I had a blast last night talking with my community group as we explored what it looks like as Christians to serve. I thought I'd take a minute to talk about our motivation to serve since it was brought up a bunch yesterday. In scripture I see a few reasons why we should serve and thought you'd enjoy seeing them too. This is also addressed in "Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life" by Donald Whitney
1. Motivated by obedience.
Deuteronomy 13:4 says "Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. We cannot neglect to serve because we simply don't want to do we can't serve with the right heart. Our goal is to serve by obedience and believe that God will change our heart in the process.
2. Motivated by gratitude.
1 Samuel 12:24 says "Serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you." In our salvation, when we actually see that God has never done anything greater for anyone, nor could he do anything greater than what he has done for us; it will lead to a gratitude that leads to action. So, it is vital that we slow down and remember what great things God has done for us.
3. Motivated by gladness.
Psalm 100:2 says "Serve the Lord with gladness." If we can change our thinking from serving as something that we HAVE to do, and rather something that we GET to do; then our serving will be a privilege, not a burden. Seek a gladness in your service.
4. Motivated by forgiveness, not guilt.
In Isaiah 6 when God cleanses Isaiah of his sin through atonement; Isaiah's immediate response is "Send me." In this case, service became an act of worship based on the forgiveness that he received. We all should see our service as worship because we have been forgiven of our sin. Because forgiveness was the motivation to serve, there could be no guilt.