WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MAY 13, 2021
TOPIC: VOLUNTEERING FOR THE LORD’S SERVICE
BY T. O. BANSO
“Next was Amasiah son of Zicri, who volunteered for the LORD’s service, with 200,000 troops under his command” (2 Chronicles 17:16 New Living Translation).
Some people never do anything except they are sure there is a material benefit for them. Sometimes what motivates them to serve may not be the financial benefit but it could be that they will derive some earthly benefits. For example, it may be that it will boost their ego because they are controlling others.
Such people will not serve if they are not the ones to lead. They will not accept responsibilities if they won’t be the ones giving orders. They won’t come to render any service unless they’re sure they would be paid some money. I am not talking about not collecting money from your clients or money for goods your customers buy from you. I am talking about normal help or assistance you render to others free.
Some people won’t render social services to their communities, giving their time or using their skills for the benefit of others unless they will be paid. Others hide their ulterior motives and come forward to serve but when they can’t realize their motives, they quit.
In the church, we have people with the mentality of never volunteering to serve. They only come to receive, not to give. I am not talking about money here. They come to church and enjoy the services rendered by others right from the gate, through the doors, and to their seats.
The choir blesses them with powerful ministration and the pastor preaches a great message, which blesses them. That is if they don’t criticize them. When they need to go and answer the call of nature, they go to use the toilet which some people have kept clean for use. They never get bothered that they’re just receiving services and not giving.
Some people may readily come forward if the church will pay them for the services they should render free. I am not talking about the church staff who should be paid since there is no other place they earn income for their support. “For the Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,’ and, ‘The laborer is worthy of his wages’” (1 Timothy 5:18 New King James Version). 1 Corinthians 9:9 quotes the first part of this scripture, which is from Deuteronomy 25:4.
Some people who have sources of income elsewhere still want the church to pay them for the services they should render free. They want to collect an honorarium! Because there is no financial reward from the church some fail to come forward to serve.
Believers must volunteer for the Lord’s service in different areas. A monetary reward should not be the motivation. The reward from God cannot be quantified in monetary terms if you volunteer yourself for the Lord’s service. The Bible warns overseers/bishops and deacons against being greedy for money (1 Timothy 3:3, 8). Ministers of God must not be hireling, preaching for money.
1 Peter 5:2-4 says, “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away” (New King James Version).
Volunteer for the Lord’s service. Don’t be among those who see the church as a place to make money. They are those who exploit the church in their legitimate business transactions with the church or the purchases they make on behalf of the church. They tell lies and inflate the prices of items. They even collude with the outsiders to dupe the church. They do not show that they’re true children of God even if they’re pastors, deacons, or whatever. Such people must repent.
The prophet Isaiah said, “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me’” (Isaiah 6:8 New King James Version). This should be your attitude. Be ready to volunteer yourself for the Lord’s service. Personal earthly benefits should not be your motivation but doing the will of God.
In 2 Chronicles 17:13-19, the Bible talks about Jehoshaphat’s mighty men of valour but says this about one of them: “Next was Amasiah son of Zicri, who volunteered for the LORD’s service, with 200,000 troops under his command” (2 Chronicles 17:16 New Living Translation). Amasiah son of Zicri, volunteered for the LORD’s service. The rest were men of valour like him but it is said of only him that he volunteered for the LORD’s service.
Volunteer for the Lord’s service. The New King James Version puts the first part of that scripture thus: “And next to him was Amasiah the son of Zichri, who willingly offered himself to the LORD.” In other words, volunteering for the Lord’s service means willingly offering yourself to the Lord. Amasiah son of Zicr (Zichri) volunteered for the LORD’s service and had 200,000 troops under his command.
In the song that Deborah and Barak sang after the LORD had given Israel victory over Jabin king of Canaan and Sisera, his army commander, they said, “When leaders lead in Israel, when the people willingly offer themselves, bless the LORD!” (Judges 5:2 New King James Version ). In verse 9, they said, “My heart is with the rulers of Israel who offered themselves willingly with the people. Bless the LORD!” (New King James Version).
From these two verses, we could see that both the leaders and the people willingly offered themselves; they volunteered to fight the LORD’s battle. But the tribes of Reuben, Gilead, Dan, and Asher didn’t offer themselves willingly to fight the LORD’s battle. They didn’t volunteer.
Judges 5:15-16 says, “And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah; As Issachar, so was Barak Sent into the valley under his command; among the divisions of Reuben there were great resolves of heart. Why did you sit among the sheepfolds, to hear the pipings for the flocks? The divisions of Reuben have great searchings of heart” (New King James Version).
The tribe of Reuben was accused of “great resolves of heart” and “great searching of heart.” The New Century Version rendered these two phrases as they “thought hard about what they would do.” The New Living Translation uses the phrase “there was great indecision.”
What were they thinking hard about or undecided about when other tribes came out to fight? What are you thinking about when others are coming forward, volunteering, to serve the Lord? Quit indecision. Throw yourself into the service of the Lord. This is not about resigning your paid job or business but sacrificing your time to accept responsibilities in the Kingdom of God.
See what the Bible also says about the tribes of Gilead, Dan, and Asher: “Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan, and why did Dan remain on ships? Asher continued at the seashore, and stayed by his inlets” (Judges 5:17 New King James Version). They didn’t volunteer. They stayed in their comfort zone. They continued with their business. They were unconcerned about the war. Are you bothered at all that others are volunteering for the Lord’s service but you’re busy with your own life?
Compare the attitude of the tribes that refused to volunteer to the attitude of the tribe of Issachar. The princes of Issachar were with Deborah; they followed Barak into the valley (Judges 5:15). Also, compare these uncooperative tribes to the tribe of Zebulun and Naphthali. “Zebulun risked his life, as did Naphtali, on the battlefield” (verse 18 New King James Version). The New King James Version says they jeopardized their lives.
Volunteer for the Lord’s service; willingly offer yourself to the LORD. Don’t let anyone beg you. Don’t give conditions. Don’t consider earthly personal benefits. Let money not be your consideration or motivation. Let doing the will of God be.
Jesus said He must be about His Father’s business (Luke 2:49). Don’t neglect Your Father’s business. Don’t be left out of the Master’s service. “‘For your work shall be rewarded’, says the LORD” (Jeremiah 31:16b New King James Version). Jesus Christ will reward every work done because of Him. “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work” (Revelation 22:12 New King James Version).
There are many areas of service. Let the Holy Spirit lead you. The grace you have, your skills and talents, and others, especially your pastor, can guide you in choosing your areas of service. But never forget that soul-winning is for every child of God.
Volunteer yourself for the Lord’s service. Serve Him with joy and gladness of heart for the abundant benefits you have received from Him and you won’t serve your enemies (Deuteronomy 28:47-48).
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, forgive me for being selfish and neglecting Kingdom service. I shall no more neglect my Father’s business. I shall not be idle in the church. I shall not be comfortable being blessed without being a blessing to others. I shall not be undecided, lazy, or selfish but serve the Lord willingly. Holy Spirit, help me to serve the Lord with joy and gladness of heart. I shall not serve my enemies in Jesus’ name.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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