Thursday, June 06, 2013

Serving? Don't Be Shy!

God's people are encouraged to serve boldly.

Luke 1:74-75  We have been rescued from our enemies so we can serve God without fear,  75  in holiness and righteousness for as long as we live.

The story of the birth of John the Baptist is very familiar to most people that have heard the Christmas story but we are probably not so familiar with Zachariah's prophecies that immediately follow, one prophecy about his son John and the other prophecy about the coming Messiah. (Luke 1:67-80)

Zachariah's prophecy predicted that the Messiah is coming to rescue us from our enemies. We may have a lot of enemies but without the work of the Messiah my number one enemy is death, it is Satan's favorite tool, but we know that Jesus came to destroy the power of death in the lives of his children. (Hebrews 2:14-15)

Zachariah's prophecy goes on to say the reason that we were saved from our enemies is so that we can serve God without fear. Unlike the priest that served with fear in the most holy part of the temple while the people were outside anxiously waiting to see if he would come out alive. We can serve God without fear because Satan's power has been defeated and because our relationship with God has been restored so that we are holy and righteous.

We have power from the Holy Spirit.

Acts 4:29-31 And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. 30 Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

31 After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.
The early church was being threatened by various groups, the government wasn't friendly to them and the people that were still holding onto Judaism felt that the Christ followers were blasphemers and they felt that they deserved to be stoned.

With all of this against them trying to stop them you would think that the early church would be praying for safety but instead they are asking God to make them even bolder than they already were. Their boldness was the source of their trouble but instead of hunkering down they kept praying for more boldness.

Use your gifts boldly.

2 Timothy 1:6-8  This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.  For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.  So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don't be ashamed of me, either, even though I'm in prison for Him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News.
Our spiritual gifts need to be developed so that you will get better at using it. Paul tells us to take that little spark and "fan into flames" and make it grow into a powerful force so that we can go out boldly and serve God without fear or embarrassment even if it means suffering. Instead of the spirit of fear we have been given a spirit of power, love and self-discipline.

God may want to use my spiritual gifts but he may want to use my weaknesses, the very thing that I feel like I cannot do may be the thing that he wants me to do, I need to be willing to be used by God and boldly allow him to use me in any way that he wants.

We can only serve one master, the choice is ours to make, will you serve yourself and miss the blessings of serving God? (John 12:25-26, 13:13-17)

God doesn't use dirty instruments, are you a clean instrument that he can use? (2 Timothy 2:20-21)

Will you love God and serve him with all your heart and soul or will you hold back? (Deuteronomy 10:12-13)