Good Monday morning brothers and sisters. I am sure all of us are aware of the contributions made to this great nation by one of the outstanding leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Saturday past was Dr. King’s birthday, but we have the privilege of celebrating it today because his birthday has been deemed a federal holiday. See message below:
When I woke up this morning, the word service came to mind. We need to be reminded as Christians that God has called all of us to serve. Before Jesus returned to heaven, He gave the disciples a command which we call the great commission. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20.
All of us are here to make a difference by serving God and serving our communities. Whenever we serve others, in any way, we are serving God. We were not placed on earth to simply exist and enjoy ourselves. Each one of us is to make a contribution with our lives in some way.
Today, we celebrate and commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many communities across the country will be celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, a federal holiday that began as a commemoration of Dr. King’s birthday.
The pandemic has restricted and deterred Americans from participating in many of the community services we would normally be involved in. May we be encouraged to do something today that will bring about positive change in our homes, communities and churches. The mere fact that it took literally an act of Congress to make today a holiday is worthy of us giving special attention and value to it.
Let me just take a moment to speak about the man, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one who sacrificed his life and family for the betterment of all peoples. He once said, “There are some things so dear, some things so precious, some things so eternally true, that they are worth dying for. And I submit to you that If a man has not found something worth dying for, he is not fit to live.” In my opinion, he was a man who God called and gifted at a crucial time in the history of Blacks and he was willing to give his life for the cause. I believe he was one of the greatest orators and leaders within the last century. What we must be cautious and aware of is the fact that everything Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement fought and stood for is now being threatened. May we pray as a people that God would bring forth another humanitarian who will unite us as a people and nation.
What we must remember is that this influential American Civil Rights leader was instrumental in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed discrimination in public accommodations, facilities and employment and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Regretfully and unfortunately, we are still fighting for some of these same rights and privileges today or at least trying to hold onto them.
Let it be known and credited that President Barak Obama was a man called by God to serve as President of the United States. A man who was and remains humble and brilliant even in his private life. I bring attention to leadership in this message to suggest that God always has someone who will be appointed and anointed to carry out his work and will at just the right time. We await God’s appointment.
Dr. King’s commitment and dedication to service has inspired and caused people around the world and in America to continue working for positive changes in our communities. What will you do on this holiday in providing voluntary services to others? Maybe take time to send a card to someone in college, Assisted Living-Senior Care or a Nursing Home. Pick up the telephone and call an elderly person you have not seen or spoken to recently.
Regardless of who we are and how limited we may feel, God has given all of us gifts so that we might serve His people. I ask you today to go to 1 Corinthians 12:1-31 to review those gifts that God has made available to us. We may have different gifts, but we do have a gift that God expects us to use in regards to serving. We should pray and discern what that spiritual gift is and then use it to glorify God.
One key and critical way for us to serve is going out and making disciples of Jesus Christ. Jesus commanded his disciples to preach, teach, baptize, obey, do miracles and all the things He did, and then the students would go out and do the same, therefore, they would become disciples.
May we not get it confused, for we are not saved by service, but we are saved for service. Once we are saved, God then intends to use us to carry out his mission.
The purpose of service is so God can reach others through our hands. II Corinthians says, the service we provide not only meets needs, but expresses thanks to God and leads others to praise God.
May we do some productive community service today that will be for the betterment of our communities.
Not a sermon, just my thoughts!
Robert Earl Slade, Pastor