Serving God, Or Serving That Other One?
Read John Chapter 16
Jn 16:1 “All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or Me. 4 I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you. I did not tell you this at first because I was with you.
In our present day world, there are those who would like to see all Christians killed. They believe they are doing a service to “god” by killing anyone who does not believe as they do. Human history is rife with accounts of killings in the name of “god.” By the way, the Old Testament recounts instances when God truly did direct His people to kill others, in His name. Call me silly if you will, but there is no question in my mind but that God’s people really were doing a real service to God. But that is not the topic of today’s devotional. We will look at some other ways in which men falsely believe that their actions represent a service to God.
Through the revised understanding of the phrase, “God is love,” men and women, including some Christians, are ignoring God’s word in order to “be of service to God.” There are many church congregations and church leaders who have accepted the gay life as not being offensive to God. By hook or crook, they have determined that endorsing the gay lifestyle as not sinful, they are doing a service to God. That is not the only example. Many of our congregations today believe they are serving God by ignoring other sinful behaviors. It is much easier to preach love and peace, comfort and safety, than to confront men in their sinfulness.
1Th 5:1 Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
Certainly, we must not confront sinfulness in any way other than in a merciful, loving way. A man and woman living together without benefit of marriage must be spoken to with a genuine concern for their relationship with the Lord, not in such a way as to make them see us as “superior” to them. We are all sinful at times; therefore we must be gentle and kind in such circumstances.
Heb 5:1 Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. 3 This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people.
2Ti 2:24 And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
Gal 6:1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.
If by our silence we ignore sinfulness, thinking that our non-judgmental attitude is doing a service for our Lord, we are mistaken. We are allowing men and women to walk down that wide road which leads to destruction, on the premise that we are serving God by not hurting their feelings. The above passage from 1 Thessalonians makes the point very well. We cannot afford, by our silence, to refrain from warning men of the coming destruction. Our Lord does not tolerate sinful behaviors, and consequently, He does not tolerate those who fail to repent. We do no service to God through our silence or indifference. We actually do a disservice to Him, and a disservice to those who are not warned.
Prayer: Father, we are heavily burdened over what we see in our world today. Give us the wisdom to speak truth in love, and give us opportunity to do so. Do not let us be guilty of believing we are serving You, when in fact we are serving the one who leads our world astray.