CONCEPT

SERVICE IS HEART-COMMINTMENT

I had just returned from Reykjavik, Iceland, after attending the Trans-European Division stewardship advisory. I had chosen to fly with Icelandair, the

Icelandic airline, on this trip. A few days later, I received an email message

from the airline inviting my participation in their service-survey. The purpose

of the survey is to discover ways of improving both the quality of service and

the products offered to their passengers, in order to maintain and increase the

loyalty of passengers to their airline.

Airlines like this recognize that they exist to offer quality service

and vie to better what other airlines may offer for the routes that they

service. Indeed, the profitability of the company is dependent to a large

extent upon their ability to offer the best service and products in their

particular market niche. Service is the

difference between a successful and profitable airline and a bankrupt, failed

company.



Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might."

Ecclesiastes 9:10

SERVICE AND QUALITY

But what does

service have to do with Christian stewardship? Everything! Both Christian

stewardship and service begin with a theological understanding of Creation.

True service is an awareness that I, as a created human being, was made after

the “image” of the Creator God (Genesis 1:27) and that God makes everything

beautiful (Psalms 139: 13,14). Service

is an innate response to the invitation by God to extend His rule, creativity,

and quality of workmanship to everything we are and do in this world (Genesis

1:28). As Christian stewards, God expects

us to demonstrate and express this by the way we live. In doing so we will reflect in our daily lives His creatorship and His

standard of being. The awareness of the

briefness of life and the certainty of death brought the wise man in the Wisdom

literature to this conclusion: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all

your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10). The ultimate standard and goal for living is

to bring glory to God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

In the corporate church, service may also mean our ability to represent

God accurately by delivering top ministry products to the world in which we

live.



SERVICE AND WITNESS

SAs in the instance

of Icelandair, service is a call to stakeholders (members and employees) in the

company to be committed to the mission of the organization. As Seventh-day Adventists, our mission is to

make disciples for Jesus Christ in this world, and to help people experience

Him as their Savior and Lord. This call to be partners with God in mission

includes living as faithful followers of Jesus in the home, the market place

and the community. Jesus sums up this call with the following challenge to His

disciples: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and

you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the

ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8).

Witness is a person, and not a program.



SERVICE AND WORSHIP

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other."

In the Sermon on

the Mount (Matthew 5-7) Jesus called His disciples and the multitude to worship

the Creator God by saying, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate

the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the

other. You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:24). While the

illustration used here was financial wealth (actual money), Jesus was in fact

calling His followers to a higher plane of living—it’s called worship. It is

the kind of worship that focuses on the

Giver, and not the gifts; a worship that dwells on eternal values and not on

temporal benefits. The kind of worship advocated by Jesus is God-centered, and

not works-oriented. This is the worship and service that is acceptable to

God.



In Revelation 14:7

the first of three angels delivers an urgent cry for the times in which we

live, answering any of our questions to do with the elements of worship,

service and stewardship: “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his

judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the

springs of water."

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