The Cost of Serving GodSteward Godwin Jornsen
Sunday in church, we started by talking about the cost of service; and stopping the plague. Everything good in the world today comes with a price. Whatever benefits you get in life today, cost someone something. There is always a price to be paid for the breakthroughs that we have in life. For certain inventions to be real, people even get to lose their lives making researches and carrying out experiments. Highly effective and durable products often require expensive parts and components.
Today’s Bible Study would be based on a lot of Bible characters. We shall begin this study by looking at Old Testament Characters, and then move on to examining some New Testament characters also. From each of these characters, our goal is to figure out if their commitments to God really cost them anything. If it did, how much did it probably cost them. Did that come with benefits, assurances, rewards or hopes?
Father Abraham: GETTING TO GIVE BACK
1. Giving a family
2. Giving a home
3. Giving a son
People will often speak of how much wealth and blessings you get from God. The truth remains that every wealth and blessings we get from God are to serve the purpose and missions of God. It is one thing to receive those gifts, it’s another to present same as sacrifice when God so demands. As much as we are ready to receive from God, how ready are we to give back to God without holding back? Can you let God have what you cherish most? Do you use your best to serve God?
Moses: UNAPPRECIATED SERVICES
1. Giving royalty
2. Giving the name and the fame
3. Giving the leadership skills
Some believers are fine with providing service to God when they are accepted, unprovoked and recognized. God however does not wait for our convenience to require our services and sacrifice. Using others to determine how effectively we carry out God’s service could hurt us. We don’t strike the rock because people drive us to, we strike the rock because God instructs us to. It is important to focus on God during service. No man gets credits from God by using another as an excuse to justify an error. The consequences are often same and sometimes deadlier.
Jephthah: THE TWO SIDES OF A BLESSING
1. Giving trust
2. Giving love
3. Giving the only
The present day church as filled with testimonies of great things done for them. How many of the testifiers are fulfilling their part of the blessings? Every blessing has a double side. God gives you, you use what he gives you for his kingdom. His kingdom came first in consideration before you got the all other things. Therefore, we have a mandate to fulfill our part of the blessing vows no matter how painful. For example, If he gives you a car, it’s for missions. If he gives you a house, it’s for fellowship. If he gives you a child, he is for service. If he gives you money, it’s for ministry. You can expand on these examples. What has he given you and what have you done for him with it? His gift is your sacrifice.
David: THE VALUE OF NOTHING
1 Chronicles 21:22-24 (TLB)
1. The full price
2. Not what is yours
3. It has to cost me something
Serving God really isn’t cheap. It’s not totally without a cost. Even for God, he gave us his only begotten son. Jesus said his yoke is easy, not weightless. It’s still a yoke. We all have kingdom responsibilities and we have to figure out what those are and do them. We can’t offer God what cost us nothing. You simply can’t go to church to ask someone to help you with offering and believe you have given. That isn’t how it works. An offering that cost you nothing is nothing. If what you give God has no value, it has no power. If it’s not worth it, don’t give it. Think of Cain and Ananais. Make your prayers, praise, offering, works, service to have value and worth. That’s what God accepts. That’s what God takes.
Elisha: NOT EVERYONE IS READY
1 Kings 19:19-21
1. Giving of investment
2. Giving of family
3. Giving of service.
In today’s Christianity, new believers find it so convenient to turn up late, leave whenever they deem fit, walk around carelessly, talk noisily and even act disrespectfully before God. It’s a pathetic reality as we continue to diminish the value of our worship and wonder why we don’t have the proof of the supernatural as we read on scriptures. The sons of the prophets existed when God sent Elijah to Elisha because of his readiness to give his all. You have to give your all in praise, in prayers, in labor, in evangelism and in all you call worship. If doesn’t cost you that much, God probably won’t recognize you as were the sons of the prophets.
Jesus: THE PERFECT EXAMPLE
2 Corinthians 8:9:
1. Giving his position
2. Giving his person
3. Giving his prosperity
Jesus was and still is a perfect example of the price of service. To please the father, he gave himself. You cannot hold back and give all. God wants you to submit yourself totally. Give your all. Jesus had to give his all. He remains out perfect example of how much it would require to connect to the service of God. You have to be totally in. You can’t rbe churchy and worldly. Be in Christ. Be totally in Christ.
Peter: A PLACE FOR THE WORD
1. Giving his ship
2. Giving his time
3. Giving his family
Our actions do not have to be logically sound, but they should be spiritually approved. We get endorsed by God and not men when it comes to spiritual matters. Without hesitation, Peter gave his ship for the gospel. Your home can be used for fellowship. Have you considered that? You don’t need to be called a pastor to make a place available for worship. Right after that teaching, Peter condemned himself. He called himself a sinner. So, he wasn’t perfect when he submitted his boat. He went on to forfeit his business. He left family behind to follow Jesus. When was the last time you made your place available for worship and fellowship without being compelled to?
The young Rich Man
1. He gave nothing
2. Could not stand the idea of giving all
3. Never knew the ministry and Christian walk would cost him that much
The Rich young fellow is simply an example of how people who think they have too much night eventually have nothing towards God. Earthly treasures do not translate to heavenly wealth unless you commit them to heavenly duties while on earth. Help the poor. The ministry of helps is a strong force. It will cost you everything you have. Nothing you do will ever be enough. That’s how powerful that ministry is. Do it if you are willing to commit to it with your all.
Paul: THE PRICE OF SERVICE
2 Corinthians 11:23-33
1. Giving his life
2. Giving his intelligence
3. Giving his resources
Was serving God easy or cheap for Paul? Obviously not. You can’t count what almost cost him his life each and every day cheap. There is nothing easy about been beaten again and again. Everything he had as income went into the preaching of the gospel. When you read Paul’s account, you will confirm that the most effective service to God come with a price. It isn’t easy and it isn’t cheap. It will cost you a lot
The Widow: THE GIVER THAT WASN’T PRAYED FOR
1. Giving her all
2. Giving her most
3. Giving her only
In today’s Christian race we seem to think more about what we would gain and get. How we would grab some quick results from offerings that we give. Our focus is on instant results. We fail completely in realizing that we give to the work as service. We give our time, energy, work, skills for what we believe and not just for what we would receive. There is a price. Serving God truly will cost us a lot.
Serving God today is likely to also tear you off your family. It might cost you your union, relationship and friendship. It could cost you all your income, your resources, and even your food. Believe me, I can tell you this first hand. It takes a lot out of you. There is no easy way. The ease comes from the sacrifices of many.
BE READY TO SPEND
You’d be required to spend almost all that you have. Missions and ministries today are powered by people who make very painful and difficult sacrifices. Barabbas on record sold what he had and gave to the church work. Many have taken to church work today for survival. Some have called themselves because they need to be enriched by it very little goes into the work while a whole lot goes into their lives. Missions and ministry is about sacrifice and service. It must cost everyone something.
DID YOU GIVE YOUR LIFE TO CHRIST?
The concept of giving our lives to Christ does not only start and end at the altar of confessions. It finds true expressions on the fields of missions and in the hearts of worship. Giving our lives to Christ must entail the offering up of ourselves and our all to the one that loved us and gave us the life to begin with.
UNDERSTAND TRUE MINISTRY
2 Corinthians 12:15
15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.
True ministry work is not solely for taking. For as long as God will choose to bless us, ministry is about giving. We give our love, our time, our services, our care, our words, our wealth, our all for the furtherance of the gospel of Christ Jesus. True ministry is not a Preacher taking, it’s not a believer asking for more, it’s not the church piling up wealth in temples and halls, it is service, giving, blessing, releasing and raising. We cannot have true ministry until we know that is design to cost us our all, so we can minister to those that deserve care.
Understand that we are not in the ministry to pull wealth out of people to ourselves. Money and donations brought in by the flock can ease burden for the preach and help with supporting him. However, the Preacher and all have a mandate. Everyone is to further the gospel with what is available. It goes beyond pinching gifts for ministry, we must give it to the work. The sons of Eli were good at filtering offerings for themselves. That became their downfall. Serving God would cost us all. That means we all must be determined to spent all we have until we become the currencies to be spent.
You are I today shouldn’t be looking for cheap and easy ways of serving God. We must understand the cost of serving God and give what it takes for that service. Do not make faith sacrifices based on the opinions of people that do not understand your faith. Be internally convicted. You however must know that servicing God deeply comes with a price.
COMPLETING THE SACRIFICE
We are to complement and complete the faith actions of our predecessors.
LET’S BE PRACTICAL
1. How much time do you give to the worship, service and honour of God?
2. How much money do you invest in the fellowship and the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ?
3. How many people have you lost relationship with because you accepted Jesus and choose to continue to preach him? Many would certainly find your new found love for Christ to be offensive to them. How much have you lost due to the fact you refuse to compromise and commit sin?
4. How much physical presence and services do you put in daily in worshipping and serving God? Do you make out the time and presence to do work for God including evangelism, church work, prayers, following-up other believers and new converts?
5. How much of what you have do you given out to help those that are need, those that are sick, those that are in prison, those that lost and those that are rejected by many?
BE READY FOR THE GLORY
2 Corinthians 4:15-18:
Serving God comes with a price. You have to consider the above questions one after the other and draw out action plans on what to do. Christianity is not only about the opportunity to ask and demand taking all our selfish needs to God in prayers. Christianity is about fellowship, sacrifice, service and worship. You must be practical as a Christian. You must be part of those giving out to win the lost. You must be part of those making the worship of God happen here on earth. It does not matter which worship platform believers make use of, it is by your offerings and sacrifices that these platforms would work. Soul winning is going to take time, money and resources from you as a Christian. To not provide these is to reject your mission and stamp on the commission. There is indeed a cost in serving God. Peter ended it up by telling us that all of these are nothing to be compared to the glory that awaits us. Are you ready for that glory?
We cannot end this session without reminding us of Jesus and what it cost him.
TIME TO PRAY
Make decisions today and pray in that line. Let the decisions be about what you are ready to spend. What you are ready give and what you are ready do as a price of Godly service.