Where does the Lord intend me to focus my service?

Where does the Lord intend me to focus my service?

All service begins with devotion to the Lord; serving Him is the ultimate. The Law teaches us this principle: love for God is first and flows out in love for our neighbor (Mark 12:29-31; Romans 13:8-10). Never did an act of service bring such glory and honor to God as the death of the cross (Philippians 2:6-8). Never has an act of service brought such benefit to others: "With His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).

The sphere in which we express that service is the assembly. Believers are "to do good and to communicate." This injunction is in the context of an assembly, with submission to elders following it and offerings of praise "outside the camp" preceding it (Hebrews 13:13-17; see also 10:25). The self-sacrificing love that is kind to others ( 1Corinthians 13) was essential to the functioning of the Corinthian assembly.

Of course, our service is not limited to the four walls of an assembly’s meeting place. "Let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith" (Galatians 6:10). When Paul wrote, essentially all "the household of faith" was in the various assemblies then existing. God intends for our service to focus on the assembly and to flow out from there.

Any service we render to others then must be consistent with the principles of the assembly and as an extension of the assembly’s testimony. That is true of every facet of our lives and will not keep us from serving, but it will channel our service. Joining in any other association or taking any other name than the Lord Jesus Christ in order to serve others denies the sufficiency of the design of God’s house to fulfill our Christian service.

D. Oliver