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Servants Versus Volunteers

This is an article written by David Shannon that is very timely.

Volunteers usually serve with less commitment than servants. They often need to fit their volunteer hours around other priorities in their lives. Volunteers generally view their work as a "gift" to the organization. Rarely do they not feel that appreciation is due them; after all, they have given all their time instead of being compensated. Volunteers usually have lower expectations placed on them, because they are free to go at any time. And if you listen to their reasoning on why they give their time, it is often because it makes them "feel good about themselves." Notice, God doesn't call us to volunteer, but to serve. Consider that servants are committed - totally committed."

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren" (1 John 3:16, NKJV). Servants don't just place God first on the list, then follow with number 2, 3, 4 and so on: Servants make sure God is first in all areas of their lives! God is first. Then He is first in the second area, He is first in the third area, and so on. "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ" (Colossians 3:23-24, NKJV). Servants do not see their work as a gift that deserves gratitude, but instead they understand that it is their duty.

"Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, `We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do" (Luke 17:9-10, NKJV). Instead of expecting appreciation, servants are thankful for the opportunity, recognizing it as a part of God's grace. That is correct; the opportunity to serve God is a gracious opportunity we don't deserve. Paul understood this when he said, "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry," (1 Timothy 1:12, NKJV).

A servant's service isn't motivated by self-promotion or glory. A servant's service is accomplished through obedience to the Master who knows our purpose and has work for us to do. "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:11-13, NKJV).

Don't Volunteer, Serve! It Is Your Duty!

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward