We saw In the last post on battling apathy we saw how the love of Christ is the compelling force in the life of a Christian. Because of all Christ has done for us we can’t help but serve our king.
Passionately Serve Your King
Romans 12:11 tell us Do not lack diligence in zeal; be fervent in the Spirit; serve the Lord.
Basil of Caesarea or Basil the Great, as he is known, was a Bishop in modern-day Turkey. He was born in 330 AD and became an influential theologian. He cared greatly for the poor and underprivileged and had great zeal for the Christian faith.1 In one of his writings, his zeal was on display when he said…
- What is the mark of a Christian? That his justice abounds in all things…
- What is the mark of a Christian? That they love one another as Christ has loved us.
- What is the mark of a Christian? To set the Lord always in his sight.
- What is the mark of a Christian? To watch daily and hourly and stand prepared in that state of perfection which is pleasing to God, knowing that at what hour he thinks not, the Lord will come.2
Christians live passionately when their hearts are awakened to God’s love. This is because their lives are driven by the greatness of God, not what they want. There is simply no more space for apathy.
No Apathy At Work
Now, it’s important to realize that this is not limited to what we typically think of as “serving God.” For the Christian, everything we do is an act of service to the Lord. Even our jobs. In Genesis 2:15 the Bible says The LORD God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it.
The Hebrew word for work means to serve.3 Right in the very beginning of creation, we see that God gave man meaningful work to do. This was BEFORE sin had entered the picture. Adam was made to work because he was created in the image of God. Without the curse of sin, work was an undiluted blessing. Adam’s second task in the garden was to watch over it. This verb refers to the action of God toward his people. So when we are working, we are acting as God’s ambassadors, bringing his plan to fruition, AND we are doing the very thing that he does.
More Than Just A Job
Work is not simply a means to provide food, clothing, and shelter. It’s an inseparable part of God’s original design for creation. Our work is a large part of how we serve God and Paul instructs us to be fervent in our service. But this doesn’t just apply to our 9-5 jobs. This applies to our work as parents. It also applies to how we work at our marriages. We even move our yards differently. No job is small or meaningless because it is from God!
Boil For Jesus
Paul is calling us to be fervent as we serve our King. We give our minds, hearts, and bodies to do the best job possible. The word FERVENT in Romans 12:11 means to boil.4 We are to be so fervent, so zealous, that we are boiling over for Christ. Intensity matters. Zeal matters. Wholeheartedness matters. Don’t settle for anything less. Don’t give apathy any room to grow.
We exist to spread a passion for the supremacy of God and we do this through our good service to him!5 When it comes to serving Christ, half-heartedness, lukewarmness, laziness, sluggishness, slothfulness ought not to be.
Think about it with me. Jesus saving us is the greatest thing in the world. It means having eternal life. We cannot die. We will live forever in overwhelming joy. Nothing can separate us from Christ. Everything works for our good. All our troubles and sorrows produce an eternal weight of glory. Because of all that how can we be anything but passionate? Apathy just doesn’t make sense.
We Are In A War
June 4th was the 81 anniversary of Winston Churchill’s famous speech. Can you imagine if he walked into the House of Commons on June 4th, 1940, while the Battle of France was raging and the threat of Nazi Germany growing higher and higher, can you imagine if he apathetically stood and said: “I guess we can go on while it’s easy, maybe take a nap in France, perhaps lazily cruise in the sea and ocean. We can apathetically fly kites in the air, or slowly stroll on the beaches. We could skip on the landing grounds, or maybe pick daisies in the fields…..”
No! He was so driven by the love of his country and freedom, and utter disgust and unwillingness to compromise in the face of evil that he stood up with the threat and evil of Nazi invasion looming he said:
“We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender…”
Churchill loved his country. But we have more than just love for the country beating in our chests, we have the love of the almighty, omnipotent Creator compelling us. Every Christian has the Holy Spirit that raised Christ from the dead coursing through their souls empowering them to fervent service.
Whatever The Cost
Winston Churchill was not apathetic in the face of the enemy. The Nazis were wreaking havoc across Western Europe. But Churchill wasn’t paralyzed into inaction and history was changed. We are not in a world war. But we are in a spiritual battle. Granted, God might not be calling us to change the entire world, but he is calling us to fervently serve him and to fight our battles in our little corner of the world. He is calling us to be His ambassadors.
He is calling us to represent and advance his kingdom in our neighborhoods and schools. It doesn’t matter if you work at a law firm or at Walmart, God has placed you there so you can represent and advance his Kingdom. And because our King has already secured our victory on the cross we don’t have to surrender. No more apathy. No more passionless service. Let’s be the type of Christians who are so arrested by God’s love that we can say: “I will fervently serve my King, whatever the cost!”
- Basil the Great – Ancient Faith Study Bible. Holman Bible Publishers, 2019.
- Titus 2:14, 1 Corinthians 15:10, 58