I know I should serve God, but why should I want to?

It is clear that we are commanded to serve God. But serving God is actually something that we can genuinely desire to do. Why? In short, we desire to serve God out of love.

Specific motivations for service to God may vary among Christians or vary even depending on what the exact service is. But the underlying theme is that when we know God, we will love Him and desire to serve Him.

Some may desire to serve Him largely out of gratitude for the great forgiveness He has given. Others may desire to serve out of gratitude for the life purpose He gives. Some may want to serve in order to share the goodness of God with others. Some may be excited about God's plan for the world and want to serve in order to be an active part of that.

First John 4 talks much about God's love and how it affects the way we live. In part, John writes, "In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. […] We love because he first loved us" (1 John 4:10, 19). Our love for God, and others, is a response to God's love for us. One way we demonstrate love for God is through service.

Understanding God's love, we also trust Him and trust that His plans are for our good. Romans 8:29–30 tells us, "For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified." God is at work making us more like His Son. Jesus "came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28). When we serve God, we imitate Jesus who "though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross" (Philippians 2:6–8). In serving God, we cooperate with His work of sanctification in us.

In Christ, we are made completely new (2 Corinthians 5:17). Our desires change. We are transformed (Romans 12:1–2; Colossians 3:1–17) and begin to value the things of God. We understand what it means that the "wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). We believe that abiding in Jesus brings fullness of life (John 10:10; 15:1–17). We desire to walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16; Romans 8:1–39). We see that true life is in God and Him alone (John 14:6). We seek to serve Him out of gratitude, love, and desire to live the way God intended us to.

Related Truth:

Is serving God important? How can we serve Him?

Christian ministry - What is it?

Servanthood—What does the Bible say? What does the Bible say about being a servant?

I want to live my life for God. How do I do that?

In Christ, how does God see me?

Return to:
Truth about the Christian Life

Subscribe to the CompellingTruth.org Newsletter:

Preferred Bible Version:

CompellingTruth.org is part of Got Questions Ministries

For answers to your Bible questions, please visit