WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
SEPTEMBER 25, 2020
TOPIC: DO YOU HAVE A RECORD OF SERVICE BEFORE THE LORD?
BY T. O. BANSO
“Praise the LORD! Praise the name of the LORD! Praise him, you who serve the LORD, you who serve in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God” (Psalm 135:1-2 New Living Translation).
Many people have a record of prayers before the LORD, but no record of service. This may be hindering or delaying answers to their payers. Such people appear as self-centred people, who only want the LORD to take care of their needs, but are not ready to meet His needs! His business is not their business. They want to use the LORD but don’t want Him to use them.
There are people like that in many churches. Some know the Bible, even more than the pastors they’re running after, moving from one church to the other, in search of answers to their prayers. They won’t settle down in one church and take upon them the yoke of service.
I’m not talking about serving the LORD because you want something from Him. That would be a wrong motive and God sees our hearts. You can’t bribe Him with service. You can’t pay Him to get a miracle. But you should serve Him because you love Him.
When you serve the LORD, you’re worshipping Him. And there are different areas you can serve Him depending on the grace He has given you, your spiritual gifts and talents, or your training.
Serve the LORD out of love. Those whose objective of serving the LORD is for Him to do something for them could be frustrated and quit when they don’t realize their objective quickly.
Truly, there are things that the LORD does for people, especially by His mercy – they don’t do anything to deserve them. Nevertheless, there are many things, which those who serve Him don’t pray for that He does for them.
Unfortunately, some people give the LORD conditions to serve Him. They say that they would serve if He would do this or that for them. Unless the LORD shows such people mercy, they may delay their miracles if their requests are the will of the LORD for them.
Seven times the phrase “I know your works” is used in the book of Revelation regarding the seven churches of Asia (Revelation 2:2, 9, 13, 19; 3:1, 8, 15). God knows your work too, even if it is that you’re doing nothing for Him.
In Luke 7, the elders of the Jews made a case to Jesus for a centurion, concerning his servant who was sick and ready to die. Persuading Jesus to go and heal this servant, these Jewish elders, sent by the centurion, told Jesus that the centurion deserved Jesus’ help, because he loved their nation, and had built them a synagogue.
“And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was deserving, ‘for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue’” (Luke 7:2-5 New King James Version).
Jesus granted their request, though before Jesus got to the centurion’s house, he sent his friends to tell Jesus he was not worthy of the honour of Jesus coming to his house. Jesus should only speak one word and his servant would be healed. As a military officer, he understood authority. Jesus said He had not seen faith like his in all of Israel! The centurion’s servant was completely healed (verses 6-10). This man’s record of service spoke for him before Jesus. The Jewish elders might not have gone to beg Jesus earnestly for him if he had not done anything.
The father of John the Baptist, Zecharias, had no child, yet he continued to serve the LORD in the Temple. While he was serving, one day, the LORD visited him. That encounter resulted in the birth of John (Luke 1:5-25). You can’t be bargaining with the LORD before you’ll serve in His house.
The Bible describes Cornelius, a non-Jew, as a devout man and one who feared God with all his household. He gave alms generously to the people and prayed to God always (Acts 10:2). Cornelius had both a record of prayers and a record of service, and God answered his prayers. God told Cornelius, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God” (Acts 10:4b New King James Version). He didn’t just pray; he gave alms – that was service. Consequently, God worked out his salvation and that of his household. They also received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, opening the door for the non-Jews.
It is true that the LORD will have mercy on whom He will have mercy and compassion on whom He will have compassion (Exodus 33:19b; Romans 9:15). But people’s service can provoke the LORD to respond to them favourably. Prayer is not enough. Do you have a record of service before the LORD? How is your walk and work before the LORD? When you get involved in the LORD’s work, at any level of the grace He has given you, He will get involved in your work, too.
Prayer without service amounts to selfishness. Attending church services is not enough. Take up responsibilities in the house of God. “Praise the LORD! Praise the name of the LORD! Praise him, you who serve the LORD, you who serve in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God” (Psalm 135:1-2 New Living Translation).
Jesus said, “My Father will honor anyone who serves me” (John 12:26b New Century Version). God will reward your service on earth and in eternity (Mark 10:30). He delights in the prosperity or well-being of His servants (Psalm 35:27b). “For God is not unfair. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other Christians, as you still do” (Hebrews 6:10 New Living Translation).
If you’re born again and you’ve not been serving the LORD but you’ve been living a selfish life only interested in what the LORD will do for you, repent today. Start serving the LORD today by becoming a worker in your place of worship or church and outside the church. God will reward you.
If you’re already serving the LORD, please continue no matter the challenges you’re facing in life. God will reward your labour. “Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded, says the LORD” (Jeremiah 31:16a New King James Version).
God is no man’s debtor. He will repay you. He will reward your labour. Don’t be discouraged. “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name” (Hebrews 6:10a New King James Version).
The church of Jesus needs more workers, especially for soul-winning. “Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest’” (Matthew 9:37-38 New King James Version). Jesus is calling you. May you answer His call today.
I say to all, “Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically” (Romans 12:11 New Living Translation).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I commit myself to serve you wholeheartedly as from today. Holy Spirit, help me never to be lazy in serving the LORD, but to serve Him enthusiastically. Help me to serve the LORD with gladness and faithfully.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org)
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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