I appreciate these thoughts from our friend Joni Eareckson Tada on Christ being the motivation for our earthly service. As Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:7-8, we are to “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.”
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” —Colossians 3:23-24
Sometimes I hear people say that a single man has “given his elderly parent the best years of his life.” Or I hear about a mother who has sacrificed all to “devote her years to care for her handicapped child.” Occasionally it is a missionary who has “given up her life for the mission field.”
And sometimes I hear that this single man, mother, or missionary has nearly worn out himself or herself, collapsing in bone-weary exhaustion. No wonder these people sound tired. Whom do they think they’re serving? Jesus must not only energize our service, He must be the focus of our service. As Colossians chapter 3 advises, “Whatever you do work at it with all you heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”
Yes service to God means sacrifice and devotion. But we don’t give up our lives to serve others—we give up our lives to serve the Lord. It is almost incidental that we are serving a husband or wife, an elderly parent, a handicapped child, or a tribe on a mission field.
When our focus in Christian service is squarely on the Lord Jesus, our work may be tiring, but it doesn’t have to be tiresome. We may get weary, but our work does not have to be wearisome if our energy comes directly from the Lord Jesus. How can service to the Lord be a tedious, boring effort?
Lord Jesus, it is You whom I love to serve. Help me to keep my focus on You today so that I will have all the energy I need to help others around me.
Taken from Diamonds in the Dust. Copyright © 1993 by Joni Eareckson Tada. Used by permission. Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530
photo credit: RLHyde via photopin cc
Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries.