This year we have been talking about Getting it “all” done. I have shared the vital importance of order in your priorities, your home, your walk with God, and your marriage. Let’s talk about the second vital ingredient to success in getting it “all” done: Diligence! This includes faithfulness to serve, consistency in well doing, and embracing work! Over the next few weeks I will discuss each of these as the Lord allows. I pray that the sharing is a blessing to you and always leads you to His Word.
With much love,
Mrs. Joseph Wood
This week I would like to share a lesson I have written called, “Honored to Serve”. If you would like to get the weekly lesson sent to your email box, please let me know and I will be delighted to add you to our group list. May we each live to hear these words from our Savior, “Well done my good and faithful servant…”
Do you consider it an honor to serve or is it simply something that you want to rush through so that you can get on to the ‘important’ stuff in life? As handmaidens of the Most High God our response to being called Servants of God should be something we consider with great reverence. There is no greater honor than being asked to serve. Cultivating this attitude toward service in our homes, marriages, friendships and church is something that comes from a deep understanding of what He has done in our lives. It is a heart that daily remembers the price that was paid so we might be called children of God. Let us look at our Sister Lydia and her act of service after her conversion.
Acts 16: 14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
1. . Lydia was a woman of prayer.
Lydia was out on the Sabbath with other women who had gathered to pray when she heard Paul speak (Acts 16:13). Prayer is a vital ingredient in the lives of those that serve. It keeps our eyes looking to the Author and Finisher of our Faith instead of on our circumstances.
2. Serving comes from a heart of worship.
Lydia was an unmarried woman who was successful in her business of selling garments of purple. She was associated with people of high social status yet none of this hindered her to stop and listen to what Paul had to say. When our hearts are filled with worship for God, we are honored to serve and we do so as unto Him and not man.
3. Serving keeps the sin of idleness far from us.
Notice that Lydia had a heart for God before she realized her need for Jesus. She applied the teachings of diligence to her work and was rewarded with a successful business. The Lord rewards diligent hands. Selfishness and idleness keep us from serving as unto the Lord.
4. We can serve best when we manage our households well.
Lydia was not only faithful in her business as a “seller of purple” but in her home. It is believed that beyond her successful business she also had many servants that she managed in her household. We do not know if she was always single or perhaps a widow. What we do know is that the Scriptures said it was “her” household so managing the home and the business was her sole responsibility. She must have done so with excellence, for when the opportunity presented itself, she was free to serve.
5. Faithful to Serve.
Lydia didn’t assume her position as a successful business woman would entice the Disciples to stay with her. Quite the contrary. She asked them, “If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and abide there.” Lydia asked them to determine if they saw her as faithful. She didn’t list off her qualifications or skills and talents. She knew that
those were not the important details of life. Lydia realized it was an honor to serve and something that the “faithful” practiced. Therefore asked, “If ye have judged me to be faithful…”
Serving is not isolated events but rather an attitude to life. Lydia must have realized this, as she opened up her home to the believers on more than one occasion. We have record of it this time with Paul and then again in verse 40. What was her secret to success in serving? It was a heart of worship, diligence, good management, faithfulness and prayer! Each of these characters of Lydia make her noteworthy as we consider what our reasonable service is to the Lord.
Romans 12: 1 I beseech you therefore, breather, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the and finisher; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand the throne God.
Col 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to, and not men;
Romans 12: 11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.
Eph. 6: 6 Not with eye service, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ doing the will of God from the heart. With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men.
Questions to Ponder:
Am I faithful to serve others without judgment or do I only serve those whom I feel are “important”?
What details in my life keep me from being free to serve?
Would others find me faithful to serve?
Do I manage my home, time, finances, marriage and children well so that I can freely serve when the opportunity arises?
Does my service to others come from a heart of worship for the Living God?
How can I begin applying an attitude of service in my home and out?
Does my example lead others to serve or do I just ‘do it all”?
Do I struggle with the sin of idleness?