John 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
The next step in getting back in fellowship with God is in the matter of service. After a individual returns back to the church, the general attitude is to remain seated in the pew until he/she are ready to return to service for God, whether as a usher, sun. school teacher, choir, or whatever. I suppose they can justify this within their reasoning because after all they are back in church and “isn’t this what you’ve (the church) wanted?” Yes, we are happy they are back in church, but it’s not what we want, it’s what God wants. God just uses His servants to point out in His Word His will and then lets the Holy Spirit do the rest. So, those back in church are there because the Holy Spirit convicted them and they’ve responded.
Some questions that should be considered to those that wish to remain seated.
1) What time span are they looking at before you say “I’m ready?” 6mo., 1yr., 3wks. Remember, all the time seated cannot be replaced. It is lost time. Eph.5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
2) What rewards will you be earning by doing nothing for God? NONE!
Prov.14:23 In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury. The word penury means extreme want or poverty, destitution, dearth, barrenness. When we work for God, we store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal Matt.6:20. which can be compared with gold, silver, precious stone.(1Cor.3:3:12) But if all you do is sit in the pew and say one day you will work for Him but never do anything, it is meaningless and you are rewarded with slothfulness, and indifference for Gods work which can be compared to poverty, destitution, dearth, and barrenness. (wood, hay, stubble. 1Cor.3:12)
Prov.11:31 Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner. When we work for the Lord, we really get a two-fold repayment for our service to Him. While here on earth, God blesses us with the fruits of the spirit (Gal.5:22-25), the abundantly life Jesus is referring to in Jn.10:10; be it a good home, a good Godly spouse, obedient children and then in His millennium kingdom, we will have the privilege to rule over cities with Him. As for the wicked and the sinner, they also will be recompensed for their service. The wicked being the unbeliever and their reward for serving the devil while here on this earth is a life that is empty, worthless, without meaning. And their reward after they die is eternal damnation in the lake of fire.
The sinner is the backslider. James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. (An unsaved man does not know how to do good as defined by the Bible. He may know right and wrong, but not good and evil according to God’s definition.) The reward for the backslider while here on earth is no peace or joy, unstableness, uncertainty of what to do with their lives. He knows he doesn’t fit in anymore with the unsaved because of their wallowing in sin, but yet he doesn’t fit in with those that love the Lord and are serving Him because they are glorying in His blessings in their lives. And so, the best they can, they try to contend with the situation, and some live their lives as a man that travelleth.(Prov.6:11) And then their reward in the millennium is to be ruled over instead of ruling and in eternity no rewards to show, no crowns to cast at Jesus’ feet. Is doing nothing worth it?
3) How much of the Holy Spirits conviction will you be able to handle as you sit there watching others work and hearing their rejoicing as they lead or help lead others to the Lord Jesus? The answer- until you’ve quenched the Spirit enough to where He won’t use you until He’s ready.
Prov.16:3 Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. In Neh.4:6 the Bible says that the people had a mind to work. Even though you may not want to work when you first return back to church, if you commit to work for God, the Bible says that God will give you that mind eventually as you work for Him. However, there is another side to that.
Hosea 5:15 I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early. It’s not when we are ready for God’s company, but it’s when He’s ready to allow us to have fellowship with Him. And when He shuts it off, it’s not going to begin again until He says so. That should teach us that we should not take God for granted nor to expect God to use us in His service any old time we see fit.
One of the definitions of the word serve is To give homage and obedience to. We read at the end of John 12:26 if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. So we see that if we submit ourselves wholly to the Lord Jesus Christ and give him honor, His Word says that God the Father will give us honor! Here is the creator of the universe, the King of kings, whose face the earth will flee from, the giver of life to all in existence giving us honor. With these things in mind, you may ask: What can we give God? What can be fit for our Masters use? If we’re not careful, we will believe the lie that God can’t use anything we have to offer, when in fact, we have much we can give Him if we choose to. That’s where it all starts, knowing that God can and will use us if we are willing. What has to be established in each Christians mind is that God does not expect giant things from us, but rather small simple things. They appear giant in our minds because we may not want to fully surrender to all God wants from us. It doesn’t matter what has happened in the past, His mercies are new, His blessings are encouraging, and His opportunities are present to those that are looking for another chance. Listed are several things we can give as service to the One who gave all for us.
1) Our time– We have many abilities that we can give to the Lord, but I believe the most important and sacrificial is our availability. Availability means
1. Present and ready for use; at hand; accessible
2. Capable of being gotten; obtainable.
3. Qualified and willing to serve.
4. Capable of bringing about a beneficial result or effect.
We live in a fast pace society, and at times, 24 hrs. in a day seems to short. Working everyday, meeting deadlines, running here and there, we all look forward to times which we can call our own. And then when we go to church, there’s a man standing in front of the pulpit asking, demanding, provoking us for the little free time we do have and give it for the service of the Lord.
There are buses to drive, Sunday school classes to teach, ushers are needed as well as those that clean the house of God. There is never a shortage of jobs in the Lord’s work. And now, after coming back into the fold, eventually, you will be asked again to help.
Mat 25:36… I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Mat 25:39-40… when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. The Lord allows us to work side by side with Him to accomplish His plan. It’s up to us to say “no” or “Here am I; send me.” When you say no, you are shutting off any possibilities of earning the rewards God has in plan for those who serve.
But when we say “yes,” what we really are saying is that “my time is really your time and how may I serve thee with what you give me” God loveth a cheerful giver. 1Cor 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
The Lord is keeping track. But here is a question to ponder: Does God really need us to fulfill His task here on earth? The answer to that question is no. We read in Luke 19:37-40 that when the disciples were praising God, the Pharisees told Jesus to quiet them. But He told the Pharisees that that, if these (the disciples) should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. If you don’t want to work for Him, He will find those that will and you will miss out. But it will cost you something, and that something is time. But apply it to your everyday life and consider this: success cost time. Whether it be in a marriage, a family, a career, or a business, to be successful in any of these areas you must put time into them. The same with your spiritual walk with Jesus.
2) Our talent– Every human being that has ever lived, is living, or will be living, God has equipped with a talent. Whether it is being musically inclined, having the ability to work with tools, being a motivator, or what have you, God has seen to it that not one living soul is without a talent. We need to realize that not only does He give us these talents, but He also gives us the opportunities to use them, but it is up to us to make use of every situation. The problem though is that while some never use what God gives them, others use their talents sparingly. And still others use them for the god of this world. If God has given you the ability to speak in front of others, why not be a Sunday school teacher? Or how about an evangelist? It will mean sacrifice, but “… God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” Heb.6:10
3) Our tithe– Mat 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Another way to serve God is with our finances. The lights, heat, air conditioning, everything that goes into providing the church member with modern luxuries takes money. Tracks given out, missionaries going into foreign fields, bibles given out to men and women behind prison bars, all these and more are made possible by church members who obey the command to tithe.
Psa.50:10-12 For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fullness thereof. The purpose of tithing is not to see how much money the church can get from you, but it is for you to have a part in God’s work here on earth. There’s a old saying: If God can get the checkbook, He will have the Christian!
When you get right to the heart of the matter, service is yielding yourself to God in every aspect of life.