Serve to Delight In
“We exist to create disciples who delight in, display, and declare the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
This is the last part of a three part series, going in the reverse order of the Sovereign Grace Church mission statement.
Part 3 — We will not display well if we do not delight
We have already explored how, in order to make disciples who delight, display, and declare the gospel, we must declare the gospel and we must display the gospel. Today I would like to explore how, in order to make disciples who delight, display, and declare the gospel, we must delight in the gospel.
I know that sounds pretty obvious, but I often find that to be a lot more difficult than it seems. The gospel is amazing. It is good news of great joy for all people. In theory, Christians should be the happiest people in the world. For some of us, that’s hard. I for one am extremely predisposed toward negativity and cynicism. But we must make an effort to delight.
1 Corinthians 13 talks about how, without love, a Christian and his message is essentially pointless. I think that can apply here. If we display and declare the gospel, but do not have love for the gospel, for Christ, for the church, for our fellow church-goers, for unbelievers, for serving, and if we do not have joy, we are a noisy gong or clanging cymbal. We won’t be heard. Our message will fall flat. But if we are are delighting, then we will display and declare with joy and love and our message will be all the more enticing.
We must not only delight in the gospel (although that is most important), we must also delight in the act of serving. We are going to make much more of a difference to those we are serving if we are excited to be serving because it’s what we want to do. And if we want to serve, it will make the serving easier and will benefit everyone far more. The people attending church will be able to tell if you don’t want to be there and so will the other volunteers on whatever team you are serving on. It can be very difficult early on a Sunday morning to be excited to deal with a bunch of unruly small children, or to lead worship, or try to be friendly to first-time guests, or to preach to a sleepy crowd, but it is possible. God will grant you the strength. Be joyful servants. We must delight so that we can bring up a new generation of gospel delighters (a word I coined while writing this).
I’m not saying that serving in the church is a terrible thing that we have to force ourselves to be joyful to do. But serving can be stressful. It can be difficult and at times chaotic. And honestly, there will be stressful days ahead. But we must delight. It will be so much easier and God-glorifying if we are delighting in the gospel as we serve. And if we delight in the gospel as we serve, we are far more likely to delight in the actual act of serving. And we should, for serving is a delight. It is building the church, it is obedience to God, and it is Christ-likeness. I don’t know about you, but that makes me pretty excited to get serving.
As I was sitting at the coffee shop, initially preparing this when it was a talk for the SGK training, I wanted to find a text that I could use that would bring all my points together really well in an awe-inspiring moment of biblical knowledge and great writing. I came up short. I searched a couple buzzwords such as “preach” and “proclaim” in my Bible app and found a couple good ones for individual points, but nothing that got the big picture.
Eventually I came upon 2 Corinthians 4. In particular verses 5-7. It didn’t perfectly fit the as a text to structure the entire exhortation around, but I think it applies to what I’ve been addressing:
“For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”
What I want to draw from this text is that we need to recognize that this isn’t about us. Surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are proclaiming Christ crucified, but not on our own strength and not for our individual reputations. It is by the strength of Christ for the glory of God.
Our serving is not an end in itself. It is meant to build and unify the church, and to spread the gospel. We are called to make disciples. The best way to ensure that we are making disciples who delight, display, and declare the gospel of Jesus Christ is, as servants, to set the example by delighting in, displaying, and declaring the gospel of Jesus Christ with such joy, love, and passion that even hard-hearted individuals will notice and want what we have.
So, brothers and sisters, let us delight in the glory of the gospel and from that delight let us overflow in a display of the grace we have been given, so that we may declare with fervor the good news of great joy to all people.
Thaxton Gamache lives in Minneapolis and has been a member at Sovereign Grace Church for 17 years. He works in Operations Support and writes on the side. He loves serving in Sovereign Grace Church and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
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