Serving like the Savior – Homework for personal Bible study

Hey there disciple!

This past week we began our Bible study series called “Serving like the Savior” in order to prepare us for our school supplies outreach Saturday August 22 (10am-2pm 😊).  The lesson this week titled “SERVER AND THE SAVIOR” was about how our relationship with God instructs and inspires our service.  We are called to Humble obedience and devotion to our Lord and that puts our minds in the right place with the right ATTITUDE – that our gratitude to God results in our servitude to God.    

The below should take about 10 minutes to complete each day.  Stay faithful, for God Who blesses you is faithful.  

Looking forward to connecting with you Wed August 12, 7pm (see text for conference call info).

God bless you little brothers and sisters.

-bro. martin

BCAN Theme 2020: Life together in Christ!

Acts 2:42-47

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Day 1  God-centered devotion brings God’s centered direction

Acts 13:36 NIV – “Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed.

The word “served” here is used to describe rowers working to move the boat and for servers operating under the guidance of another (subordinate). Rowing in a boat requires effort – often against some external force like wind or the waves. Yet, as you know, effort is not enough.  You could be rowing like crazy out of sync with other rows and cause disruption. Or all the rowers in the boat could be heading in the wrong direction – going nowhere good, yet going there fast. We need the instructions of the Savior – the instructions that come when we listen carefully to God through prayer and Bible study. God gives us each a personal purpose (like King David had), even as we also have collective purposes with the Body of Christ (like the Great Commission).  We also need the inspiration of the Savior – the inspiration that comes as we yield to God’s Holy Spirit as our Counselor, Helper, and Comforter (“One Who comes alongside”).  Knowing that God’s Holy Spirit empowers us to serve makes preparing for and persevering in the work all the more possible and all the more profitable.

There is a bit more about the relationship between server and Savior revealed in Acts 13.  Paul gets going on about David to contrast with Jesus Christ in verse 36, yet earlier in the chapter Paul has been contrasting David with another king of Israel – the first one, King Saul.  King David is described quite favorably versus King Saul. King David fulfilled his purpose in his generation, King Saul was removed from the kingdom because he most definitely did not. God is merciful, but serve the Savior with all your heart so you can fulfill your purpose.  It’s better that way – no doubt.

Question: What is a personal purpose God has you fulfilling nowadays?

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Day 2  How you serve matters!

Romans 14:17-18 NIV – For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.

Let’s take a look at the second word for “serve” this week.  This is a little touchy though.  Serve here was indeed used to a slave-master relationship.  I can hear you saying, “Whoa! Don’t you read the news brother martin? Slave? Naw fam.” I get it, but focus on the relationship piece not the slavery piece.  The idea of serving this way is mainly about working for someone else so devoted to the mission that you yield your obedience.  You stay humble. You stay focused.  Serving in this sense is relationship oriented because you are connected (again) to God’s Holy Spirit. The fruit of the spirit helps you to serve in a way that is pleasing to God – with purity, with peace and with joy.  The result: God has a “pleased” smile on His face and people have pleasant words flowing from their lips…about you!

The word “approval” here is used to describe authentic coins/currency.  You want to be “real” then serve Christ with purity, peace, and joy. You don’t want to be called “fake” then serve Christ with purity, peace, and joy.  Want people to not get confused when they find out you are a disciple of Christ after seeing how you behave? Then serve Christ with purity, peace and joy. 

Question: What is something we can do to keep the School Supplies distribution peaceful and joyful?

Question: What is something you can do to keep yourself pure for the School Supplies distribution?

Romans 12:1-2 NKJV – I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, [which is] your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what [is] that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Let’s come back to the word “pleasing” (as in “pleasing to God”).  This is the same Greek word that we see translated “acceptable” two chapters earlier in Romans 12:1-2.  It means that you satisfied the requirements of the agreement.  While we cannot earn or work for our grace-provided salvation, we can still faithfully satisfy the requirements of one particular calling/mission/purpose.  That’s so great!  Let’s tie it all together across these two sets of Scriptures.  You present yourself to God because He has made you acceptable (well-pleasing). You decide to do God’s work (reasonable service) in God’s way and not the world’s way (with purity, peace, and joy) and that results in you putting a big smile on God’s face…and likely another assignment to do more work! So awesome!

Question: Pray about what next assignment God has for you…for StronG Youth ministry collective.  What did you hear from God?

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Day 3    You worry less about rewards when you fully trust the Rewarder

Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Okay, homestretch on the Bible studies this week.  Let’s come back to the serving master business. Here we (by God’s grace) see “love” show up to remind us to focus on the relationship piece and not the slavery piece. Here “love” is “agapaō” – same type of love (“agape”) that church folks like to talk about so much. Unconditional, dear fondness. This love shows up in “love you neighbor as yourself” as well as “for God so loved the world.”  This type of love is about savoring moments with each other. Older folks will say “abiding with.”  Younger folks will say “hanging with.”  It’s not a quick popping in, drive-by love. It’s a spending quality and quantity time with.  

Selah. God wants to hang out with you for real. The Creator of the universe(s) wants to spend quality and quantity time with you…because love.

Question: When’s the last time you fell on the ground in laughter or amazement?  When was the last time you fell down in love and devotion to the Lord?  No judgment…no time like the present.  

Colossians 3:23-24  And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

Recall, this inheritance has your name on it.  You didn’t really earn it, but it’s there for you by God’s grace. You can trust in the Lord that He’s taking care of the thing He carefully set aside for you. What you do for Christ is always worth it, your labor in the Lord is not in vain, so stand firm!   

Question: What’s one thing you believe will be included in your eternal inheritance from God?

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