the church. It is how we live our faith on a daily basis that counts. It is how we respond to the needs of others. We need to see ourselves as part of a church that is in service to the people around us. God wants us to be a full service station with each of us as a station attendant working together to serve those in need. We can serve thru worship services, youth groups, women’s and men’s ministry, bible study, home groups and recovery groups. All these good programs can enhance and lift up our community. God wants us to be committed to serve. We must pray that our ears and hearts will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit as we plan our programs to serve the community for the New Year. We must tell God He can count on us!