In this sermon by Steven Benner, “The Sheep and the Goats” from Matthew 25, lies a profound call to action for believers, captured in the simple yet challenging admonition: Sheep are saved to serve. This message, rooted in the parable told by Jesus, underscores the inseparable link between our salvation and our calling to serve others, reflecting the servant nature of Christ Himself.

Christ’s Example as Our Foundation:
The foundation of Christian service is Christ’s own example. He, the King of kings, chose not to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. This ultimate act of service sets the standard for our actions as His followers. We are called to embody this sacrificial love in our interactions, serving those around us with the same humility and selflessness demonstrated by Christ.

The Call to Serve:
The parable of the Sheep and the Goats vividly illustrates the importance Jesus places on serving others. His identification with the hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, sick, and imprisoned compels us to see Him in the faces of those in need. Our service to the “least of these” is, in essence, service to Christ Himself. This teaching challenges us to examine our hearts and lives, urging us to extend compassion and assistance to those around us, thereby living out our faith in tangible, impactful ways.

The Joy of Serving: The sermon also highlighted the inherent joy found in serving others. This joy is a reflection of the heart transformation that occurs when we follow Christ. As we shift from self-centeredness to a life marked by love and generosity, we find that giving of ourselves, our time, resources, and talents, brings a deeper satisfaction than any form of receiving. Serving becomes not just an obligation but a source of joy and fulfillment.

A Community of Service:
Our church, as a body of believers, is called to be a community where service is not the exception but the norm. The examples shared of members supporting one another—through work days, moving assistance, hospital visits, and meal provision—demonstrate the vibrant culture of service already present among us. Yet, the call to serve is an ongoing journey, one that invites each of us to continually seek ways to use our gifts for the benefit of others and the glory of God.

A Call to Reflection and Action:
While we can take encouragement from the ways we already serve, the parable also prompts us to reflect on areas where we might grow in our service. It challenges us to consider: Are there needs within our community or beyond that we have overlooked? How might we better embody Christ’s love and service in our daily lives? This reflection is not meant to induce guilt but to inspire action, reminding us that in serving others, we draw closer to the heart of God.