Stephen Caswell © 2004
The Navigators are well known for their emphasis on having an attitude of servant hood.
A businessman asked Lorne Sanny, then president of the Navigators, how he could know when he had a servant like attitude.
Lorne replied, /by how you act when you are treated like one./
*D.L. Moody* said, /The measure of a man is not how many servants he has, but how many men he serves./
There's no limit to the good we can do, if we don't care who gets the credit.
/Today, I want to address the question, what is spiritual service?/
To answer this question we will look at *Romans 12:1-8*.
Paul describes spiritual service as complete dedication to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Anything less is not spiritual service.
Paul describes our */Dedication To Service/* and our */Demonstration Of Service.
/*He then talks about our*/ Diversity Of Service.
/Firstly / Dedication To Service
Present Our Bodies /
*Romans 12:1:*/ 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.
The word */therefore/* links God's mercy with our service for Him.
In the first 11 chapters of Romans Paul records what God has done for us.*
In mercy He forgave us, in grace He gave us eternal life.
He has given us the Holy Spirit for life and service.
He has reserved an inheritance for us in heaven.
On top of this He helps us each and every day when we ask Him.* /In response to this shouldn't we give our bodies as living sacrifices?/ /Surely this is the least we can do.
This is reasonable service, isn't it?/
Any thing less is ingratitude.
/If Jesus was a living sacrifice, shouldn't we be living sacrifices too/?
/But,/ /why does Paul beseech us when he could command us to be living sacrifices?
/Because he appeals to a greater motivation, love.
*2 Corinthians 5:14-15:* /For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again./
T. Studd* said, */If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice that I make can for Him could be too great./*
He went to China as a missionary.
Unfortunately, Christians tend to divide their lives into sacred and secular.
God makes no such distinction.
He wants all of us lock, stock and barrel; not just 10%.
He wants us to live for Him at work, home, play and in the community.
He wants us to use our recreation time for him and to use our homes to minister to our neighbors and unsaved friends.
He wants all of us as a living sacrifice.
*Colossians 3:16-17:* /Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
*And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,* giving thanks to God the Father through Him./
Present Our Minds/
*Romans 12:2: */And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, /
An important part of dedication is having the right outlook on life.
If we want to develop godly values and goals we must first renew our minds.
The word */transform/* metamorfow means */to change, to transfigure/*/./
This word was used of Jesus Christ at the transfiguration.
Our English word */metamorphosis/* comes from this word.
It means to change something from the inside out.
/The world wants to change our mind, so it exerts pressure from without.
But the Holy Spirit can transform our minds by releasing power within as we meditate on God's Word./
What we put into our minds will determine our attitudes and ultimately our lifestyle.
Christians who have trouble living holy lives can only blame themselves if they don't spend time in God's Word.
*Computer experts have a saying for computers that aren't producing correct information.
It's an abbreviation for garbage in garbage out.
*We must renew our minds if we desire to be Dedicated to God.
Both the /presentation of* Our Bodies *and* Our Minds*/ are necessary before we can */know God's Will./*
Present Our Will/
*Romans 12:2: */that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God./
Your mind controls your body, and your will controls your mind.
Many people think they can control their will by */willpower,/* but usually they fail.
This was Paul’s experience.
He recorded this struggle in *Romans 7:15–21.*
*/It's only when we yield the will to God that His power can take over and give us the willpower and the won’t power to be victorious Christians./*
We surrender our wills to God through disciplined prayer.
/As we spend time in prayer, we surrender our will to God and pray, with the Lord, Not my will, but Thy will be done./
We must pray about everything, and let God have His way in everything.
Florence Nightingale At 30
Florence Nightingale at thirty wrote in her diary, I am thirty years of age, the age at which Christ began His mission.
Now no more childish things, no more vain things.
/Now, Lord, let me think only of Thy will./
Years later, near the end of her illustrious, heroic life she was asked for her life’s secret, and she replied, Well, I can only give one explanation.
*/That is, I have kept nothing back from God./*
A practical way to do this is to surrender our bodies to the Lord each new day.
Then to spend time with the Lord in His Word and let Him transform our minds and prepare our thoughts for that new day.
*/We should pray, and yield the plans of the day to Him and let Him work as He sees best./*
We must especially pray about those tasks that upset or worry us, and allow God to see us through.
We start each day by yielding our bodies, minds, and wills to God.
/Is your desire to serve to the Lord?
/Paul reveals three things that are necessary for us to offer spiritual service to God. */Firstly,/* /have you presented your body to God as a living sacrifice?
Is He the Lord of all your life?
*Secondly,* are you renewing your mind each day in God's Word?
Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to transform your life from within?
/Our minds determine our actions./
*Thirdly,* have you surrendered your will to God? /Our wills control our minds.
/Are you proving God's will in your life?
Do you dedicate each day to the Lord?/
/Secondly / Demonstration/ /Of Service
Evaluate Our Spiritual Gifts/
*Romans 12:3*/ For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith./
Each Christian must know what his spiritual gifts are and what ministry, or ministries he is to exercise in the local church.
It is not wrong for a Christian to recognize gifts in his own life and in the lives of others.
What's wrong is the tendency to have a false evaluation of ourselves.
There are two extremes to avoid.
*/Firstly,/* overrating our spiritual gifts.