As Christians we often see service in terms of what programs and ministries we are involved in. We serve when we volunteer in Sunday School, help on a work project, go on a mission trip, etc. Having served on church staffs for over a decade I am guilty of sometimes thinking that as long as people are plugged into service opportunities then they are adequately serving God. But, if we really think about it, God never envisioned service to be so compartmentalized. When he meticulously formed us and commanded us to bear fruit he did not only have in mind those few opportunities arising in our churches. He had the entirety of our lives in mind. Our jobs, our relationships, our family, our hobbies, our shopping, the true entirety of our lives. God made us to serve so many people in so many ways that no church or ministry could ever program enough opportunities for us to serve!
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work. Titus 3:1
Look at that first verse: to be ready for every good work. Paul is not saying to be ready for the sign-up sheet to be passed or for your church to offer you an opportunity. He is saying that you need to be ready and willing to serve whenever and however the opportunity arises. This may happen on the golf course when a friend admits he is struggling with his faith. It happens when we notice our neighbor needs home repairs they are incapable of doing. It happens whenever the moods of everyone around us are low or stressed (any trip to Wal-Mart typically fits this). Anytime our abilities and gifts encounter the needs of others is a chance to do good works. We have chances everyday to serve God and make an impact on others. Are we ready for it?
So, why is it important that we be ready for every good work? Why is it OUR responsibility to be ready to work (instead of pastors, missionaries, church leaders, etc.?). Paul answers this at the end of this letter. And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful. Titus 3:14
Paul reminds us here of a couple of things. First, there are urgent needs all around us that need to be met with the love of Christ. Second, each and every one of us is commanded to bear fruit in our lives. We bear fruit by meeting the needs we encounter with the love of God. Bearing fruit is not insignificant, because when fruit is born it means that lives are being changed and saved. See, serving God isn’t about filling in your time card, but being used to make a true impact on lives for God’s Kingdom.