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Romans 12:11

Eager to Serve

11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

Paul literally said, "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; in eagerness not slothful..." The idea behind the Greek word for "slothful" is that of being late or slow, even reluctant. We should be about the business of caring for one another willingly and earnestly not slothfully.

The word that is rendered as "business" has the opposite meaning of slothfulness. It means "speed and (by implication) dispatch, eagerness, earnestness." Thus, we should not be lazy, slow or reluctant when showing our brothers and sisters in Christ or the community at large that we care for them.

"(being) fervent in spirit;.." The Greek word ζέω (zeo) means, "to be hot, to boil, or to glow." It is frequently used to indicate the kind of attitude that Christians should have toward the work of the Lord. The heart of the Christian should be on fire for Christ, eager to serve Him, boiling over when anything hinders the work, and glowing when he is at the task.

"serving the Lord." This means to be enslaved to Him. The word in the Greek is a present active participle. Serving is not something that we do once a week or once a month, it is a continuous, ongoing lifestyle by which we are identified.

It seems that so many who call themselves Christian today cannot be described in the way that Paul has laid it out in this verse. They are not loving caring people; they are not eager to be about the Lord's business; and unless you saw them go to church on Sunday morning you would never know that they were Christians. The phrase, "servant of the Lord," simply does not describe them.

God has called His people to be industrious people. The "Christian work ethic" is a phrase that was once heard mentioned often, but has now seemed to disappear from our language. However, work is a very important part of the Christian life. When God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden, He "...took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it." (Genesis 2:15)

Paul commanded the church at Thessalonica saying, "And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;" ( 1 Thessalonians 4:11) And later he said, "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat." (2 Thessalonians 3:10)

Everything we do should be in His service and for God's glory. "Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ." (Colossians 3:22-24)

We serve the Lord Jesus Christ by ministering to others and sharing the gospel with an eager and fervent Spirit. That is how the world should see us at work, at play, and at home.

Before The Throne:

Are you really excited about being a slave to Jesus Chris. Pray that God would fill your heart with the joy of Christian service. If you are not on fire for the Lord, ask Him to light the flame in your heart. Pray for the people whom He wants you to serve. Ask Him to make you the best, most humble servant they have ever seen.

For Further Study:

** slothful. Exod 5:17; Prov 6:6-9; Prov 10:26; Prov 13:4; Prov 18:9; Prov 22:29; Prov 24:30-34; Prov 26:13-16; Eccl 9:10; Isa 56:10; Matt 25:26; Acts 20:34-35; Eph 4:28; 1Thess 4:11-12; 2Thess 3:6-12; 1Tim 5:13; Heb 6:10-11; ** fervent. Matt 24:12; Acts 18:25; Col 4:12-13; Jas 5:16; 1Pet 1:22; 1Pet 4:8; Rev 2:4; Rev 3:15-16; ** serving. 1Cor 7:22; Eph 6:5-8; Col 3:22-24; Col 4:1; Titus 2:9-10; Heb 12:28;


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