Salvation is a great gift of God’s grace in Christ. This gift is more than just escaping God’s wrath, since by it we have been adopted as children of God (Ephesians 1:5). As a child of God, we are entitled to the privileges of the kingdom, such as having a relationship with God, praying and being heard and answered by God; walking in God’s favour and divine guidance, as well as having His Holy Spirit (the enabler and comforter) with us and much more.
On the other hand, being a child of God is not only about the privileges, but also about our responsibility to serve God and others, especially in the church. In the world, the rich and privileged could afford servants or helpers, but in the kingdom, although we are royal sons and daughters, we are also servants and stewards of God’s kingdom. Being a Christian is not only about what you can get or receive, but also about what you can give. Being a part of the modern church in a consumerist culture shouldn’t influence our thinking, where we perceive church to be about where ‘I’ can receive the best sermons, the best worship, the best children’s ministry or even the best coffee! All of these are important to one’s spiritual wholeness, except the coffee; but since scripture teaches that we have been filled with the Spirit and gifted to serve in the church (1 Corinthians 12:7), our thinking should be more like, where can I use my gifts to serve.
Jesus said to his disciples on three occasions, “The greatest among you shall be your servant” Matthew 23:11. Paul encouraged Timothy not to neglect his gifts or ignore how he has been shaped and positioned to serve in the church. He said to him, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands” 2 Timothy 1:16. Reflect on what natural and spiritual gifts you have, and think about how you may perhaps serve God and others.
As you serve, remember this promise, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” Colossians 3:23-24.