As we approach the end of this age and the return of Christ we are told to prepare for His Coming. We have been told that those Christians who will be found serving the Lord when he returns will be rewarded. “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.” Matthew 24:45-46. Also, the parable of the talents is about reward after service. “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Matthew 25:21. There are many ways to serve the Lord in preparation for his return.
The Israelites served God by sacrificing to him. “Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not an hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the Lord our God; and we know not with what we must serve the Lord, until we come thither.” Exodus 10:26. For Christians, our sacrifice is Jesus Christ. By believing that he took our sins upon himself and died on the cross to cleanse us from all sin, we are serving God. The Israelites also believed service to God meant keeping his commandments. “Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.” Deuteronomy 13:4. True service involves obedience, not rebellion. We must keep his commandments.
Jesus said, “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” John 12:26. I believe this means we have to be led by the Holy Spirit. In this way we will be following Jesus. We can ask God the Father to send the Holy Spirit. “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” Luke 11:13. If the Holy Spirit is in us, he will direct us to follow Jesus, and we will be his servants.
“And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.” Luke 2:37. Therefore, we can serve the Lord by fasting. If you have never fasted, try missing a meal and work up from there. A one day fast of just drinking water helps your spirit connect with God, but your body will rebel against it with lack of energy bordering on depression. Some people may not be able to fast because of health problems, such as diabetes. They will have to serve the Lord in other ways. The other way the widow served God was with prayers. Prayer is an offering to God, even if we are asking him for help. He is our Father and wants us to come to him. Prayer can involve the ACTS of worship: adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. All of the ACTS of prayer are service to God. “Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” Psalm 100:2. Yes, singing hymns and spiritual songs is also serving the Lord.
We can prepare to serve God by reading and studying the Bible. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15. If we are workmen, then we are servants of God, and the apostle Paul says we must study to be good workmen. Therefore, our preparation for service involves asking God to send the Holy Spirit and receiving God’s word by reading and studying the Bible. Timothy was an evangelist (2 Timothy 4:5). Few of us may be evangelists, but there are several ministries the Lord gives to Christians, such as: apostles, prophets, teachers, miracle workers, healers, helpers, leaders, speakers and interpreters of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:28). We can ask God the Father in the name of Jesus to send the Holy Spirit to bestow on each of us a particular ministry. When the Lord returns and finds us serving him according to His Word he will reward us generously.