"For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned." -- Romans 12:3
Today, we'll look at why faith is such an integral part of serving and what that might look like in the life a media or technology volunteer.
First, why does faith matter when serving?
- Salvation comes through faith. "O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?" -- Galatians 3:1-3. The Galatians got the single strongest rebuke of any church to which Paul wrote. And the reason? They got rebuked because they attempted to live the Christian life as if they would be perfected by the works of their flesh. But that is sheer foolishness because the Spirit works through us when we live by faith. When we work by our flesh, ours is the only work that gets done. And it doesn't go very far.
- Faith comes from God. Jesus met a man who's son was demon-possessed and said to him, "'All things are possible for one who believes.' Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, 'I believe; help my unbelief!'" (Mark 9:23-24). Among many things that this short statement says about faith, it confirms this: When we need faith, we need God. When we recognize that we need faith to serve, we also declare that we need God to serve. And in this we have the seeds of God-glorifying service.
- Faith is in God. "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." -- Hebrews 11:1. Faith is essential in serving because it appropriately connects the supernatural to the mundane. It declares that there is more to serving than just the labor. There is something spiritual that goes beyond the doing. God is involved in faith-filled service to the church, even when we don't see it. Even when it just looks like plugging in the same cables we plugged in last month, there is something eternal happening.
- Faith pleases God. "Without faith, it is impossible to please [God], for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him." Without faith, God is not pleased. We must believe that God exists and that he will reward us for our service. When we do, we declare that God is real and that he is faithful to his promises. We worship him.
- The faith-filled servant prays. You know that time at the beginning of each event where the leader takes a moment to stop and pray? That's the first chance a person has to place faith in God rather than himself. Do you pray sincerely at that time? Or is it just a routine? And do you pray on your own before or during the time you serve? Or is running the sound board just business as usual, something you've done dozens of times, and something you can manage on your own?
- The faith-filled servant praises. When one really believes that God is serving the church through him, he transfers the glory to God. Who gets the credit when you do well? Do you praise God in your heart and your words? When people thank you for serving, what's your response to them? "Aw, it's nothing!" or "Thank you, God helped me."
- The faith-filled servant sacrifices. He sincerely believes in eternal rewards, as God's Word declares. Do you? If so, then you can sacrifice with faith because your "loss" on earth will be mean gain in heaven. What joy and pleasure this will bring to your service!
- The faith-filled servant seeks more faith. At the end of the day, he humbly admits that his faith is half-hearted, and asks for more so that he might honor God more. Is this a request you make of God: please give me more faith?
- The faith-filled servant disappears. If the measure of a God-glorifying servant is faith, and faith comes from God, then only God can make someone a successful servant. And when God helps, and all goes well, and the service is perfect, and no one notices, and no one says thanks, that's just fine with the faith-filled servant. He thanks God and disappears.
More posts on devotionals for media and technology volunteers