Most Christians desperately desire to be closer to God. I do. I suspect if you're a Christian, you do too. When we finally go beyond only wishing and wanting to be close, we start working and striving to be close to God. In fact, we work hard. Our actions become the thing, and we expect that doing the thing well will somehow earn God's love. So we work harder. However, this is not the method God gave us to draw closer to him.
The spiritual discipline of service is a discipline that helps us draw near to God. But it is not that we labor and slave away. Nope. Just work harder. No, that's not it. Service is about joining God in his mission, with God. Service is God's way of asking us to join him. Service is God's way for us to be near the Lord. When we serve well, in biblical service, we get God. Sometimes it is hard work, but we are not working harder; we are with God as he works with and through us. But when we serve out of worldly ideas of service, it goes badly.
Ever said, "Why am I the only one serving?" How about complaining about how 20% of the people do 80% of the work. Do you ever serve and complain at the same time? Ever feel like Martha, demanding that God makes Mary come and help you in your work rather than the both of you joining Jesus in his work? Maybe these are signs that you are serving out of a non-biblical idea of service.
I preached on the idea of biblical service last Sunday. I'd like to encourage you to listen to the sermon here.
Also, here's a great video from the Jesus Storybook Bible about service. (We watched this video during our children's sermon.)
Finally, here's a couple more thoughts and some announcement items if you weren't with us on Sunday.
Serve well. For the Kingdom!