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Whom Do I Serve?
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Whom Do I Serve?


Whom do I serve?

The answer to this question is straightforward to us Christians: we serve the living and true God, the Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, apart from serving God, many of us serve another master, whether it is mammon (Mt 6:23; Lk 15:13) or our own belly (Rom 16:17–18; Jude 12–13)—our various lusts and pleasures (Tit 3:3). For this reason, the question “Whom do I serve?”, gives room for self-reflection, and reminds us that we belong to God alone (Act 27:23), and should serve the Lord with all our heart, through our worship and participation in His business.

Once we have ensured that we worship and serve God only, what are the attitudes that we should have in our worship and service to Him?
The Bible uses different human relationships to describe the relationship we have with God and our attitude towards Him. Let us narrow our scope and look at three of them.

He is our Master, We are the bondservants

Previously we were slaves of sin, uncleanness and lawlessness. Yet, through baptism, we have become slaves of righteousness (Rom 6:22). Since Jesus has purchased us with His own blood (Act 20:28), we belong to Him—He is our Master and we are His servants. The apostles had this kind of understanding when they introduced themselves at the beginning of their epistles as bondservants of Jesus Christ (Rom 1:1; Jas 1:1; 2 Pet 1:1; Jude 1).

In fact, the Lord often used parables that describe the relationship between master and servant to illustrate His expectations towards His followers.
So, what is the attitude expected from a bondservant in his service to the master?

              “Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ” (Eph 6:5).

Obedience to the master is the fundamental quality expected from a bondservant or slave. Obedience is also expected from children to their parents (Eph 6:1) and wives to their husbands (Eph 5:22). Yet the unique characteristic of the obedience shown in a master-slave relationship is “fear and trembling”. A slave who has recognized his unworthiness and lowliness will always respect his master, and rightly so! The better we understand the majesty of our holy, glorious and almighty God (Isa 6:1–5), the more we will respect Him with fear and trembling.

We should have a God-fearing heart when we come before God. This is the right footing in starting our relationship with Him. It also forms the basis for a growing relationship.

Many Christians today emphasize on an equal love relationship with God. The danger of which is, without godly fear, one would easily end up being disobedient. This usually begins with complaining about God’s ways of doing things and eventually rejecting God’s authority. Moreover, godly fear will enable us to be submissive until the end, even if we face situations beyond our understanding that may create doubts in us. The willingness of Jesus to submit to the will of the Father best illustrates the importance of godly fear. The author of Hebrews quoted that it is this godly fear which enabled Jesus’ prayer to be heard (Heb 5:7).

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

(Phil 2:12–13)

“Fear and trembling” is the attitude we should maintain in our journey of faith, for it rectifies our hearts and gives us no room for pride or arrogance, knowing that it is God who is working in us.

He is our Father, We are His firstborn

God created man in His own image and Adam had the status of God’s child. Although Adam later fell short of the glory of God, our sonship is restored today through the Lord’s salvation grace. In the eyes of God, we are precious and beloved as a firstborn in a family (Heb 12:23), and as such we have the promise of a heavenly inheritance.

With privilege come responsibilities, in that we, as firstborn sons, must be about our Father’s business (Lk 2:49). Contrary to what is being practiced in many modern-day families, where parents serve their children even when they are able to take care of themselves, God expects us to serve Him. For this reason, He told Pharaoh, “So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me” (Ex 4:22–23).

As we serve our heavenly Father, what should be our attitude?

              “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ which is the first commandment with promise” (Eph 6:1–2).

Again the Bible mentions obedience. However, in a father-son relationship, honor or respect is introduced and emphasized. For this reason, we should consider whether we are bringing honor or disrepute to the holy name of our heavenly Father as we serve Him. The other equally important concern is whether we are bringing honor to Him or to ourselves. The importance of both aspects is best illustrated in the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus taught us to begin with “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name” and to end it with “For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen” (Mt 6:9–13).

He is our Husband, to whom we have been betrothed

No other human relationship is more intimate than that between a husband and a wife. Paul used this to describe the mystery concerning Christ and the church.

              For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

              (Eph 5:31–32)

Husband and wife can never be separated because they have become one. Likewise Christ and the church are one and thus inseparable. The love of Christ is the foundation of this oneness. What hinders this perfect unification is our lack of unreserved love towards Him.

              “I drew them with gentle cords, with bands of love, and I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck. I stooped and fed them” (Hos 11:4).

              “Do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases”(Song 2:7b).

Does He still need to ask us, “Do you love me?” (Jn 21:15–17), before we respond to His unreserved love for us?

              “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deut 6:4).

              “For love is as strong as death” (Song 8:6).


In our service to God, we should not only focus on the outward act of obedience, for such actions can come from someone with a heart of reluctance and a mouth of murmurings. Instead, we should say, “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me” (Song 7:10). How beautiful and different will our service be, if it is motivated by true love for God!

Whom do I serve? Do it to the least among you

When we say we serve God, it does not mean that He needs anything from us, for He is our Creator and provider (Acts 17:24–25). So even before we think about what we can do to serve Him, we should firstly glorify and thank Him through our daily lives and worship.

So what can we do to serve God although He does not need anything from us? Based on the principle “if we did it to one of the least of these, we did it to our Lord” (Mt 25:40), we serve God by serving our brethren. By the will of God, David served his own generation (Acts 13:36). Similarly, the will of God is for us to serve one another through love (Gal 5:13).

              “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Pet 4:10).

Maintaining a life-long service

In our life of service, we will inevitably face setbacks that will discourage us even to the point of giving up, for serving our brethren means that we are serving imperfect men. In addition, we are imperfect as well.

Although Moses was indeed a faithful servant (Heb 3:5) in God’s entire household, he could not bear it when the meat-craving people wept and complained to him (Num 11:1–15). Subsequently, Moses turned to the Lord who chose seventy men to help him manage the people, opening a way so he could continue serving.

While we humbly serve the Lord, we must also be prepared to face trials and sufferings. In fact, Paul told the saints in Philippi that it is a grace and special privilege, not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for His sake (Phil 1:29–30).

Paul’s secret to maintaining his life-long, diligent and fervent service to the Lord can be summed up in the following actions: “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer” (Rom 12:11–12).

Therefore, following Paul’s footsteps, let us always remember that we can take joy in serving our Lord. We can find joy in serving God together with our fellow brethren and have the confidence that He will accomplish His own good work. When putting this into practice, it means that we remain focused on our ultimate heavenly objective, and always remember that our Master and our prize await us above (cf. Phil 1:3–5; 3:1,3; 1:6; 1:18,16; 3:20–21; 3:12–14).

Finally, when we should require it, indeed, the joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh 8:10)!

May we all imitate the many servants of the living God, to serve God continually, day and night, for God who sits on the throne is dwelling among us (Rev 7:5)!

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