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Evangel Tabernacle | January 20, 2020

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What Fuels You to Serve God?

What Fuels You to Serve God?

| On 20, Nov 2019

KEY TEXT

2 Corinthians 5:9-21 (NIV)
V9- So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.
V10- For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
V11- Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience.
V12- We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart.
V13- If we are “out of our mind” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.
V14- For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
V15- And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
V16- So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.
V17- Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
V18- All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
V19- that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them, And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
V20- We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
V21- God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

There are different fuels for different purposes.

Gasoline is a volatile fuel. Competitive race car drivers sometimes desire something even more combustible, so they add nitric oxide to the mix. Oil is another fuel, though not as explosive; neither is the diesel that burns in tractors.

Some fuels are good and some destructive. They are all flammable and can produce inordinate amounts of energy but some fuels destroy the insides of the engine, shortening its life with each ignition.

Our fuel is our motivation. Why do we as Christians serve God? Why should we serve God? Many have probably never paused to consider their motives. While we do not need to understand our motives in order to serve God or grow in godliness, the more we are aware of them, the better we will be able to serve God with the right fuel or motivation. Motivations are often hard to discern and they sometimes overlap but it is clear from the Bible that Christians can serve either from worthy or unworthy motives.

“MOTIVE DETERMINES THE WORTH OF OUR SERVICE.”

It is “not the amount of labor performed or its visible results but the SPIRIT in which the work is done that makes it of value with God.”

“It is not the amount of work we do, nor how it appears to others [verse 12 talks about certain Christians who take pride in what is seen rather than what is in the heart = these people value appearance more than authenticity] but rather THE MOTIVE with which it is done, that determines whether or not our service is acceptable to God.”

“Every act of our lives, whether excellent and praiseworthy, or deserving of censure, is judged by the Searcher of hearts according to the MOTIVES WHICH PROMPTED IT.”

This morning, I would like to share a sermon entitled – WHAT FUELS YOU TO SERVE GOD?

In my message, I would like to bring up 3 things:
• What are the wrong fuels in our service to God?
• What are the right fuels in our service to God?
• How to refuel with the right fuels in our service to God?

(I) WHAT ARE THE WRONG FUELS IN OUR SERVICE TO GOD?

Different mixtures fuel different Christians in their service to God.

Some motivations are not worthy of God or Christians. They are the wrong fuels. Though service may result from those who are improperly fueled, it is not really God that these people serve, but themselves.

What are the wrong fuels in our Christian service?
• LEGALISM
Some people may try to serve God in hope that this will either earn them eternal salvation or help them hang on to it. Of course, this is contrary to the grace of God in salvation and in sanctification.

Ephesians 2:8-9- For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God – not because of works, lest any man should boast.

• FALSE GUILT
A failure to trust God to forgive their sins may cause some people to try to serve God in order to work off their guilts, as in works of PENANCE. But this ignores God’s promise of complete forgiveness to all who confess their sins.

Colossians 2:13 – And you, who were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses.

• SELF-SEEKING
Financial gain, pre-eminence, power or self-aggrandizement (applause), greed, insecurity, pride, anger, disgruntlement or competitiveness may motivate some to try to serve God. Obviously, they are serving their own selfish desires. The Bible has examples of those who were thus motivated. Case in point is Diotrephes in 3 John 9 who likes to put himself first.

• NEED FOR APPROVAL
I call them the APPROVAL ADDICTS. None of us is immune to approval’s addictive lure. We all occasionally wonder, “What do others think?” “Will they still like me?” or “How do I look?”

The root of approval addicts is the FEAR OF REJECTION. The fear of rejection almost always happens when you have been severely rejected by someone you were hoping to please. Maybe that rejection came from a schoolteacher, a member of the opposite sex, a sibling or a parent. Or it may have even come from someone at church.

The scars of rejection may look healed as time goes on, but the reality is that they are just as raw today as when they were first inflicted. It is no use to be told, “Get over it!” Unresolved hurts can take root in your heart, causing a deep fear of ever being rejected again by anybody.

E.g. It takes me 26 years to realize that I have been running on the wrong fuel to serve God. Before I came to the mission field, I was rejected by a guy; by a prestigious tertiary institution; by the Ang clan since my dad’s business went bust; by the society as being “the rest” and no more the “best”. Therefore, when I became born again, this fear of rejection fueled me to desire approval from my spiritual authority. I wanted to make use of the gifting, the charisma, and the fruitfulness that God gave me to compensate for my past failures and rejections. I wanted to find my significance and self-worth through my service to God. I used ministry to define myself. I worked so hard during Quezon time to make our church hit 1000 just so to get the approval, recognition and applause of my authority. But you all know how all these backfired in 2012. God crushed all these wrong motivations and idolatry and filtered out my wrong fuel for service in a painful way.

Application: Are you like me? You have this orphan spirit of abandonment and rejection and therefore you use this to fuel your need for significance in the church and ministry. You try to use ministry to redefine yourself. You love to serve as leader or helper in the The Kiddie Church because you love to be respected and looked up to by the kids. You love the mic in the Youth Church because you love recognition by the youths. Beware! God will step in to crush all these wrong motivations.

Are you running on the wrong fuel for your service to God? How do you know if you are serving God with wrong motives?
Asking good questions helps to reveal the motives that drive you in ministry. Here are some honest ways to scrub your soul by INTENTIONAL EVALUATION.

Questions for Lay Leaders/Workers:
• Do you serve because you want to feel good about yourself?
• Do you serve because you want to be admired by your peers?
• Do you serve because you want people to like you?
• Do you serve because you want lots of people to come?
• Do you serve because you want to be highly effective so that you will become known as successful and spiritual?

Questions for Pastors and Ministers
• Am I more concerned about what people think of my message or about what God thinks about my message?
• Do I genuinely love the people in this congregation or am I more focused on the number in attendance?
• Am I presenting this message because I genuinely care for people’s spiritual growth and encouragement or am I speaking what people want to hear rather than what God wants me to say?
• Am I depending on the Holy Spirit’s power or on my own cleverness, my charisma, my own sense of humor, my persuasive words or winsome smile to move my congregation?
• Am I applying the teachings of Scriptures to my own life?
• Will the event I am leading draw more attention to me or to God?

Many great leaders start off with the wrong fuel mixture. It gets them going but it won’t sustain them in the long run.

E.g. A veteran Pastor in Hawaii received a call from a man from mainland States who was considering relocating to Hawaii to start a new church. He told this veteran pastor – “I serve with a denomination that has no representative church in these islands. They are willing to invest a considerable amount of money to get one started and they have asked me to move here and lead the church. What do you think?” The veteran pastor replied, “Do you love the Asian and Polynesian people?” The man said, “Yes, I love the way the Hawaiian gather in families on the weekends at the beach. Why, where I come from, we just hunker down for six months a year waiting for spring to arrive.” This man couldn’t answer the veteran pastor if he really loved the people of Hawaii. The only right reason this man should go to Hawaii must be to love the people in Christ’s name; not for a job, not to fulfill a denomination’s expectations, not for the weather. Two months after this conversation, this man moved to Hawaii. He did his best to comply with his denomination’s request. Three years later, however, the doors of the fledging church were shut, and this young man used the second leg of his round- trip ticket back to the mainland.

When you are fueled by the wrong mix or motive, your service to God will not last long.

(II) WHAT ARE THE RIGHT FUELS IN OUR SERVICE TO GOD?

The Bible presents some powerful and clear motivations for service. Good motives may overlap and some seem higher in principles than others. And we see in our Key text a biblical example of a man by the name of Paul who used the right fuels to serve God and it lasted him till he saw Christ face to face.

What are the right fuels in our service to God? What should fuel us in our service to God?

• FUELED BY THE FEAR OF THE LORD
I DO WHAT I DO BECAUSE OF WHO I SERVE

This motivation is a negative and inferior one compared to the last right fuel which I will share later. But it can still motivate the Christians away from sin or unfaithfulness and towards godly conduct.

V9- So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.

V10- For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

In verse 9 Paul notes that he wants to be pleasing to the Lord because in verse 10, he says we must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. This is a place where all Christians will stand. It will be:

• A Place of Reward and Recognition
1 Corinthians 3:14 tells us we will receive the rewards of our service here on earth – depending upon what it is built of, whether it is of things eternal or things perishable (gold and silver or wood, hay and stubble).

• A Place of Revelation
1 Corinthians 3:13 tells us that all of our works will become evident on that day, the truth of our lives and the motives of our ministries will all be revealed.

• A Place of Reckoning
Romans 14:12 tells us that each of us shall give account of himself to God. It will be a place of reckoning where we have to tell our Lord how we live the life He has given us and how we use the resources like time, knowledge, education, money which He has given us while we are on earth.

Application: What a motivation for ministry, knowing that someday, you and I will have to stand and give an account to a God who is not a respecter of persons, a God who is totally righteous, who will not only reward us according to our intention but will also adjudicate (determine) us according to our actions.

Paul says,

“I do what I do because of WHO I serve – a Righteous Judge who will judge my works on the day of reckoning. As such I am motivated by the fear of the Lord.”

• FUELED BY OUR NEW IDENTITY IN CHRIST
“I DO WHAT I DO BECAUSE OF WHAT HE HAS MADE ME TO BE”

V17- Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

What is our new identity in Christ?
We are a new Creation in Christ.

That means that everything about us has changed the minute we are born again. The old man is dead, crucified with Christ and all things are new. As a new creation, we have:

• New Head
We THINK differently. We don’t think like the rest of the world. Now we think like Jesus. Our thoughts, our desires, our ambitions all change. New creations think differently than old creations. How do they think? They think in consonance, in harmony with God. Paul tells the church at Rome to be transformed by the renewing of their minds.

• New Hands
We ACT differently. We can’t have a transformed mind without our actions following suit. When someone claims to have a transformed mind but their actions don’t match their claim, we call that person a HYPOCRITE. They are not really changed. They just want people to think they are. But when there is a real transformation, when Jesus makes us a new creation, everything about us changes and that includes our actions.

• New Home
We PERCEIVE differently. Our focus will no more be on this world but on Heaven. Our destination is different. We are not looking to this world and all that it has to offer. G Campbell Morgan once said, the person who is made new in Christ, “sees the touch of decay on all the glory that men admire.” We lose our admiration for the things of this earth when we are a new creation. Our desires and affections will be set on things that are above and not on things below. The things which are seen are temporal but things which are not seen are eternal.

• New Heart
We ARE different. Our character, our nature, our very soul have been changed. We are now a new man, not only on the outside but one on the inside. What we are on the inside determines how we act on the outside. Therefore, since we are a new creation, our heart is different.

We are not only motivated by a reverential fear of God, by the knowledge that someday we will stand before Him and give an account for our life, we are also motivated by the reality that since He has made us a new creation, since all thing have changed in our life, we cannot live a life that is out of keeping with who He has made us to be. We do what we do because of WHAT He has made us to be – a new creation in Christ.

• FUELED BY THE STEWARDSHIP OF THE GOSPEL
“I DO WHAT I DO BECAUSE OF WHAT HE HAS ENTRUSTED TO ME’

V18- All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
V19- that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them, And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

In verse 19, Christ has committed to us the WORD (MESSAGE) OF RECONCILIATION. We have the truth in a world that is filled with untruthfulness and filled with the doctrines of demons and the wisdom of fools.

We alone have been entrusted with the truth. And we are to manage this truth- this word of reconciliation, as a STEWARD OF AN ESTATE that has been entrusted to our care.

Paul says in Galatians 2:7 that he has been entrusted with the GOSPEL. In Ephesians 3:2, Paul calls this as the STEWARDSHIP OF GOD’S GRACE. In Colossian 1:25, Paul defines his PREACHING as a stewardship. And in 1 Thessalonians 2:4, Paul says we have all been entrusted with the gospel.

Another fuel that we need in our service to God is THE STEWARDSHIP OF THE GOSPEL. Simply put, DUTY.

What is it that God has entrusted to us? Is it simply a message on how to be good and live a nice life? Is it a message that will simply make people happy or make them wealthy? Is it a message that will simply help people get along with one another? No!

It is a message that will save the dying souls of mankind from eternity in separation from God. It is a message that will change man’s eternal destiny from one of damnation to one of glory.

And to whom has God entrusted this gospel? Is it only to the evangelists or the preachers or the missionaries?
He has entrusted the gospel to each of us.

The scripture has made it very clear. God has put this word of reconciliation in each of us. He has made each of us His ambassadors. And it is our DUTY to get this word out to the dying humanity. We do what we do today because of what He has entrusted to us- the stewardship of the gospel.

• FUELED BY THE CALL OF CHRIST
‘I DO WHAT I DO BECAUSE OF WHAT HE HAS CALLED ME TO BE”

V20- We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

We have been called to carry on the ministry of Jesus Christ. Instead of pursuing our own goals, we should be now pursuing His goals. Instead of living our lives, we should be allowing Him to live His life through us. And the ministry we have been called to is the MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION.

Reconciliation means “restoration to favor”. It is restoring man to a position of favor with God. It describes salvation in terms of relationship.

Paul tells us in verse 20 that we are now AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST as though God were pleading through us, pleading with lost humanity, pleading with those outside of Christ, pleading with those who are deceived by some strange doctrines, pleading with those trapped in cultic teachings, pleading with those who are indifferent, pleading with those who are objects of God’s wrath, pleading with those to accept the free gift of God’s grace, the forgiveness of sin, pleading with them to come into a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

This is a call to ministry every Christian receives as a result of being a new creation. WE DO WHAT WE DO BECAUSE OF WHAT HE HAS CALLED US TO BE.

• FUELED BY THE LOVE OF CHRIST
“I DO WHAT I DO BECAUSE OF WHAT HE HAS DONE FOR ME”

V14- For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.

The word “compel” in its basic sense is that of “two things holding or pressing together, perhaps with something caught in the middle”. It means to be gripped with an inner pressure. It is a word Paul uses to describe how the love of Christ has gripped him. What Jesus has done on the cross and the knowledge of what it cost Jesus, compels him, drives him to live for Christ and not for himself.

Many fuels exist that can motivate a person to serve Christ. Some of the wrong fuel like guilt succeed mostly in creating frustration or a false sense of duty. But verse 14 shows us that the most excellent fuel is – CHRIST’S LOVE COMPELS US. The concept is both freeing and empowering. When we love someone deeply, we serve with a glad heart. Our actions are characterized by a SUSTAINABLE PASSION – one that does not flare up nor die down quickly.

This type of love is described in 1 Corinthians 13. It’s characterized by patience, kindness, goodness and service. One synonym for this type of love is COMPASSION. It’s a love that serves people in need, and is the type of love often shown by Christ.

Matthew 20:30-34 records that it was CHRIST’S COMPASSION THAT MOVED HIM TO PERFORM A MIRACLE by healing the two blind men.

Paul reminds us in verse 14 that when we are compelled by the love of Christ, we no longer live for ourselves. We do everything for the sake of Christ, who gave everything to save us and make us his. We are compelled – pushed and driven – by love, love for the lost, love for those whom Christ came to save.

Always remember the vision of Christ, the focus of his love. Luke 19:10 sums it up well: “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Etab must be a church that connects everything we do to a SOUL. If the activity or endeavor we are involved in doesn’t bring soul to Christ, we should rethink it as a church. It is easy to get involved with benevolent endeavors of justice and mercy, human compassion and protecting human and animal rights, protecting the environment. There is nothing wrong with any of these noble callings. But we cannot engage in these gallant endeavors to the exclusion of what is most ETERNAL: THE SALVATION OF THE LOST. No other group on the face of the earth has been given the exclusive assignment to offer redemption to mankind. It is the exclusive assignment given to the church!

A church must minister out of love – love of Christ first and love for its community second. This mandate parallels the teachings of Christ. Matthew 22:35-40 records the story. An expert in the law asked Jesus what was the greatest commandment, Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the
second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

LOVE GOD

LOVE OTHERS

Simple truths, yet all else hinges on this. If a person merely attends church because he wants a safe place for his family to learn about God, or ministers to his neighbor because a pastor told him to or serves food to homeless people because he senses an inequity in the world’s distribution of resources, or attends youth group because he wants a fun place to go while his parents attend the church services, then that action or ministry will almost wane over time. The greatest and the most sustainable motivation (the best fuel) for ministry must be LOVE. We must serve because we love God and love others. Without love, we won’t have the sustained impetus, strength, or energy to risk over the long haul.

Questions
• Do you attend your particular church because you genuinely love God and love the people there? Or are you seeking to get something out of the church?
• Do you minister in a specific department or ministry because you sense a deep love for Christ and for the people who are served by that ministry?
• Does love for Christ and love for people guide the decision makers and implementers in your church? Do you sense that various programs and ministries are based on love?

Genuine love monitors our hearts and checks our motives. It governs our actions and prunes what is hollow. It transforms what we believe into how we live. It closes the gap of inconsistency and holds us firmly accountable to live what we believe.

Etab does not exist to service the “Already saved”. Etab does not exist to form our own subculture- our own music, our own fashions, our own hallelujah diet, our own cozy youth group or cell group and our own movies. Etab is called to be a counterculture – to be connected to the world as the salt. God calls us to love, serve and obey Him and part of that adventure of following Him means that we get to have a hand in helping people find their way to the Lord.

I don’t want Etab to be famous. I want Etab to be a harvest church – one that sees a great many people turn from despair and darkness to victory, strength and confidence, based on the work of Jesus on the cross. Of all the noble activities we could be involved in, I want Etab to be known for one thing – helping people find their way to the Savior. We may not be the best at hosting social events or church conferences, or having huge building with impressive budgets like those mega churches. But in the end what matters the most will be the souls that have been redeemed.

Etab must deliberately create a culture (DNA) that helps people connect everything to a soul. And it takes love for God and for others to do that.

Sometimes God calls us to serve out of love and sometimes God gives us clear assignments and asks us to obey regardless. The biblical stories of Moses and Jonah both fit this profile. Moses was called to lead the children of Israel to the Promised Land, but he asked God to send someone else. Jonah was called to speak truth to the Ninevites but he ran the other way instead. Eventually, both Moses and Jonah responded in obedience but even then, both appeared to serve reluctantly. Surely there will be times like those where God tests our obedience.

If that characterizes your season of life right now, please know that you are not alone. You are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. Your obedience to God is A FORM OF LOVE and God will sustain you for the season, however long He wants you there.

E.g. I served the church as a missionary pastor in the first 9 years out of duty, fear of God, calling and obedience more than love. And how frustrating those years were. I was like a machine operating with lots of squeaking sound (complaints) because there was no oil of the love for God. But then the breakthrough came in 1995, when the Holy Spirit touched me during the Rodney Howard Browne Revival at Brisbane. My love for Christ was revived and enlarged and since then it was love that fueled my ministry. I began to enjoy my ministry and it was from that time onward that the ministry also began to grow. But when the church began to increase, I mixed in the wrong fuel – accolades and recognition from men. In 2012, my motive of serving God was put sorely to test – “Do I serve Christ because of the 1000 congregation? Do I serve Christ because of favor from my pastors? Do I serve Christ because of salary? Do I serve Christ because all my full time are obedient and loyal? What if all these were removed and stripped from me?” And God did remove all these from my life in 2012. It was in my nakedness and barrenness that my motives were brought to the surface and sifted. I had to be sifted and purified of my wrong motives till I can confidently tell Jesus – “Lord! I love you and even without all these, I still love you and will continue in fulfilling your calling upon my life.”

Illustration: A lady sent an anonymous letter to her senior pastor and this is what she wrote: “When you asked Jesus into your heart, YOU INVESTED IN ME. When you answered yes to the call, YOU INVESTED IN ME. When you decided to be loyal to your spouse, YOU INVESTED IN ME. When you let God make victories out of your defeat, YOU INVESTED IN ME. When you refused to compromise, YOU INVESTED IN ME. For all the “me’s” in the church around the world, thank you for continuing to give your life. Please don’t stop. You are showing each of us how to do the same.”

This is the reward of a pastor who serves God out of love and not self-serving motives.

(III) HOW TO REFUEL WITH THE RIGHT FUELS?

What starts off as wrong fuel like insecurity can be converted but every ministry leader or worker needs to learn the art of IN-FLIGHT fuel changes. Often, we are not able to check out the ministry for a few years to make the switch, so we need to change fuel en-route. We need to be sifted out of our wrong fuel and let Christ refuel us with the right fuel – the best being – THE LOVE OF CHRIST COMPELS US.

How to refuel with the right fuels?
• Put God in First Place
The Lord is the fuel that will never die, the lamp that will never blow and the flame that will never be snuffed out. “The Lord is my light and salvation, I will fear no one” (Psalms 27:1). When we place God first, we know that He provides all the illumination, protection and energy we will ever need. And in that we will overcome our natural fear of rejection. He is our ALL in ALL.

• Put People in Their Proper Place
Don’t assume that when other people pass judgment on you, their words are the infallible truth straight from God. Most likely, they’re not!

“The Lord says, ‘I am the one who strengthens you. Why should you fear mortal man….?” (Psalm 27:1).

Notice the word “mortal” which reminds us that what people say is temporary and soon passes away.

When others’ opinion become all-important, you’re setting yourself up for a big fall. You’ll fall prey to the trappings of popularity, fame, applause, public opinion and “What will people think?” Image becomes everything.

Always live for AN AUDIENCE OF ONE. No matter what, live for God. It is His approval we want- the only One that matters.

Realistically speaking, it is almost impossible not to be affected by other’s opinions because we live with people. However, you can grow to a place in your life where you are no longer DIRECTED by other’s opinions. You’ll choose to be directed by God’s plan, not other’s expectation. People will say the meanest things when you do that but simply ask yourself – “Who am I trying to impress: others or God?” Answering this question will help you to put everything in the appropriate order – overcoming fear requires putting people in their place.

• Put Yourself in The Proper Place
Some people think more highly of themselves than they ought to think. Others think far too lowly of themselves. We need to see ourselves with God’s eyes. Very few of us realize how unique and how valuable we are to God. If we did, we would be able to withstand a lot of rejection

Poor self-image is due to NOT understanding God’s values, which is how we end up having a faulty value system. Although God values us highly, we don’t. Then, when people criticize us, deep down we wonder if they’re right.

The cure: Accept what God’s word says about you:

“You (God) made man inferior only to Yourself. You crowned him with glory and honor” (Psalm 8:5).

That means we are only inferior to God and to no one else. We are all right up there, second to Him alone. Never allow yourself to feel inferior to others. We are acceptable to God, approved by God and loved by God. Not because of our own merit or because of what we have done. You will never be good enough to please a perfect God based on your own accomplishment. It is only through what Jesus Christ did that we have been made acceptable. It doesn’t matter what you say about yourself. What makes us acceptable is what God says and what Jesus did and we get to rest in that.

“It is not self-commendation that matters, it is winning the approval of God” (2 Cor 10:18).

Simplify your life by saying – “I will only do what pleases God” and the best way to -please him is to love Him and love others. The greatest of all these fuels is still LOVE.

The true concern of acceptable service is motivated BY LOVING COMPASSION. “When he [Jesus] saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them” (Matthew 9:36). This great motivation force reached its zenith in the BLEEDING HEART OF CHRIST IN THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE. How Jesus longed for some way to escape this terrible ordeal. But it was love that fueled and compelled him to go all the way to the Cross. His love cost Him His life. He even risked His eternal life to save us. So great was His compassion for all of us. This same LOVING COMPASSION must characterize our service to Him if it is to be acceptable.

Today, allow the Holy Spirit to reveal all the wrong fuels you have been using to serve God by INTENTIONAL EVALUATION: the motives that drive you in ministry. Here are some honest ways to scrub your soul by INTENTIONAL EVALUATION.

• Evaluate your motivation for ministry – Why do you serve the Lord? Are you motivated by the same things that motivated Paul – fear of God, new identity in Christ, duty, the call of God and love? Or is it legalism, false guilt, self-seeking gain or need for approval from men?
• Ask God to scrub your soul of all these wrong fuels and ask God to refuel you with love for Him and love for the lost.
• Begin to practice God’s call on your life. If we begin to practice what we know God wants us to do, He will turn our hearts around.

I DO WHAT I DO BECAUSE OF WHO I SERVE.
I DO WHAT I DO BECAUSE OF WHAT HE HAS MADE ME TO BE.
I DO WHAT I DO BECAUSE OF WHAT HE HAS ENTRUSTED TO ME.
I DO WHAT I DO BECAUSE OF WHAT HE HAS CALLED ME TO BE.
I DO WHAT I DO BECAUSE OF WHAT HE HAS DONE FOR ME.

END

PREACHED AT ETAB 1ST ENGLISH SERVICE ON 17 NOV 2019

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