Why Do We Serve?

Do you serve Jesus because you want to serve or because you have to serve? Do you think you are working off a debt, paying part of your way to heaven, or something else? How you answer these questions determines which Jesus you serve.

Consider the motive of the rich ruler when he approached Jesus.

And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
Matthew 19:16-20

The rich ruler wanted to know what he could do. He wanted to serve in exchange for salvation. He was living and operating under the law. No one can measure up. He could have asked to live under mercy and grace. He could have asked for forgiveness from the one who can forgive, but he didn’t.

Salvation is not about what we need to do. It’s what Jesus did for us. The ruler’s motive for serving was not about his love for Jesus, but about earning eternal life for himself. He was trying to pay a debt that he could not possibly pay.

Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
Matthew 19:21-26

When the young ruler was confronted with giving up all his stuff to follow Jesus, he chose not to do it. All his stuff was more important to him than following Jesus.

Who is Jesus to you? Is Jesus your Savior that paid it all on the cross? Do you follow out of love? Or, is Jesus a merchant that you pay with service in exchange for eternal life?


Today’s challenge is to settle in your heart which Jesus you follow. Is He your Savior, merchant, or somewhere in between? I hope He is your Savior.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:8-10

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