When you think of the word, “worship,” the first images to come to mind might be a church congregation singing hymns or a believer kneeling in prayer. In addition to these familiar demonstrations, there is another practical expression of worship that we sometimes overlook … service.
Yes, our service to others can become spiritual worship when it flows from a pure heart as unto the Lord. In the classic devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers expounds, “We count as service what we do in the way of Christian work; Jesus Christ calls service what we are to Him, not what we do for Him.”
You see, our attitude toward service is much more important than the act of service itself. Actions alone do not comprise worship; our attitudes in those actions do. The heart is the only altar for genuine worship. Therefore, our acts of service should be performed, not out of compulsion, but from a love for God.
Jesus is our example as the most excellent servant of all. He walked the earth as God in flesh, yet His words were of greatest humility. “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve,” He spoke of Himself (Matthew 20:28, NKJV). He healed sick bodies, mended broken hearts, and washed His disciples’ feet. Jesus even laid down His own life to save followers who left Him and a world that hated Him. As we consider His example, we wonder how He could show so much love when so little was returned.
Even if we receive little in return for our service, what should motivate us is the understanding that we are not just serving people but actually serving God. Our real ministry is toward the Lord; we just perform it by serving people. Indeed, Jesus taught that in the final judgment, the King will declare, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40, NIV).
This truth remains with us daily and even carries into our workplace. The apostle Paul presented this challenge: “You slaves must obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Obey them willingly because of your reverent fear of the Lord. Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and the Master you are serving is Christ” (Colossians 3:22-24, NLT).
Furthermore, the Amplified Bible’s translation of these verses calls obedience to earthly masters “a sincere expression of your devotion to [the Lord]” (v. 22). When these scriptures become living revelation to our hearts, they will revolutionize the way we think and work.
The key to becoming a pleasing servant for Jesus is to develop a personal relationship with Him. As we fellowship with the Lord, He changes our hearts to become more like His and our perspective changes. He will help us to recognize opportunities to be a blessing that we may have never noticed in the past. As we take on His heart, we’ll want to help others and count it a joy, not a burden, to do so. So, let’s offer ourselves to the Lord today and ask Him to give us a heart for service.