As we think about how to serve God, we should first of all realize that what we do does not make us acceptable in God’s sight. We cannot earn heaven by serving God. We are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. That is the starting point of our Christian life. It is all about God’s grace, not about our service.
The desire to serve Him
When we have become God’s children through faith, we have the desire to serve Him. God is transforming us into the likeness of his Son, Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). So even more than what we do, the Lord is interested in how we do it. As we serve God, the most important thing to Him is what kind of people we are. The picture that He wants to see in us is this: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22).
What should we do when serving God?
This of course does not say much about the content of our service to God. What should we do when serving God? A good summary is the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. Jesus gave the Great Commandment to us when he said: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39).
We serve God through loving Him. We express our love through worshiping Him through our songs and prayers, through reading and obeying His Word, through coming together as His church, and through giving the Lord the most important place in our lives.
Loving our neighbors
We also serve God through loving our neighbors. These are our family members, our relatives, our friends, our colleagues, and all people that the Lord brings on our path. We are willing to help them in any way that we can. We are not looking for an easy life for ourselves, but we are looking for how we can serve others, like the good Samaritan was willing to go out of his way to help the man wounded by robbers (see Luke 10:25-37).
Telling other people about Jesus
Another important aspect of serving God we find in Jesus’ last words before he ascended to heaven: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).
Telling other people about Jesus, so that they have the opportunity to believe in Him, is one of the most important ways we may serve God. For through the proclamation of the Gospel, people are saved for all eternity.
This is a tremendous responsibility. But there is great joy connected to it. For as we love God, love our neighbors, and make disciples, we can be sure of Jesus’ promise that He will always be with us, until the day He returns and we will be with Him forever on the new earth. That makes our serving God a joyful service!