Saturday, March 7, 2009

Vain Service

Our ministry is focused on helping people have a passion for service. But, we want to make it very clear that God glorifying action is the fruit of true faith, and that does not come any other way. Good actions that are not God glorifying are of no value. What does not last for the purpose of eternity is of no real value. Ultimately, what is not done to glorify God is done to glorify ourself. But, when we die what has been done for our own glory dies with us.

Sadly, when we look at the majority of the christian community and the church (using those terms loosely) we do not see very much Christ like service going on. We see a lot of busy people, but not a lot of God glorifying action. It seems people are too busy doing "good works" to have time to do God's work. Yet, at the same time we see many in the chruch who profess faith and produce no works.

So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

- James 2:17-26

It is faith and our relationship with God that is at the root of both problems. So, let us examine our hearts by His Holy Word, and seek to do His will in all things for His glory in all things. For it is our heart that steers our actions; may our hearts be wholly and completely His.

© 2009


O my Lord,

Forgive me for serving thee in sinful ways –

by glorying in my own strength,

by forcing myself to minister through


by accepting the applause of others,

by trusting in assumed grace

and spiritual affection,

by a faith that rests upon my hold on Christ,

not on him alone,

by having another foundation to stand upon

beside thee;

for thus I make flesh my arm.

Help me to see

that it is faith stirred by grace that does the deed,

that faith brings a man nearer to thee,

raising him above mere man,

that thou dost act upon the soul

when thus elevated and lifted out of itself,

that faith centres in thee as God all-sufficient,

Father, Son, Holy Spirit,

as God efficient,

mediately, as in thy commands and promises,

immediately, in all the hidden power

that faith sees and knows to be in thee,

abundantly, with omnipotent effect,

in the revelation of thy will.

If I have not such faith I am nothing.

It is my duty to set thee above all others

in mind and eye;

But it is my sin that I place myself above thee.

Lord, it is the special evil of sin

that every breach of thy law arises

from contempt of thy Person,

from despising thee and thy glory,

from preferring things before thee.

Help me to abhor myself in comparison of thee,

And keep me in a faith that works by love,

and serves by grace.

(The Valley of Vision, p 182)


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    GDS Theme Passage

    "For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus
    Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for
    Jesus' sake. For God, who said, 'Let light shine
    out of darkness,' has shone in our hearts to give
    the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in
    the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure
    in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power
    belongs to God and not to us."
    - 2 Corinthians 4:5-7

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