Tag Archives: serving God

I Chronicles 22-25; Your Serve

I’m on the nominating committee at my church. We are given the responsibility to prayerfully consider our membership and fill all the committees that serve there. From ushers to finance, media to food service, evangelism and youth, we spend a great deal of time talking to people about how they can contribute to the smooth running of our church and its outreach. It’s been an education for me.

Some people are eager to fill positions, others glad to stay part of a committee they already serve. Some take days to pray about it, while others just don’t return calls or emails. Our deadline to submit our nominees for congregational approval is approaching, and I still have one position to fill. Maybe today.

I guess it’s not a surprise, then, that I thought about this as I read these chapters in I Chronicles. David is filling the committees for service at the temple. We don’t read that there was any hesitation on the part of the people. Doesn’t seem like any of them told David they were too busy to serve, or that God wasn’t leading them in that direction. Maybe they did, and we are just reading the completed list of committees as though when approached, all agreed to serve. But I doubt it.

Now I am not discounting busy schedules, or God’s leading. I’m not suggesting you don’t pray about it before committing your time, and in turn, your family’s time. Just don’t use God as an excuse to sit back and do nothing. Don’t make your laziness or disinterest sound spiritual by saying you need to pray about it, then not pray.

Because I can confidently say that if you are part of a church body, and I hope you are, there is something for you to do to keep it going. There is a committee you should be a part of, a responsibility that should be yours.

If you’re worried about a busy schedule, give that schedule to God and see how He can provide. If you think you don’t have what it takes to take on a particular position, let God show you what He can do when you submit to Him. If one committee or responsibility doesn’t fit into your wheelhouse, find another committee that does.

Get involved, dear one. Be a part of the great work God wants to do in your midst.

Your serve.

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I Chronicles 14-16; The Things We Do For God

David was a man of action. Through his story, we can see that when he was obedient to God his actions were blessed. When David got ahead of God, or disobeyed Him, we see God remove Himself from the situation. There are no blessings there.

I appreciated Warren Wiersbe’s insight on the subject. (With The Word; Thomas Nelson 1991) I’m using his outline from chapter 15 as I share what God has laid on my heart today.

David had gotten excited about returning the ark of God to Jerusalem. He planned a big celebration, including a parade. He got a brand new cart to act as a parade float, and placed the ark up there for all to see. He assembled the band, and headed out with great fanfare (chapter 13).

But David learned doing things his way, even though he meant well, ends in disaster.

So now in chapter 15, David is determined to let God call the shots. “No one but the Levites may carry the ark of God…” because those are God’s rules. There was still a joyful parade, but they had inquired of God first, and God blessed their work. Wiersbe reminds us to “Do God’s Work Biblically.” Sometimes it seems we in 2017 are more concerned about being politically correct than biblically correct. David would tell us that is a recipe for disaster.

Wiersbe also encourages us to “Do God’s Work Joyfully.” 15:16 says “David told the leaders of the Levites to appoint their brothers as singers to sing joyful songs, accompanied by musical instruments: lyres, harps, and cymbals.” Who doesn’t love a parade?

Does what you are doing in God’s name bring you joy? Or is it a burden, done with a hint of resentment? If we are privileged to do the work for our great God, shouldn’t there be joy in the doing? If there isn’t, perhaps you are undertaking  a job meant for someone else. Your joy in the doing might be found in a different task. God loves a cheerful giver, of our money and our time.

Wiersbe looks at verses 25-26 and tell us to “Do God’s Work Sacrificially.” Seven bulls and seven rams were sacrificed during the procession, which probably means the parade took a few steps, then stopped so a sacrifice could be offered. Not exactly convenient if you were a cymbal player wanting to get home in time to see the first pitch of the big game on TV.

Let’s face it, doing God’s work often takes sacrifice, and not just monetarily. I am reminded God’s work required the ultimate sacrifice for my Savior. I think I can afford to miss the first pitch or the whole game if there is something I can be doing for God, and do it without regret.

Dr. Wiersbe points out that we are to “Do God’s Will Fervently.” David and the people held nothing back, were not distracted, and did not care what others thought. They were focused on God, plus nothing. And they didn’t stop until that ark was safely home, work completed.

Ephesians 2:10 tells us “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” We’ve got things to do for God; to share the Gospel, to represent Him to lost souls, to care for the needy, to love our neighbors. The list goes on.

Let’s go about our tasks biblically, joyfully, sacrificially, and fervently for Jesus’ sake and for His glory!

I Samuel 28-31; Dividing the Spoils

David and 600 of his men went and attacked the Amalekites who had raided their homes, and taken their families and property. 200 weary soldiers stayed back and guarded the supplies, even though their own families had been captured as well.

David successfully defeated the enemy and rescued the women, children, livestock, and even took plunder from the Amalekites. The 200 men who didn’t fight in the battle were reunited with their families, along with the 600 who did fight.

Now, the 600 men who had gone to war thought they should be able to divide the spoils among themselves. After all, they’d put their lives on the line, they did the dirty work. It seemed right that they should be rewarded more than the men who’d stayed behind.

David didn’t agree. In essence he said, “God gave us all the victory. He’s the one who protected us and handed over our enemies to us. Everyone will share the blessings equally.”

You might be a pastor who puts himself out there every week after hours of study and prayer. Or you might be a song leader, a musician, an elder whose face everyone recognizes.

Or not.

Maybe you’ve never taught Sunday School, or sung in the choir. Maybe you’ve never actually prayed the sinners prayer with anyone, or gone on a missions trip.

Should God give a bit more blessing to one group than another?

If your ministry is public and demanding, do you think you deserve a bit more blessing than those who sit in the pews every Sunday and seemingly ride your coattails? Beware of that attitude.

God would have us know that it isn’t about the ministry. It’s about obedience. Some are called to be obedient to preach and teach, while others are called to encourage others and show hospitality. Some people’s gifts are more easily seen, but they certainly are not more important than the ones whose gifts are used behind the scenes.

I don’t know what spiritual gifts you have. I don’t know what talents you possess. But I know God is calling you to do something to further His kingdom, to fight or support the fight against the enemy.

Let’s remember we are all a part of the same army. As Christians, we are equally blessed because we have all received Jesus the exact same way. Jesus didn’t die more painfully for some than He did for others. He died once and for all.

And He wants to lavish all of His children with blessings beyond what we ask or think.

Be faithful to use what you have been given, and don’t compare yourself with anyone else. If you have confessed your sins, you deserve what Jesus died to give you.

Himself.

 

 

I Samuel 17; The Battle Is The Lord’s

You know the story. Little shepherd boy takes on the giant and wins. A boy armed only with a sling shot kills a warrior covered in armor and carrying an enormous sword. On paper, David had no chance. But we don’t live on paper.

It wasn’t that Goliath had been disrespecting the armies of Israel. David was upset that Goliath was dishonoring God. This wasn’t merely a confrontation between two warring nations. This was a spiritual battle at the core.

Saul wanted David to put on his armor and carry his sword to face Goliath. David just couldn’t do it. It wasn’t him. It didn’t feel right.

I was reading what J. Vernon McGee had to say about this in his “Thru The Bible Series Commentary” on First and Second Samuel. He suggests that sometimes we try to be something we’re not while serving God.

“Let’s not try to be something we are not, or try to do something we are really not called to do. If God has called you to use a sling shot, don’t try to use a sword.” (p. 98)

Oh sure, many of us would love to be that soloist whose voice is like an angel, or that teacher who has the ability to make God’s Word come alive, or that seamstress, that carpenter, that baker, that encourager, that hostess who shares God’s love through their abilities. And sometimes we decide we ARE that singer or that teacher, and often that can lead to failure.

David, empowered by God didn’t have to look like a soldier, or even use weapons that made sense to everyone else. I love what David told Goliath right before he threw that stone that killed the giant:

You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.  (17:45-47)

Do you want to see victories as you serve your Savior? Then be the person God created you to be. Hear Him call you into service designed especially for you. And remember, it’s not about you. It’s about the God you serve.

The battle IS the Lord’s!

I Samuel 13-14; Follow The Leader

If your friend jumped off a cliff, would you jump, too?

Ever hear that one before? Maybe you’ve even said it to a young person you are concerned is following the wrong crowd. We all want our children to be leaders. But is there a time to teach them to follow?

My church had VBS this week. What a great time we had talking to kids about how much the Creator of the universe loves them, and how far that love goes to save them. We were Galactic Starveyors!

On our last night, when we were having our last practice before the closing program for parents, we had a visitor. An 11 year old boy came with his grandma, who was one of our teachers. I was in charge of music, and encouraged the youngster to practice the songs with us. I tried to assure him I’d help him learn the motions as quickly as possible.

“Just follow me,” I said.

Without skipping a beat the boy replied, “I’m not a follower. I’m a leader.”

I get that. He’s a good looking boy, a good student, a gifted athlete, and an all around nice guy. I hope he’s a leader in his school. I think his classmates would do well to follow his example.

But is there a time when even the best leaders should learn to be followers, too? I will tell you he got up there with the rest of the kids and did a crash course in song motions. Not an easy thing to do in front of peers who already knew what they were doing.

The Israelites and the Philistines were preparing to go to war. Not only was the Israeli army outnumbered by about a gazillion to one, on the day of the battle “not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or a spear in his hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.” (13:22)

Can you spell “defeat?”

So Jonathan told his armor bearer to follow him and together they’d sneak into the Philistine post. His armor bearer replied, “Do all that you have in mind… I am with you heart and soul.” (14:7)

If your friend jumped into the Philistine camp, would you jump, too?

How do you know when to lead, and when to follow someone else’s lead? In this case Jonathan asked for God’s direction, then followed the Lord into battle – just he and his armor bearer – and defeated all the men at the enemy outpost.

Who do you follow, and why? Maybe you’re a Type A person who feels you’re the only one who can do any job, so therefore people should follow you.

There are so many theologies preached by so many different preachers, so many programs touted by so many “experts,” so many opinions voiced by so many people. Who do you follow?

My prayer is that you will weigh everything and everyone according to Scripture plus nothing. Only that which is grounded in the Word of God is worth following.

Jonathon waited for God. We need to, too. Whether it’s a building campaign, a missions trip, a city project, a Sunday School curriculum, our leader should first and foremost be God.

If God is laying some position of leadership on your heart, go to Him. Test Him. Then obey Him.

And if God is raising up another to lead you, go to God. This might just be a case where God is calling you to follow with your “heart and soul.”

I Samuel 7-10; Changed and Busy

Often when I read Scripture, God impresses on me the importance of servanthood. We, as God’s people, are not just encouraged to be involved in the work of the church. We see example after example of people who hear God say, “Go,” and they go. People who hear God say, “Do,” and they do.

Saul had been anointed by God and Samuel to be Israel’s first human king. God changed Saul that day, and he prophesied, joining in the celebration to a point where people recognized the difference God had made in Saul.

Then Samuel told Saul, “…do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.” (10:7b)

Have you allowed God to change you? Have you repented of sin, accepted Jesus as your Savior, and gone from sinner to saint by His precious blood? If you have, God will nudge you toward service. He’ll place in your heart a friend who needs to hear the Gospel. He’ll give you a desire to volunteer at church, to befriend a needy person, to make a phone call to reconnect with someone who has gone astray.

What a privilege we have to serve the One who loves us and gave Himself for us. What an honor to be God’s servant, to be His arms, legs, and voice to people who need Him.

When God plants a seed of service in your mind, don’t ignore it or talk yourself out of it. Don’t just think about getting involved. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it! Because God is with you.

Be blessed, and be a blessing to someone today. In Jesus’ name, and for His sake. Good things will happen when you and God get out there and get to work.

Samuel 1-3; Knowing God

Samuel grew up in the church. No, really. He actually lived and grew up right there in the temple. His parents dropped him off there when he was a toddler. 3:1 tells us he “ministered before the Lord under Eli.” The apprentice priest. Samuel’s whole life was spent serving God.

I was struck today that, even after years of doing the right things, Samuel didn’t recognize God’s voice when He called. 3:7 tells us why:

Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord; The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.

It reminds me of Matthew 7. Some people in this example were trying to talk God out of sending them to hell, arguing that they had prophesied in the name of the Lord, and had even cast out demons and performed other miracles in God’s name. Shouldn’t that earn them a ticket to heaven?

Jesus tells us that on that day when judgment is declared, God will say to those busy people, I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!

I hope you are an active, productive member of a Bible believing church. I hope you visit the sick, volunteer in the nursery, mow the lawn, and serve on all kinds of committees that help your fellowship make a difference in your community, to the glory of God.

But let me ask you if you recognize God’s voice. Do you know Him? Have you had that personal, one-on-one conversation with Him, and told Him your heart’s condition? Have you repented of sin, accepted His grace – the work of Jesus on the cross? Are you nurturing a relationship by reading what He wrote to you, by talking to Him, by listening for His voice very day?

Doing things for the Lord is great. But if you’re doing those things without knowing Him, without Him knowing you as His child, hear Him say that He sees you as an evildoer.

Samuel finally recognized God’s voice and said, “Speak Lord. I’m listening.”

I pray you’ll say the same.