Serving With Fear, Col 3:22-25

Introduction to serving with fear

Today’s sermon is on serving with fear. We have preached recently on serving God and serving others.  A number of you are serving, and I’m thankful for your service.  We have some opportunities for others to serve right now, as well.  And with the Preachers Conference coming up in August, we are going to have many more opportunities for you to serve.

According to Col 3:22, when we serve, not only are we to be obedient, but we are to serve “in singleness of heart, fearing God.”  In addition, Eph 6:5 says that we are to serve with “fear and trembling.”  Similarly, I believe this fear and trembling are the same fear and trembling of Phil 2:12.  

In the Sunday school lesson today, we studied one of Ezekiel’s prophecies concerning the awesome wrath and fury of God.  God’s wrath is unthinkable and unimaginable.  You just can’t grasp it.  The thought struck me that we, as the sons of God, have little fear of God.  However, we should fear God.

The fear of God

For us to be the best servants we can be, it is essential that we learn to serve in the fear of God.  Moses was a faithful servant of the Lord, Ex 14:31.  He was very meek, Num 12:3.  He obeyed the Lord’s commands, Ex 39.  The Lord spoke with him mouth to mouth, Num 12:8.  And, yet, he feared God, Heb 12:18-21.  Even Jesus Christ, the Son of God, feared, Heb 5:7-8.

With his words, God brought this entire universe into existence, Heb 11:3, and in a day he can cause it all to melt with fervent heat, 2 Pet 3:10.  He totally destroyed Sodom, Gomorrah, Zeboim, and Admah in one early morning.  One of his angels killed 185,000 soldiers in one night.  One of his angels killed every first born male of men and of beasts in Egypt in one night.  Moreover, God parted the Red Sea and the Jews went over on dry ground and then destroyed Pharaoh and his army when the waters returned.  

Do you understand how powerful God really is?  When serving with fear:

We must fear God’s commands

“Servants obey,” Col 3:22. When we give commands to our children and dogs, we are firm and serious.  We want them to understand that there are fearful chastisements if they disobey.  The reason is that our commands are good for them. The consequences of disobedience can be harmful or even deadly.  Our commands are for their benefits.  

Likewise, the Lord’s commands are for our benefit.  He wants us to take him seriously.  He might say, “I’m dead serious.” He wants us to obey “in all things.”  We are to do “as unto the Lord.” 

We must fear God’s eyes

“Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers,” Col 3:22.  People who serve with eyeservice are only concerned with doing their best when they are being seen.  That’s normal; however, that’s not good enough.  God is watching all the time.  Notice what Prov 15:3 says. “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.”  Recently, our grandson didn’t see me looking at him through a window when he was about to throw a rock in our fountain.  I knocked on the window and said, “No.”  He dropped that rock and ran.  Therefore, he feared when he knew I was looking.  

Prov 20:8, “A king that sitteth in the throne of judgment scattereth away all evil with his eyes.”  When Peter denied the Lord, “the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter,” Lk 22:61.  In Lk 22:62, “Peter went out, and wept bitterly.” 

We must fear God’s judgment

“Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.  But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons,” Col 3:24-25. God has been so merciful to us and so good, that we often forget how terrible God can be.  Paul said in 2 Cor 5:11, “Knowing therefore the terror of God, we persuade men.”  He’s talking to us in the context of the judgment seat of Christ.  Everything is coming up at this judgment.  This is not just a judgment for rewards. God will judge us for everything we have done wrong.

Conclusion to serving with fear

The best servants are the ones who serve in the fear of God.  When you serve, remember to serve the Lord with fear and trembling.  You will be the best servant you can possibly be when you serve in the fear of God.