Finding God's Direction for Serving Part 2
Sermon Summary
This message continues a message on finding God’s direction as a servant of God. In the book of Romans chapter 12, the servant of God finds many directives for his or her service to God! They are not complicated, but are very detailed. There are at least 21 directives and maybe more, depending on how you group them together. This message examines another 6. Next week will be the conclusion of this message and the series, Show Me the Way! Serve well!

Community Group Discussion Guide

1. What specific gifts or talents do you feel God has given you to serve with? If you don’t think you’ve been gifted by God for service, you’re mistaken. Ask God to show you in what areas He’s gifted you and He will show you. Others may see things in you which you can’t see. Have fun with this one!

2. Why do you think love is such an important directive for a servant of God?
1 Corinthians 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

3. A servant of God is supposed to serve with Joy even in the midst of difficult situations. What is the difference between the word happy and joy and why is it so important we serve the Lord with joy and gladness? (Think about what others think about when they see a sour servant!)
Psa 100:1  A psalm. For giving thanks. Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Psa 100:2  Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
Psa 100:3  Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his ; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Psa 100:4  Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
Psa 100:5  For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

4. Prayer is communication with God! It is us talking to Him and Him talking to us. Why is it so vital, and why is it just plain common sense, that a faithful servant must communicate with his or her master?
Col 1:9  For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
Col 1:10  And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,
Col 1:11  being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully
Col 1:12  giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

Full Sermon Notes

Finding God's Direction for Service!
Romans 12

We gather here because we believe! We believe Jesus lived a perfect life, died a horrific death and then rose again on the third day so He could bring hope to the world! We gather in this building for what many call a worship service. It's a service because we are servants of God and we've come to serve Him in various ways. Some serve by volunteering in some way. Others serve by  encouraging others! There are those who serve by using their voices to raise up a wonderful sound unto God!

Others serve by listening and learning how they can better serve God with their lives.
People in the world wonder, why we worship and why we continue to serve with our lives! They don't get it and you know what, I have dedicated my life to helping them get it. I want them to get it! Why? Serving God is amazing, it's fulfilling, it's the fulfillment of the purpose for which we were created. People who do not understand this live wasted lives chasing things that don't matter and that don't bring lasting happiness or peace! That breaks my heart and you know it breaks God's heart! As a follower of Jesus, I don't want to live a wasted life. I willingly give my life in service to the One who willingly gave His life for me! Let's pray...

"Father God, we come today to serve You! You are so worthy of our service, our worship, our praise, our devotion, our love, our very lives! Teach us what it means to live our lives as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to You! Help us to teach others with our lives and with our Words why it is so grand to be a servant of the Almighty God! Once again, hide me behind the Cross of Christ and let Your Spirit speak words of life through your lowly servant! In Jesus Name I pray and believe!!

Video of youth testimonies shows after my prayer as a video bumper for my message! Thanks!

I'm so excited to see our youth standing unashamed for Jesus Christ and being willing to spend money, and a portion of their summer vacation time, to go to a country in South America and serve God! They served God by serving a people God loves very much! We'll hear from some of these youth in our message today!! Maybe the world is not in such bad shape after all!! These young people have the potential to change the world by being faithful servant's of God!!
Today we're going to continue our message on finding God's direction for serving! Last week we looked at 9 directives found in Romans 12. Today we will look at another six. There will be a part three! So by way of review, let's read the verses we covered last week and look at the 9 directives we pulled from those verses so you can have the context for our message today! Romans 12:1-5

Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.
2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,
5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

Directive #1
Serve with Gratitude
Directive #2
Serve with your Life
Directive #3
Serve with your Best
Directive #4
Serve with your Worship
Directive #5
Serve with what you don’t Do
Directive #6
Serve with your Mind
Directive #7
Serve with Humility
Directive #8
Serve with Faith
Directive #9
Serve with Others
Now let's look at directive 10...

Directive #10
Serve with your Gifts

Romans 12:6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.
7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach;
8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

Serve with the gifts you've been given. Way too many people spend their time wishing they had somebody else's gifts. Don't waste your life wishing you were somebody or something else other than who God created you to be. You may not think you have anything special to offer, but I can promise you do. God has given you unique gifts and abilities unlike anyone else. God doesn't give everybody the same gifts for a reason. We are parts of the Body of Christ. It would not make sense and would not work if we all did the the same thing. Jesus is the head of the church and the members of the body move and act at His Spirit's direction!

Paul put it this way in his letter to the Corinthian Church...

1 Corinthians 12:4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.
6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
8 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit,
9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,
10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.
11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.

So serve with your own special gifts!
Sometimes it will surprise you how God will use your gifts. You may not even think you have a gift or an ability to make a difference, but you do and if you simply make yourself available for God to use you, he will!

Check out the surprise of one of our young men who discovered on the mission trip that God could and did use him...

 Video Clip of Dustin Jackson...

Directive #11
Serve with Love

Romans 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

A servant of God must have a love that is sincere. The only thing he or she should hate is evil! A servant of God is to never hate anyone, not even their enemy. Our love for God and others causes us to hate evil and cling to what is good! Our love helps us become like God in the way we serve God. God's Word says this in Ephesians 5...

Eph5: 1 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children
2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

One of our youth tells us what a servant of God shares with others… Listen...

Video clip of Jordan Nave!

I write an article each month for Metro Fitness and Senior Living magazines. The one for the fitness magazine relates to this directive. Listen...

While there are some principles basic to all physical fitness endeavors, your activity and your equipment will vary depending on your particular purpose and goals. Body builders have specific goals, which dictate the type of equipment, the type of exercises and the way in which those exercises are done. Folks who are working out for strength and endurance training have routines unique to their purpose. The same could be said of swimmers, runners, cyclists, football players, tennis players, and all sports enthusiast. They quickly move past the basics and focus on their specific area of interest, but if they ignore or neglect the core of good physical fitness serious injury may occur.
When it comes to spiritual fitness, there is also a great diversity of giftedness and calling. People who are passionate about being spiritually fit will focus on things that are specific to God’s purpose and goals for their individual lives. However, if a person wants to be at their peak spiritually they must never forget the basic principles and goals Jesus told us should be a part of our daily spiritual workout routine, and should be at the foundation of every spiritual pursuit. If we ignore or neglect these we stand the risk of serious spiritual injury to ourselves and to others. What are they? Jesus gave us the answer when he responded to a question concerning the most important of all commandments. He answered…

Mark 12:29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.
30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Paul put it this way...

1 Corinthians 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Directive #12
Serve with Devotion

Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

A servant of God is devoted in service, and one of the greatest ways we show our devotion to God is by our devotion to serve our brothers and sisters in the family of God! What is devotion?

1. Ardent, often selfless affection and dedication, as to a person or principle.

I wonder if the person who wrote that had been reading our text for today. Why do I say that? The definition says, "selfless affection and dedication" and our text says "honor one another above yourselves."
I love the way Paul talked about his devotion to the people of Thessaloniki.   

1 Thessalonians 2:6 We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you,
7 but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children.
8 We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.

Directive #13 & #14
Serve with Zeal and Spiritual Fervor

Romans 12:11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

Why combine these two like Paul did? Because zeal without spiritual direction can be dangerous! Paul knew a thing or two about this. Remember his testimony. He thought he was doing the right thing when he traveled around arresting Christians and watching them even put to death.  

Zeal without spiritual direction is what led the mob who crucified Jesus! In fact here's what Paul said a few chapters back in Romans. Romans 10:1-4

Romans 10:1 Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.
2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.
3Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.

4 Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

So what Paul is saying here is this: We should never lose our excitement, our enthusiasm, our passion or our anticipation of what God is going to do in and through our lives as we serve Him. However, the only way for us to stay on track is to make sure our zeal, remains connected to our spiritual fervor. In other words, our passions should be driven by our spiritual desire for God's direction in every single aspect of our lives! The Psalmist said it beautifully in Psalm 73...

Psalm 73:24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

I want you to watch this testimony of another of our young people who was on the mission trip. See if you can since the zeal and spiritual fervor...

Video of Ashleigh Nave.

Directive #15
Serve with Joy, Patience, and Prayer

Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

So now Paul combines three directives into one. Why? They go together. They work together! A servant of God is joyful because of the hope God has placed in their life! As you've heard me say on many occasions, it is a joyful hope! Hope with expectation! It's a know so kind of hope! Paul explained it like this a few chapters back in Romans 5...

Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

So our hope brings us joy and our joy brings us hope even when we are in the midst of affliction. In fact Paul tells us to be patient in our afflictions. Am I  the only one who has a really difficult time with the word patient? My prayer is sometimes like this…"Lord give me patience and please give it to me right now!"

One of our young people discovered how God uses patience while on the mission trip to Ecuador…Listen...

Video Clip about patience...

When we are afflicted with a problem, an issue, a sickness, a relationship difficulty, a problem with a co-worker, a spouse, a child, a parent, a financial setback, or whatever it can be difficult to see any thing good in the problem. But let me go back to Romans 5 and read the next verse…there's a reason God allows us to face afflictions...

Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.
And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

And how in the world do we keep this perspective? How do we experience this Holy Spirit God has placed within our hearts? Faithfulness in prayer!

Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

The subject of prayer could be another whole sermon series, but for this message let me just say this: a servant of God must be faithful in prayer! Prayer provides us powerful and beautiful access to God! A servant of God can only be said to be serving God if he or she is actually doing what God has asked them to do.

If we claim to be servants of God but never converse with Him or seek His direction for our lives and what we do, we may simply be serving ourselves in the Name of God! Prayer is not only praying for ourselves, but it's also about praying for others. Our youth discovered the power of prayer on several prayer walks they took. Listen...

Video testimony on prayer walking!

Prayer is twofold…It is us actually talking to God and then allowing God to talk to us as He enlightens us through Holy Scripture!  

Sometime, probably this fall, I will do a series on prayer. But for today, I want to end this message with the words of Paul, who was himself a servant of God and faithful in prayer. Ephesians 1:16-21

Eph 1:16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength,

20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,
21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

 END OF SERMON FOR THIS WEEK!