What Are We To Do?-September 16, 2012
Scripture: Romans 12:1 & 2; Psalm 19; Philippians 4:8; Micah 6:8
Today is a day where we will set aside one of our own for the service of Deacon. Although we will set her aside and affirm her through the laying on of hands, we are all as His followers called to serve. The larger question then looms what are we to do? This may sound like a graduation message to some of you, but I believe that it is the question that should ground us in Him and allow us to honestly look at where we are at in relation to our living for Him. When looking at this question it should not be something that we look at only once in a while, but the answer to this question should be a daily guide for living. I believe God’s Word is the place to look for such answers.
In Romans 12:1 & 2 we are encouraged to present our bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is our spiritual act of worship. Our daily giving of our whole selves to Him is a spiritual act and is how we worship Him. Which is not just for Sunday. Does God cease to be God on other days of the week? If not, then why should our worship of Him cease during the week as well? It should not. Live for Him each day, for your call Him Lord, and it is worship to do so. Secondly, here in Romans this cannot be done by following lock step the ways of this world, but by transforming our minds, to God’s acceptable will.
Psalm 19:14 mentions the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts are to be acceptable in the Lord’s sight. So it goes much deeper that just what we do or don’t do, but rather not only what we say be the dwelling of our hearts should be acceptable in the sight of the Lord. This isn’t just a message for deacons but for all believers. Those who call Him by name. We should dwell in Him and allow Him to abide in us. This indwelling will mean that we are different because Christ lives in us. Is this not the message of the gospel?
Philippians 4:6-8 states that we should not be anxious for nothing, rather commit them to prayer, and allow God’s peace to rule and reign in our lives. Then shift our thinking. Do not participate in stinking thinking. Finally, Paul writes, the things that are true, honorable, righteous, pure, lovely, of good reputation, excellent, and worthy of praise let your mind and spirit dwell on these. Too often it is easy to get caught in the mire, and spin our wheels getting stuck worse rather than seeking God, trusting Him, and dwelling on the good. These are good words for any deacon or Christian.
Micah 6:8 instructs the believer in this way, seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God. We should seek justice for those without a voice to help those that the world neglects, to be a part of the solution rather than adding to their problems. Loving mercy is a very difficult thing. We often love the mercy that is given to us, but are not often merciful to others. The acknowledgment of loving mercy is one that does not just include ourselves but may mean that we may be agents of that mercy to others. In doing so we are giving up our right to ourselves and our justice to shine His mercy on all. Lastly, this is not possible if we are not walking humbly with God. An attempt to walk arrogantly with our God is to not really know or understand the fullness of who He is, or to be bold enough to scoff at it. We then walk with the creator of the universe humbly. Our good friend Job was reminded of this when God basically asked Him was he there when God created all. What a humbling moment. We must humble ourselves before the Lord.
We have talked about what are some things that we should do, but doing should come from being. We must be first. In Acts 6:1-7 we note that there are at least three practical things a deacon should be. They should be assistants to helpers in the pastoral ministry, servants to the church, and witnesses to the world. The church in a time of ordaining a deacon also has a responsibility to pray for, encourage, and follow the deacons example in service. It is a blessing to serve the Lord and to be set aside for this special task, but it is equally blessed to be what He needs each of us to be. Service truly is the mark of fellowship, it draws us closer to the heart of God, closer to one another, and draws the world closer to Him. God bless you all as we serve Him together.