The Christian living site of Pastor Jim Piper, Jr.

You were made to serve, your soul depends upon it...

August 05, 2017 :: Jim Piper, Jr.

One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. 17 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 18 And they left their nets at once and followed him.

19 A little farther up the shore Jesus saw Zebedee’s sons, James and John, in a boat repairing their nets. 20 He called them at once, and they also followed him, leaving their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired men. Mark 1:16-20, NLT


This text feels personal for me. I experienced it. Jesus did not visit me by the lakeside and call me away from fishing but he did change the course of my life. It was in my mid-twenties when I started to pay more attention to Christ. I already knew a lot about the Bible and Christian thinking but that was mostly "head" stuff. It was my heart that began to embrace the progression of transformation: repentance (changing my mind about almost everything), faith (living by faith over the concrete), and service (I was made to serve). 

We all are made to serve. It's true that we can get confused about this in today's culture. You don't have to go to Bible school, seminary, and become an ordained minister with one of our many denominations to serve. You don't even have to serve within the structure of your nearby institution. You don't have to serve at all but if you don't you will slowly start the erosion of your soul. Your soul will decay because it's not doing what it was made to do - serve.

Notice something else about this passage (not obvious unless you read all the gospels). This is not the first time these men saw Jesus. They had already invested time hanging around him, listening to him, and deciding within themselves who he was and what he was doing, and where he was going. Maybe they could not articulate it in such a way but they knew it was real and that they were to be part of it. That might be what God is doing in your heart right now.

You've been slaving away trying to survive or thrive or conquer or something... but serving has caught your attention. Make no mistake, that is Jesus pulling you toward him. Though serving is important, don't miss the main event. The main event is that Jesus is calling you to him first and foremost. He is calling you into an intimate faith relationship with God. These men had already responded to the relationship. They were already faithful in that aspect. Then and only then comes the call to serve.

Remember the order: repentance, faith, service. One more thing. Serve the Lord faithfully right where you are. No need to move. There are all kinds of needs right around you. Serve there until Jesus says something different.

Blessings -

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