First Things First

 As we conclude our Global Impact Celebration, no doubt our thoughts are turned to our service to the Lord and our work for Him.  But before we embark on grand plans to serve Jesus, we must first consider how Jesus has served us.  He described his service toward us in this way: “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)  Jesus served us by giving his life as a ransom – the price paid to provide our deliverance and freedom.

 Keeping “first things first” means doing the “work” of believing in Jesus before launching into other areas of Christian work.  Paul described it this way: And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness. (Romans 4:5)  We must remind ourselves again and again that only through faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross are we found acceptable to God.  No amount of giving to missions, praying for missions or going on mission will make us acceptable – only Jesus’ ransom-paying service. 

 Jesus also described belief in him as the primary “work” we do: “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”  (John 6:29)  It is absolutely vital that all true Christian service begins with the possession of eternal life.  Our first great duty and all important work is to believe in Jesus – to rest sweetly in Him and in what he has done for us on the cross. This “work” of believing in Jesus is not just a one-time event at the moment of our conversion. Rather, it is a daily attitude of trust and a consistent resting in Him. 

 Why is it imperative that we begin by receiving Christ’s service to us before attempting to serve him?  There are many reasons I can think of, but one that is particularly applicable to me is this: Jesus does not need my help, but I desperately need His help.  If I consider my service to Jesus as something He needs then I begin to see myself as Jesus’ benefactor and He is the recipient of my assistance and aid.  Just the opposite is true: I need his aid, assistance, help and service. “Nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.” Acts 17:25

 All true Christian service must begin here.  It’s at this point we realize we are serving Him not because he needs us, but because we so desperately need Him!

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