Who Do You Serve?

“The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” –I Thessalonians 1:8-9

The Bible reminds us that we all serve someone or something in our lives. God created us to seek Him and find wholeness, meaning, and purpose in Him alone. Yet, some of us try to find all these things in other places or other people, which can never satisfy. The real question then is who do you serve? Some of us never really reflect on this question and some may live their entire lives without perceiving they are living far off from God. Some of us only serve ourselves, forgetting that we should put God first in our lives. Some of us serve things and live for the next great possession we might be able to acquire. Things and people, while great for a while, will never truly satisfy us like seeking after and serving the one living and true God.

The Christians in Thessalonica had lived a life of seeking after idols before they found Christ. Paul makes the emphasis that those idols were nothing like the living and true God, who they had now found. In fact, their faith had become known everywhere because they now served a living God!

But back to the original question, who do you serve? All human beings are born in sin and therefore wrestle with the temptation to place other things in the place of honor where God alone deserves to be. Yet, God Himself out of his unselfish and giving nature, calls us back in proximity to Himself by giving us His salvation through His Son. It is in response to this selfless love of God that we find the desire to serve God and put Him first. Why? Because God put us first!

Jesus also was an example of service. He was always doing the will of His Father and not His own will. He was always bringing glory and honor to someone else, because He had placed His Father first. It is in this service that Jesus could even face the cross with joy as the writer of Hebrews reminds us! Jesus fulfilled His purpose through the Cross by making us whole and giving us meaning through His service to us. Even when Jesus faced Satan, He was able to say, “Worship the Lord, your God, and serve Him only!”

There are many things and people vying for the place of God in our lives today. But as Paul reminds us, we have turned away from idols and serve the living and true God. Nothing and no one else can satisfy the desires of our restless heart, for everything else is an imitation of the perfect and divine being who loves us and cares for us. Put God first, serve Him only, and find true fulfillment!

God Bless,

Pastor Joel