Price of Service   Leave a comment

I hope the title has not swayed you into thinking that this is a tithing message, nor a complaint about gas prices.  Instead, this has to do with your level of service, and what it will cost you to serve the Lord.

Scared?

You shouldn’t be.  Growing up as an athlete, I remember what seemed like countless hours of practice prior to every game, regardless of which sport I was involved with.  There was no choice, you had to be prepared or you didn’t play.  That’s the way teams perform at their best. 

As a youngster, I remembered hating the beginning of any pre-season workout regime because it was always very difficult, even for those of us who were already in reasonably good shape.  Yes, this was many years ago.  The problem I encountered was that each sport required a different kind of conditioning.  For baseball, you need long, lean muscles.  For football, bulk up.  For basketball, back to the long & lean thing.  For running, in my case, prayer was the only way of survival.

What was frustrating the most was that we would always spend the first couple of weeks doing nothing but conditioning for each sport before we actually focused on building up our skills.  We had to shape up, then learn the system before we were sent out to compete.  In the long run, I understood that this was always the best form of preparation.

You and I are called to be servants of God.  He desires that we seek ways to serve Him by serving others.  We do this in many ways and for a variety of folks.  Some are led to serve outside of the church walls in ministry to the community.  Some are led to serve inside the church and minister to those within.  We’re all uniquely called to serve, and our response is crucial to this process.  Paul responded by being quite universal in his service, saying, “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some” (1 Cor. 9:22b).  Notice his flexibility, but also his focus being pretty strictly geared toward evangelism. 

But there is a price to be paid.  Paul had to prepare for his ministry.  So must I.  So must you.  I’m not saying that we must all study diligently until we’re all super-Christians, ready to answer any possible question posed to us.  I’m talking about something to a different level – a spiritual level.  Your service is critical to this church, but if you are serving from an empty container, you may not be very effective.

What is your spiritual condition?  Are you closer to the Lord today than you were yesterday?  None of us are perfect when it comes to consistent quiet time, Bible study and prayer.  But it is imperative that we strive to constantly maintain and improve upon our relationship with Christ.  When we are tuned in with Jesus, He fills us with His love and compassion, and He fills us with His very Spirit, which gives us the energy to step out and stand out for Him.  We serve from the overflow.

Training, of course, is quite important too.  That is why we offer Bible studies, Sunday school, worship and more.  Never fear asking about a topic of interest, I’ll gladly do whatever I can to help you prepare for your area of calling.

Today, stop and pray for a time.  Give God whatever you have, even if its only a minute.  Ask for a fresh pouring out of His Spirit into your life, and let that filling overflow out into your area of service!

Remember the order of service: Relationship with God, Preparation, Service.  It’s really not such a bad price to pay.

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