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Wednesday, May 18 2022

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

INTRODUCTION

In the first quarter of the year the study was focussed on understanding what God’s plan is for us, identifying His purpose for us and living out that purpose. Since the beginning of the second quarter we have been considering how we can function in God’s Plan; treating topics such as: “Except the Lord Build the House”, “Remain connected to the Source”, “Align Your Plans with God’s”, “Walk in the Light of God’s Word”, “Walk in Love”, “Consecration to God’s Plan” each of them revealing requirements for functioning in God’s Plan. This is important because it is not just only about knowing God’s plan and purpose but living it out by functioning in it. Today we shall be identifying a three-in-one way of functioning in His plan – “Diligence, Fervour & Service”

Romans 12:11: [1]Not slothful in business; [2]fervent in spirit; [3]serving the Lord”

TPT says: “[1]Be enthusiastic to serve the Lord, [2]keeping your passion toward him boiling hot! Radiate with the glow of the Holy Spirit and let him fill you with excitement [3]as you serve him.”

Our text identifies three vital requirements for functioning in God’s Plan. There is a very interesting connection between these three parts of our text as it relates to functioning in God’s plan. To function in God’s plan requires diligence (hard work) and service. But for these two be meaningful, effective and productive, it needs fervour.

1. Not Slothful In Business
The NASB renders this statement as “never lagging behind in diligence.” Not lagging is a phrase translated from a Greek word that means “lazy”. It is the same word Jesus used to describe the lazy servant in Matthew 25:26 who hid his talent. To function in God’s plan requires action from us. That is why we must be engaged in His service. In one of the parables of the Kingdom, Jesus in Luke 19: 11-13, invites us to occupy till He comes.

"11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. 12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come."

Not to be slothful in business means we must be diligent in whatever we are doing. Proverbs 22:29

2. Fervent In Spirit
The word translated "fervent in spirit" means to boil with heat, be hot. It is used of boiling anger, love, and zeal for what is good or bad. As used in our text, it means to have a burning zeal to do the will of God.
To be fervent means to exhibit particular enthusiasm, zeal, conviction, persistence, or belief. It is to be sold out; not half hearted, passionate, fully committed & consecrated

Solomon had the heart to be a wise ruler (1 Kings 3:1-15),Moses had a heart for his people (Exodus 32:30-33), Nehemiah had a heart for Jerusalem. (Nehemiah 1:1-2:9)
Let your heart always be in whatever your hands find doing!

John 2:17, says of Jesus: "Then His disciples remembered that it was written, 'Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.'"
Fervour and enthusiasm are the keys to success in the Lord's work. The church at Laodicea was chastised because they were lukewarm (Rev. 3:14-16).
The TPT says: “keeping your passion toward him boiling hot! Radiate with the glow of the Holy Spirit and let him fill you with excitement”

How can we achieve this? Romans 12:1 (MSG) spells it out:
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.”

3. Serving The Lord
One of the purposes why God made us is for service. (Ephesians 2:10) MSG says:
“God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.”

The first two parts of our text in Romans 12:11: (not slothful in business and fervent in spirit) tell us how we should serve the Lord. Diligently, passionately, enthusiastically. (Colossians 3:23)
1 Cor. 15:58a says: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord”

a) All believers are called on to serve the Lord. (Romans 12:4-8).

The Apostle Paul creates an analogy of the church as the body of Christ. Every part of the body is valuable and useful to the overall functioning of the body. Even so, every believer has been given spiritual gifts to use for the building up of the body of Christ. There is no such thing as a non-serving member of the body. If you’re not serving, you need to ask the Lord how He wants you to serve and begin doing it.
1 Peter 4:10 says, “God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God’s many kinds of blessings” (TLB).

Ephesians 4:16 says: “He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.”

b) We serve the Lord as His slaves, not as His volunteers. (Luke 17:7-10)

Volunteers choose when and how they serve; slaves are on call day and night, whether they feel like serving or not.
First, make sure that your motivation is right. You serve Him because of His great mercies toward you in the gospel. That motivation moves you not to be lazy, but diligent in serving Him. Serving Christ becomes your passion, so that you do it fervently. And, remember that you’re serving none other than the Lord Himself.

Two verses of scripture lay a solid foundation of the kind of service that pleases the Lord.
• Ephesians 6:7 (AMP) says:
“Rendering service readily with goodwill, as to the Lord and not to men,”
To render service readily means to render service enthusiastically, gladly and cheerfully. And to render it with goodwill refers to rendering service with willingness, concern and kindness. So let’s rephrase our Ephesians text:
“Rendering service enthusiastically, gladly and cheerfully and with willingness, concern and kindness, as to the Lord and not to men,”

The second verse of scripture we will consider is
• Colossians 3:23 (KJV)
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;”
To render service heartily means to render service whole heartedly, enthusiastically, etc.
So let’s rephrase our Colossians text:
“And whatsoever ye do, do it whole heartedly and enthusiastically, as to the Lord, and not unto men;”

CONCLUSION
Our text today refers to people who are motivated and passionate in their service for the Lord. So we must ask ourselves this question: “Am I diligent and fervent in spirit in my service for the Lord?” Or, like the church in Laodicea, whom the Lord threatened to spew out of His mouth, could I be lukewarm?
The last thing anyone of us will want is that these year’s series of Bible study “Following God’s plan for Your Life” ends up being only a cliché in their lives. You can be following God’s plan for your life in your secular job; nothing wrong with that. But if you limit it to only that and be indifferent to the Lord’s business, you miss out on certain perks that come with the service of God (Exodus 23:25) and secondly, you will not be a functioning part of the body of Christ (Romans 12:4-8 & Eph. 4:16). That is why time and again, we have encouraged ourselves to become useful in the body of Christ. Also, our call to service does not end in church alone but everywhere we find ourselves, our lights must shine (Matt.5:16). The MSG version of Colossians 3:23 says: “Servants, do what you're told by your earthly masters. And don't just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best.”

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 02:24 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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