In the previous article, we saw in scriptures how it’s impossible to worship/serve God without knowing Him. It’s bad practice to assume we know what God wants from us and what serving Him entails. Let me start here by asking the question – How do we serve God?
A woman wakes up in the morning and neglects her family, prepares no meal for her husband and kids, and heads straight to church or a camp ground to pray all day, and returns late in the night. Guess she’s serving God, right? If yes, your guess is wrong. Is there anything wrong with going to pray all day? No. Follow me closely.
There another doctor who’s always nowhere to be found when patients need him most because he’s somewhere praying and binding all the demons in the South. Guess he’s serving God, right? Of course, he’s not. Let’s see certain scriptures:
“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1Timothy 5:8)
I think that beautifully settles the issue of those neglecting their responsibilities in the name of serving God. Let’s also get certain things clearly. First, God is not the direct recipient of our serving and the only thing God directly receives is the fruit of our lips. Everything else we do affects our fellow men and to neglect men in the name of serving or worshipping God is to have missed it largely. We need a great re-orientation in the body of Christ.
“’God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.” (Acts 17:24-25)
Can you see it says God is not worshipped by men’s hands? In other words, we can’t provide anything for God and this is why what we are told to continually offer to Him is the fruit of our lips.
“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” (Hebrews 13:15)
That’s the only good God directly receives from us as men and the only evil that directly gets to God is blasphemy, which also involves words directed at Him. Every other good or evil done by us affects our fellow men.
“If you sin, what do you accomplish against Him? Or, if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to Him? If you are righteous, what do you give Him? Or what does He receive from your hand? Your wickedness affects a man such as you, and your righteousness a son of man.” (Job 35:6-8)
So, for all those who say, “I don’t care about men since I’m serving God”, newsflash: we serve God mostly by serving men. This is the beauty of Christianity. There are several scriptures flashing through my head now but I’ll quote a few and continue in the next article. Let’s hear Christ on serving
“Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave–just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28)
Christ says we should serve men and that’s greatness in the kingdom.
“For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” (Galatians 5:13)
We are again told to serve one another in love. We serve God by serving our fellow men. Everything, (except offering the fruit of our lips to God), we do as Christians actually are for the benefit of men. Is it preaching? Who gets saved or edified – God or men? Is it giving? It’s to men. Even when we give to ministry, it is still to men for the purpose of supporting the work in order to reach more men. It’s still for the good of men.
How much have you served your fellow men? This is how much you are serving God.
Christianity does not advocate a mindset of neglecting people or dealing carelessly with men in the name of serving God. Let’s hear from Christ in Matthew. It’s quite a long read.
Matthew 25:33-46: And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Do you see how what we do for our fellow men translate into what’s done towards Christ? The life of the worshipper is a life of active service towards humanity. Men must come in contact with the goodness, kindness, comfort, tenderness, and love of God whenever they come in contact with you. You would have done well serving others as a believer. This is who we are – servants in the vineyard!
I hope we have mind renewed to this truth. It will make us lead more healthy lives. It will put an end to backbiting, envy, jealousy and rivalry in our churches. It will put an end to holding grudges against one another, yet lifting up holy hands. We would have known that God is more honoured by our service, living and godly interaction with men than our lip service. Let’s serve one another.
Adebowale Ibukun Tosin