OceanSide church of Christ
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I WILL DO MY BEST TO SERVE THE LORD…WHEN?
Victor M. Eskew
The duty of all Christians is to serve the Lord. “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” (Rom. 6:18). “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life” (Rom. 6:22). As we serve the Lord, our desire should be to serve Him to the best of our ability. Surely each of us would affirm: “I WILL do my best to serve the Lord.” Let’s look at this simple statement for a few minutes.
First, it begins with the word “I.” “I” is a personal pronoun referring to self. Our first responsibility in Christian living is to self. Self is the only one over which we have complete control. Ultimately, self is the only person we can truly save. In His instructions about judging others, Jesus teaches us to first judge ourselves. “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?...Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye” (Matt. 7:3, 5). Dear reader, if we do not focus upon self, nothing else really matters (Matt. 16:26).
Second, we read the words “will do.” These words are action words. Action is what Christian living is all about. James reminds us of this in his epistle. “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves…But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed” James 1:22, 25). Jesus was a doer during His earthly sojourn. He said: “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4). Paul’s life was filled with doing. He summarized the actions of his life in II Timothy 4:7. “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” There are many, many things that a Christian should be doing on a regular basis. From sun up till sun set, our lives are all about doing good and laboring in the vineyard of the Lord.
Third, we read about the standard that we have set for our Christian service. I will do “my best.” The word “best” is defined as “the highest quality, excellence, standing.” Best does not involve “just getting by.” Best does not refer to mediocrity. Best involves one’s whole heart. It involves paying attention to details. Doing one’s best will not allow him to take shortcuts. Best is not about easing one’s conscience. It is about fully engaging in one’s labor for the Master. In Colossians 3:23, Paul writes: “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” His words were specifically addressed to Christian slaves. In their labors for their masters, they were to do their work “heartily.” The word “heartily” means “with vitality, with life, and with enthusiasm.” It involves putting one’s all into his work. If this is the way the Lord wants Christians to serve their earthly masters, don’t you think He desires the same from His spiritual servants?
Fourth, our best is to be applied to our service. Christians are bondservants. Their responsibility is to serve. Serving involves following the orders of a superior (Rom. 6:16). Serving involves doing the lowly tasks, the difficult jobs, and the thankless chores. Jesus demonstrated this when He took a towel and basin of water and washed the disciples’ feet (John 13:4-5). Just as a servant rises in his master’s house ready to serve the master, each Christians should rise ready to serve his master.
Fifth, the Master whom we serve is Jesus Christ. “I will do my best to serve the Lord.” Under the Old Covenant, the Jews were commanded as follows: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exo. 20:2). Jesus commanded, saying: “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Matt. 4:10). We do not serve self. We do not serve the dictates of others. We do not serve false gods. We serve only the Lord Jesus Christ. He, and He alone, is our Lord and Master.
The statement: “I will do my best to serve the Lord” is packed with deep meaning. It is a serious statement. It involves a serious commitment on our parts. Notice, however, that we have added one word to the statement in the title of this lesson. It is in the form of a question: “When?” In other words, when will each of us do our best to serve the Lord? Our answer should be today. “(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee; behold now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)” (II Cor. 6:2). Now is the only time that we have been promised. Yesterday is in the past. Tomorrow may never come. Dear reader, if not now, when? Take a calendar out and mark the date. Tell us exactly when you plan to do your best to serve the Lord. We want you to do this because the Lord wants to know. He has done so much for you. Now, he wants you to do your best to serve Him. He has a right to know when you will do this. Our prayer is that you will say: “Today. Right now!”