What Is Your Motivation For Serving God?

Donald L. Norbie, Greeley, Colorado, USA [SEE PROFILE BELOW]

Category: Exposition

People may go into the Lord’s work for various reasons. Some may feel there is prestige connected with being in full-time Christian work. If one is lazy he might think he could get by while doing very little. Foreign mission work might attract one with its exotic geography and culture. Some might have a benevolent desire to help meet the needs of people, being moved by stories and pictures of the poverty and starvation.

But when one actually gets involved in the Lord’s work, the glamour quickly ebbs away. Experience indicates that the following situations are commonly confronted by those thus engaged. In many countries Christians are not honoured but despised. The work is hard. Few seem to respond to the gospel and discouragement sets in. If one is serving the Lord along faith lines without a salary, at times funds may be very short. Bitterness may set in toward other Christians. Why aren’t they more concerned to give? Those you came to help may not appreciate your efforts and your presence may be resented. You may begin to question your own call. Have I made a mistake in going into full time work at home or abroad?

Dr. Helen Roseveare served the Lord for sixteen years in the Belgian Congo. In 1964 she was captured by rebel soldiers and for five months was raped, beaten and abused. After a two-year furlough she went back for another seven years to serve the Lord there. In an interview she said, ‘Sixteen years ago I talked about the desperate needs in other parts of the world. Now I tell Christians, wherever they are, that they must, re-fall in love with Jesus. The candidates for missionary service were not staying the pace. For all their training they were not even staying the first term, let alone for a lifetime. I had to ask, Why this appalling fallout rate? They are responding with the wrong picture of what mission is all about thinking it to be what they can do to serve others. When they get to the mission fields and are not liked or wanted, people take what they’ve got to give and throw them out. They can’t stand the hurtfulness, so they come home’, Christianity Today, May 12, 1989.

Whether one is in full-time work or not, what should be the motivation for serving the Lord? Jesus questioned Peter by the Sea of Galilee three times, probing his heart. ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?’ Peter responded, ‘Yes, Lord; You know . . . that I love you’, John 21. 16. Then the Lord commissioned him to feed His flock. Peter’s qualification for serving was not loving the lost, but a deep love and loyalty to the Lord. Now we should be moved by the terrible lost condition of the world around us. Christ was ‘moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd’, Matt. 9. 36. But when people turn against you and reject you, then you need a deeper love. Then Christ’s love for you and your responding love will sustain you. ‘We love Him because He first loved us’, 1 John 4. 19.

For those leaving their employment to serve the Lord, whether at home or abroad, one needs a profound sense of the call of God to this work. There will come times of crushing testing when you will question whether you should be doing God’s work. It seems too hard, too difficult to bear. It’s then you need a deep conviction of God’s call. Amos was challenged by Amaziah the priest of Bethel and told to stop his preaching. ‘Then Amos answered, and said to Amaziah: I was no prophet, Nor was I a son of a prophet, But I was a sheepbreeder and a tender of sycamore fruit. Then the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said to me, Go, prophesy to My people, Israel. Now therefore, hear the word of the Lord’, Amos 7. 14-16.

The Lord’s servants need that same conviction today!

AUTHOR PROFILE: Donald Norbie is in fellowship with the assembly in Greeley, Colorado, and is a commended full-time worker. A regular contributor to Precious Seed and other assembly magazines his ministry is widely appeciated throughout N. America and the UK.

There are 25 articles in
ISSUE (2004, Volume 59 Issue 1)

1 Corinthians 15-16 (1)

Abel - A Keeper Of Sheep

According to Luke

Altars In The Life Of Abraham

Broken Things

The Christian Life

The Deity Of The Lord Jesus


Gospel Work And Other Activities

The Holy War, A Modern English Version

How Does A Christian Deal With Feelings Of Guilt?

In Trouble and Joy, Four Women Who Lived for God

An Appreciation OfIvan Steeds

John Mark, Meet For The Master’s Use

The Little Maid

The Lord Jesus as the Word of God in John’s Gospel

Nearing Home

New Testament Assemblies In Shetland - A History

Prayer The Powerhouse

Seven Sights For Sore Eyes

Themes and Issues from Pilgrim’s Progress

They Are Not Of This World

Trusts And Trustees, Additional Clarification

What Is Your Motivation For Serving God?

Work In Schools

This article is not part of a series

There are 41 articles by this author

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Job’s Concern...A Timely Word For Christian Parents

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What Is Your Motivation For Serving God?

Will You Die Well

What isLove?

Has life always been good to you or do you live in quiet desperation?

Is ThereTruth?

The Passion of the Christ

Blurring the Distinctives

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Buy the Truth

The Early Church

Is there Forgiveness?

What is this business about Deacons

The Attire of an Harlot

Harmony in God’s Family

Faith for the Work

Do You Love God?

Why Does an Assembly Die?

The Problem of The Problem of Obesity

The Devotion of Youth

Decidiing with peace

How do you do the Breaking of Bread

Balancing Your Dispensations

The Character of worship

Is The Lord Enough?

Spiritual Compromise

So What is Wrong?

A Time to Weep

Sensual Religion

Should Christians observe the Sabbath?

The Healing of the family

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Flee Lust

So, You want to be Contemporary?

The Servants of God

A Holy Man of God

The Son of Man

The Power of Choice

An Anchor for the Soul