Daily Devotional for Sunday December 16, 2007
(Mark 10:43; John 13:14; Matthew 10:42; Psalms 40:8; Matthew 20:28)
As a child of God, we have all been commanded, not asked, to serve Him. It is part of the responsibility of being in the family of God to serve. One of the issues that I get hundreds of emails about each day is people who are serving the Lord and because things didn't work out exactly as they planned, feel like they have failed. There is a word I want to impart into your life today that I don't want you to EVER forget. THERE IS NO FAILURE WITH GOD!
***THE ONLY WAY TO FAIL GOD IS TO NOT SERVE HIM!!!
Let me share something with you. When you are serving the Lord, NOTHING ever always works out the way YOU planned, but it ALWAYS works out the way God planned! Please, let me repeat that one more time to insure you get this. When you are serving the Lord, NOTHING ever always works out the way YOU planned, but it ALWAYS works out the way God planned. You see, when you are truly serving God, it is God, not you, who is in control. You are the clay, not the potter! Does the clay tell the potter what to do?
The key to serving the Lord is two things, our obedience and our faithfulness. Those are the two things that we have 100% control over. We can obey and we can be faithful. When God has an obedient and faithful servant, He has a servant He can truly use and work through. Again, that is what we are, God's servants. When it is us, when we are doing it, it is simply a work of flesh and blood and the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit is missing. When it is God and we are yielded to Him, the supernatural power of His Spirit can move and incredible things happen.
The problem we have in serving the Lord is getting caught up in how the world defines success. The world says a church of 5,000 is a huge success and a church of 50 is a failure. The world says the pastor of the church of 5,000 is doing great things and the man who pastors the church of 50 obviously doesn't know what he is doing. However, God says that if the church of 5,000 is simply a Christian country club where people are coming to be entertained for an hour a week, having their ears tickled, never hearing the power of the Gospel but simply being coddled, yet in the church of 50 the people are being fed the Truth of the Word, equipped to serve, challenged to holy living, using their lives to serve God, it is the church of 5,000 that is not measuring up to God's standards and the church of 50 is the one He is proud of.
The world says that if you have huge palatial buildings, brand new private jets, live like the ruler of a small nation, and are famous the world over, you are a great success. Likewise, the world says that if you have no building, drive an older model car with 120,000 miles on it, live modestly, and nobody knows your name, you are a failure. However, God says that if the person experiencing great financial success is simply using the Gospel as a business and is being served, and the person with very little materially is using the Gospel to minister to the lost and is serving others, the one being served is getting his rewards now and the one serving others will enjoy the crowns and rewards in Glory for all eternity.
That is what this really boils down to my friend, service. We are called to serve the Lord and when we answer that call there is no such thing as failure despite what the world says. Part of being a servant is having the faith in the One you serve to go where He says go and do what He says do, and not worry about the outcome. Of course, when you walk by faith you have to take the first step. That is why you spend time in prayer, get wise counsel before you start. But once you start taking that walk of faith, God will open and close doors along the way to guide you so that you are exactly where He wants you to be and doing exactly what He wants you to be doing.
For those who serve the Lord, that is why it is so critical that you stay in that close, intimate relationship with the Lord each and every day. That is why it is critical that you be yielded at all times to the Holy Sprit so that it is His will and not your will you are seeking. Trust me, God will guide you each step of the way. When you get a bit off course, He will guide you back. When it is time to be doing other things, God will close doors and open new ones. Life is made up of seasons. Some seasons are longer than others. We are always serving God until the moment we take our last breath, but we usually will serve Him in many different ways along our journey through life.
Let me use my life as an example. I started out in a typical evangelistic ministry going around the nation preaching in over 500 churches for the first 3 years of my ministry. God then had me for a season of 4 years heavily involved in the Christian television world. God then led me over 8 years ago to reach the world using the Internet. Over four years ago, God called me to serve Him on secular television to work in conjunction with our Internet ministry. In these past 17 years I have been in full-time service to the Lord, even though I have always been serving Him, I have been doing it in many different ways.
Let me give you some counsel today on being a true servant of the most high God. First, remember it is ALWAYS Him and never you. Second, always be obedient and faithful. Third, give your very best to the Lord every second of every day. Fourth, follow the motto of the great revival preacher from the 1800s Charles Finney who said, "I do all I can like it all depends on me, then I pray like it all depends on God!" Fifth, you are to be a servant to others, not served by others. Sixth, never forget that there is never any failure with God. Seventh and last, let your only goal in serving the Lord be to hear those words when you stand before God, "Well done thou good and faithful SERVANT!!!"
I love you and care about you so much. There is nothing more important for the child of God than serving our Lord. After all, when we accepted Christ as our Savior, we gave our very lives to Him to use as He sees fit. The Bible says that we are "bought with a price," that it is no longer our life but we belong to Him. Serving the Lord is not an option it is a commandment, one that every follower of Christ is expected to follow.
In the process of serving the Lord, we will always have times and experiences when we feel in our flesh that we have failed, that we have let the Lord down. That is a lie from the pits of hell! THERE IS NO FAILURE WITH GOD! You can't fail when you are serving the Lord. The only way you can fail is to NOT serve Him! God uses our obedience and faithfulness in ways we will never see or understand until we get to Glory. The reality is, when we are yielded to the Lord, God uses our lives to do incredible things that we never even realize.
As a matter of fact, I submit that the greatest things you will ever do for God you don't even know you did them until you get to Heaven. Those are the things you do each day simply by being obedient and faithful . God will give us a little feedback along the way since He knows our flesh is weak and needs encouragement. However, the vast majority of what God does in and through our lives we will never fully comprehend in this life. Don't forget, our job isn't to know everything that is going on, it is simply to be obedient and faithful. God can use a willing and yielded vessel!
I will be praying for you today. Praying that you will be encouraged by this powerful word today. Encouraged to get serious about fulfilling your responsibility as a child of God to serve Him. We are ALL called to serve. I pray that you will let God guide you in the paths of service He has called you to and that you will never forget, THERE IS NO FAILURE WITH GOD!!!