January 20, 2002
Service to God and the Church
By: Doug Long
Often times I think that those who want to serve God and the Church
have tuned in to what is really important in life. Sometimes, though,
I think that those who want to serve God and the Church consider it a
burden to do so. When I hear of this it saddens me. In Acts 5:40-42
Peter tells us what a privilege it is to be beaten and suffer shame
40And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles unto
them, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of
Jesus, and let them go. 41They therefore departed from the presence
of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer
dishonor for the Name. 42And every day, in the temple and at home,
they ceased not to teach and to preach Jesus as the Christ.
Our memory verse this month is James 2:24. Here James tells us how a
man is justified. Is he talking about a burdensome thing to do?
Perhaps, but he is also talking about something that the Christian
should want to do. I noticed that James used the word 'justified'
and not the word saved. In Strongs the word 'justified' is defined
as showing your self as saved, and the word 'saved' is defined as
delivered. If we want to show ourselves as saved Christians we need
to serve with a heart that is right. It is clear that we are saved
by the Grace of God through faith, and not by works,
8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast.
What James is trying to point out is that we should be seen by the
world as saved Christians by the works we do. James goes further by
26For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, even so faith
apart from works is dead.
If we don't have works, then James is saying our faith is worthless.
It is worthless to us, but especially to others. These works, however,
should be from the heart as a natural response, because we are
grateful to Jesus for what he did for us. We should consider it
a privilege to serve God just as Peter did.
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