Sadly though, when it comes to the more mundane, ordinary, less exciting options to serve, many Christians do not want to exert effort. They may serve in spurts or defined lengths of time. It may be in a more traditional setting, such as a Sunday school teacher, Deacon, Pastor, etc. It could be because of guilt trips, the inability to say "No," being appointed or voted to a position, etc.
Those are all types of service that we have come to equate with serving the LORD. I am not discounting those opportunities, but I don't want us as Christians to believe that is the totality of service to Christ. Jesus Himself provided an occasion to highlight other ways of serving Him.
In Matthew 25, Jesus was teaching about the second coming and the final judgment of the sheep and goats. This judgment was about those who inherited the Kingdom by God's grace (sheep), and those who were rejected from the Kingdom (goats).
He uses the same actions to highlight the difference between the two. These actions related to serving Him through service to others. He equated serving others with serving Him. Notice His words to the sheep in verses 35-40:
"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you? And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'"
He used the same circumstances with the goats (v. 42-45). They did not serve Him because they refused to serve others.
Neither group understood the significance of their works. Merciful acts done to others in Christ's name was serving as if these acts were done to Christ. The sheep did these things for others. Undoubtedly they wanted to extend mercy, grace, and compassion. However, they didn't seem to understand such a connection with serving Christ by serving others. They asked Jesus when did they do these things to Him? He said that acts done to the least of the brothers are acts done to Him.
These were acts done to the naked, sick, prisoners, hungry, and thirsty. These describe ones in society that we often see as deserving of their consequences, not blessed, lazy, or hosts of other views that are often used to excuse our lack of compassion and action. That is what the goats did. They refused to perform acts of service to the needy and help meet temporal needs.
Are you and I serving Christ in suchcapacity? I am not advocating a social gospel that only tries to meet temporal needs. However, I am also not advocating a gospel that ignores the temporal needs. If we are Christ's sheep, we will serve the "less desirable" because that honors Him. He condescended to save and serve the ungodly sinners of the world, which is what all of us are by nature.
If we believe we are better than serving such ones as described by Jesus, we are less like Christ and more like goats.