What will be your excuse for not serving God or for not serving Him well?
The message of today is a clarion call to all of us. Every one of us who love God.
What is a clarion call?
A clarion call is an idiomatic expression which is a strong and emotional appeal to people to do something. a strong request for something to happen; a strong and direct request for people to do something. A strongly expressed demand or request for action. a direct public request for people to take action.
In the military, it is the kind of call a battalion gets when there is either extensive civil disobedience, insurrection, or external attack. The Battalion Commander issues an order having received orders from above; to place his men on high alert or for immediate deployment, in order to quell the problem.
The Battalion Buglers would be sent out, blow their bugle throughout the cantonment; every soldier is to assemble on the parade ground not later than 30 minutes; regardless of what your personal plans might have being. All leave, off duty would immediately cancel; even those with medical exemptions will attend with their papers in their hands. The only people who would not be on that parade ground are those on admission at the Medical Reception Station as they would be accounted for by their leaders.
Those who will be chosen to go for the operation; the extent and duration of the operation would not be known by this time; all you know as a soldier is that you are ready for any eventuality. Whatever happens, I am already here, and I am prepared
Biblical clarion calls
In the bible, there were several clarion calls made to get the people of God to act, to make something happen or to do something. Few of such instances are:
- Nehemiah 2: 11-18 (Nehemiah)
11 So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days.
12 And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither was there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon.
13 And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.
14 Then I went on to the gate of the fountain, and to the king’s pool: but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass.
15 Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall, and turned back, and entered by the gate of the valley, and so returned.
16 And the rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the work.
17 Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.
18 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So, they strengthened their hands for this good work.
- Numbers 13: 25-33 (Caleb)
25 And they returned from searching of the land after forty days.
26 And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land.
27 And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it.
28 Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there.
29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.
30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.
31 But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.
32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.
33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
- 2 Kings 6: 1-7 (Sons of prophet)
And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold now, the place where we dwell with thee is too strait for us.
2 Let us go, we pray thee, unto Jordan, and take thence every man a beam, and let us make us a place there, where we may dwell. And he answered, Go ye.
3 And one said, Be content, I pray thee, and go with thy servants. And he answered, I will go.
4 So he went with them. And when they came to Jordan, they cut down wood.
5 But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed.
6 And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim.
7 Therefore said he, Take it up to thee. And he put out his hand, and took it.
- I Sam. 11: 1-8 (King Saul the Benjamite)
Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and encamped against Jabeshgilead: and all the men of Jabesh said unto Nahash, Make a covenant with us, and we will serve thee.
2 And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, On this condition will I make a covenant with you, that I may thrust out all your right eyes, and lay it for a reproach upon all Israel.
3 And the elders of Jabesh said unto him, Give us seven days’ respite, that we may send messengers unto all the coasts of Israel: and then, if there be no man to save us, we will come out to thee.
4 Then came the messengers to Gibeah of Saul, and told the tidings in the ears of the people: and all the people lifted up their voices, and wept.
5 And, behold, Saul came after the herd out of the field; and Saul said, What aileth the people that they weep? And they told him the tidings of the men of Jabesh.
6 And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly.
7 And he took a yoke of oxen, and hewed them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the coasts of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, Whosoever cometh not forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done unto his oxen. And the fear of the Lord fell on the people, and they came out with one consent.
8 And when he numbered them in Bezek, the children of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand.
- Luke 2: 1-18 (The Shepherds) – they were awake while others were sleeping
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds
As soldiers of Christ, what God has asked me to do today is to blast a trumpet in our ears as a clarion call for action. It will be a strong demand and request to make a determination to do something worthwhile for God.
The last 16 months has been hard on most people, if not all people. The truth is that not everybody is currently in the same state as they were before the pandemic. The faith of some might have been shattered. Some may never believe in God again. Some are having puzzling question going on in their minds that only God can answer. While some are not just bothered about anything spirituality again. Some have even found alternatives to God in their lives since last year.
Guess what? It is still you and I that God is counting on today, for Him to restore the physical, spiritual, mental, psychological, financial, social, and even other aspects of life for such people ether within the church of Christ or outside His church.
The only way we can be useful to God in this area is by making ourselves available to work for Him; be a co-labourer with Him and reach out to those who require encouragement, rather than folding out hands; or think it is the job for pastors alone. You too have a part to play.
Roman 10: 13-15
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
My job today is to call us to act and do something on behalf of God here on earth. Reminding ourselves that God is able to raise up stones if men would refuse to praise and serve Him.
Luke 19: 37-40
37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;
38 Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.
40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
The reason God asked me to pose this question to us this morning: what will be your excuse for not serving God, or for not serving Him well?
As humans, we make mistakes, we demonstrate inabilities; we become inactive; we can be negligent, and we do fall short of required expectations. When all these happen, we usually tend to find an excuse for our action or inaction; or even blame whatever happened on someone else entirely. I have however found out through the scriptures that such a disposition or attitude angers God even more than the error made.
For example, God gave specific instructions to Adam and Eve as they took custody of the Garden of Eden. They were to freely eat every animal and herb, except the fruit from the knowledge of good and evil. They disobeyed God and ate the fruit.
When God asked them what they have done; instead of confessing and asking for forgiveness; they began to give excuse for what they have done and blaming someone else for their action. That made their punishment severe, they were banished from the Garden into the wild to fend for themselves and also banished from the presence of God.
This message was given to me by God to inspire everyone of us to serve the Lord; and more than that, to serve Him well. It is my prayer that God will call us good and faithful servant at the end of our life on earth in Jesus name.
God is a righteous Judge. He does not only know our actions; but also the motive for what we did or did not do.
Jer. 17: 9-10
9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
10 I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
So that God rewards and reprove not only the actions of men, but also the intent of their heart.
Prov. 24: 12
If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?
God does not force men to serve Him, even though He can. He prefers that we make our own decision to do so, in that lie our blessing.
At the end of the day, it is only what we have done for the Lord or what we will do for Him while we are living that we last forever. No other thing will follow us to the afterlife.
Illustration: It was said of a man who really toiled to make his wealth; but fell ill in the process, while he was still young. He made his wife to swear an oath that she would bury all his money with him in the grave after he is gone; so, she does not enjoy it with another man.
When he died, his wife gathered all his money; put it in her account and issued a cheque for the whole amount to him; which they put in his casket to cash when he gets to where he was going.
The wife included a little note for him too, ‘Honey, your money is too much; it wont fit into your casket. I am afraid thieves might steal it too. So, it is your name on the cheque; please cash it when you get to heaven. The children and I will miss you’.
Luke 12: 13-21 ERV
13 One of the men in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, our father just died and left some things for us. Tell my brother to share them with me.”
14 But Jesus said to him, “Who said I should be your judge or decide how to divide your father’s things between you two?” 15 Then Jesus said to them, “Be careful and guard against all kinds of greed. People do not get life from the many things they own.”
16 Then Jesus used this story: “There was a rich man who had some land. His land grew a very good crop of food. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What will I do? I have no place to keep all my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘I know what I will do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger barns! I will put all my wheat and good things together in my new barns. 19 Then I can say to myself, I have many good things stored. I have saved enough for many years. Rest, eat, drink, and enjoy life!’
20 “But God said to that man, ‘Foolish man! Tonight you will die. So what about the things you prepared for yourself? Who will get those things now?’
21 “This is how it will be for anyone who saves things only for himself. To God that person is not rich.”
In the bible there were people who were expected by God to take an action and do something for Him; but instead, they offered excuses. Some later dropped their excuse and did something meaningful for God; others held unto their excuse and never did anything. We are to learn from and emulate those who dropped their excuse; or better still not give any excuse at all in the first place.
Jesus gave us an indication of how God judge our attitude/disposition towards His work.
Mt. 21: 28-31
28 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work today in my vineyard.
29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.
30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.
31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.
Our father, in the Lord, said he knew a third Son, who said yes straightaway to His Father and still went to the vineyard, without giving hi father any heartache – Jesus. He is our best example.
Excuses that were dropped, leading to the fulfilment of the destinies of those concerned.
Their excuses seemed reasonable, yet they were not acceptable to God.
God chose him to lead the children of Israel to gain freedom from the hand of the Midianites. Gideon would probably not have a problem to volunteer to join the warriors; but he had problem that he would be the leader. His excuses were: his family was the poorest or least significant in his tribe and he was the youngest in his father’s house.
Judges 6: 15
15 And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.
He had to drop that mentality and he was used mightily by God.
Have God asked you to serve Him, but your excuse has been your level of significance or your relative position in a set? The God we serve is the one that use baseless things to confound the wise. By strength shall no man prevail. It is by the power of God. If you surrender to God like Gideon, He will use you to accomplish mighty things.
God raised Prophet Jeremiah up in Israel at a particularly challenging time. It was a time that God had planned for Judah to be taken into captivity in Babylon. The people were being told by false prophets to fight the invasion; while God instructed Jeremiah to let them know that the invasion was permitted by Him. It was a tough message to be delivered to a tough people; so, Jeremiah asked God to excuse him, especially as he was incredibly young, and he did not know how to communicate.
Jere. 1: 4-10
4 Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.
7 But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.
8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.
9 Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.
10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
God rebuked him, encouraged him, and embolden him to go out and serve.
Have God sent you on an errand to serve Him, and you think you are not a good communicator? Is your excuse being that you are too young for the work? Maybe you are even seeing yourself as a child among the people you are meant to serve or work with.
When God sent you on an errand, He will put the words you will say in your mouth; He will also be there with you when you are delivering the assignment. So that excuse is not tenable before Him.
Mt. 10: 18-20
18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
God raised Jonah as a prophet to nations. He was sent by God on an assignment to go to Nineveh and preach repentance, otherwise that God will rain judgement on them. Jonah however was not inclined to serve God in Nineveh; and certainly not the kind of assignment he was given to do.
His excuse was that God is too merciful, and if the people repent, God might forgive them; and he would now be seen as a false prophet. In other words, his reputation was bigger than his calling. So, instead of going to Nineveh, Jonah took a ship in the opposite direction and was fleeing to Tarshish. God cornered him till he obeyed.
Jonah 4: 1-5
But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.
2 And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.
3 Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.
4 Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry?
5 So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city.
Have God asked you to serve Him, but your reputation in the society is not allow you? For example, if people should see you cleaning and sweeping, that would be too downgrading for your personality? Are you going further away from your calling and assignment, just because of people’s perception of you? The thing is, in life people will always talk: they talk about those who are alive, they also talk about those who are dead. What is most important in life is whether you as an individual is doing the will of God or not. Do not think for God what might go wrong or right on your assignment; let God think for Himself and justify you.
As Moses was looking after the flock of Jethro – his father in-law. God called to him and gave him an assignment to serve. Moses gave several excuses to God why he was the wrong candidate for that assignment. He said he was a fugitive running away from Pharaoh; the Israelites would not believe him; he was not eloquent; he was slow in speech; and of a slow tongue. He almost made God angry; God insisted that He wanted him. Thank God he yielded.
Ex. 4: 10-14
10 And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
11 And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord?
12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.
13 And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send.
14 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart.
Are you telling God that you are a wrong candidate for the assignment He has called you for? Is there an individual you are afraid of in that domain? Are you thinking that people will not believe in your capability? Are you thinking that you do not have the required skill and expertise to succeed? Our God specializes in calling the unqualified and then qualifies them. All He need is those who will say “here I am, send me.”
It is interesting to note that while Moses destiny was wasting away in the desert, those he was afraid of have already died. He never checked for forty years (Ex. 4: 19). Thanks to God for reaching out to him. That tells me that what we are afraid of sometimes do not actually exist.
- Brother Ananias of Damascus
The Bible tells us how Jesus met Saul of Tarsus on the way to Damascus, where he wanted to go and arrest anyone preaching of Jesus Christ in any of the synagogues of the Jews. After acknowledging Jesus as Lord and Saviour, he was instructed by Christ to go into the city of Damascus, and he would be told what he had to do next.
Jesus scanned through the whole of Damascus for someone to go and ministered to Saul, it was Brother Ananias that Jesus chose. He got the instruction from a vision to go and ministered to Saul. As soon as Jesus mentioned Saul’s name; he knew that it was a dangerous assignment. He did not argue. He did not think Satan was talking to him. He did not say I am only a brother; an apostle should do this. He went to meet Saul. He got the job done. One can only imagine his reward in heaven now as he was the person that ministered to the legendary apostle Paul.
Acts 9: 10-18
10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.
11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:
14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
Do you consider where God has asked you to serve to be too dangerous? Do you feel it should be done by some other persons? Are you still arguing with God on what He has ask you to do? God knows you are capable, otherwise He would not have call you. Arise and God will back you up in Jesus name.
- I would have loved to mention the case studies of Esther and Prophet Elijah. People who were faced with death as touching the assignment that God gave to them. They had reasonable excuses to give. They however pressed ahead, and they were able to fulfil their destinies. That can be your story and my story if we too will yield ourselves unto God and serve Him.
Excuses that were upheld, leading to abandonment of destinies of those concerned
The excuses also seemed reasonable, only that they were not valid nor tenable to God.
- King Saul
King Saul was privileged to be chosen by God as the first king of Israel. He soon committed two blunders which instead of him to repent and apologise to God; he began to give excuses for his actions. His kingdom which God intended to last forever; was however cut short, though he tried to serve God; he however did not serve God well.
In the first instance, as the Philistines were about to attack the Israelites, Samuel however had already told Saul that he would come to do a sacrifice to God in seven days’ time which would guarantee their victory. When the seventh day arrived, and Samuel was delayed; Saul offered the sacrifice himself, unfortunately for him, Samuel arrived as promised that day.
The excuse of Saul in this instance was that people were scattering from him; Samuel did not come before seven days; and the Philistines were close by (I Sam. 13: 1-14).
In the second instance, God asked Saul to wiped of Amalek, Saul went on the assignment and served partly. He brought back the King of Amalek and choice animals. His excuse was that the animals were brought back to make sacrifice to God. God was angry with him. He lost his throne (I Sam. 15: 1-23).
Are you serving God in your own terms? Are you one of those that will not wait or abide by instructions? Do you allow the influence of people to determine how you serve the Lord? Is the scattering of people affecting your service to God? Do you think you can use proceed of your disobedience to the service God to bribe Him? God prefers obedience to sacrifice.
- Disciples/Followers of Christ
While Jesus was teaching His disciples, He mentioned a concept that they did not understood – Him being the Bread of Life. But instead of the people to ask Him to explain properly; the bible said they deserted Him after that message. They stopped being His disciples. They quit serving Him (John 6: 48-66).
Have you stopped serving the Lord because of a concept or scenario you did not understand? Have you asked for better clarification on the subject before you made that decision? Can just one talk or speech make you to stop serving God? We never heard about those disciples again, only the twelve that stood by Christ. You will not be a quitter in Jesus name.
- Prospective Disciples of Christ
As Jesus continued in His ministry, certain people became His followers and from those people He chose some disciples and apostles. On a certain occasion, He tried to recruit some people to join His team of disciples to work with Him and serve Him. The people however gave Him excuses and sadly abandoned their destinies.
The excuses of the people were to have a decent and settled life; to conduct the burial of father; and to go home and say farewell. Jesus did not approve of any of them.
Lk. 9: 57-62
What is still stopping you from serving the Lord? Will it be the quest for a decent lifestyle? A responsibility you hold dear to your heart. Or the affection you have for your family?
Jesus taught us to give what belongs to God to Him; and what belong to Man to them.
Mk. 12: 14-17
14 And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?
15 Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it.
16 And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s.
17 And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.
Our responsibilities at home and to our family should not stop us from serving the Lord.
- The Young Prophet
One of the incredibly sad stories is found in I Kings 13: 1-31. God sent this young prophet on an assignment from Judah to Bethel. He was to deliver a hard message to King Jeroboam. He was given specific instructions on how to serve. God told him not to use the same route to travel to and from the place. He was also asked not to eat nor drink when he got to Bethel.
He completed the assignment quite all right and left town on a different route. Sadly, an old prophet in Bethel who was told by his sons of the young prophet’s visit to the palace quickly ran after him. He told the young prophet that an angel of God has just appeared to him; and asked that he bring him back home to eat and refresh himself before embarking on his return trip. The young prophet fell for it, came back, ate, and drank; as he was going back finally, a lion killed him.
Is the word spoken to you by a colleague or even a senior colleague affecting your service to God? Could the schemes and pranks of a respected person in your life affect how you serve God? Have you given out too much of details about your service to God that is now being used against you? Could people be jealous of your Divine mandate and unknown to you, they are deceiving you to anger God with your service? You will not listen to the voice of the deceivers in Jesus name.
- King Solomon
God so favoured Solomon. By all indices, Solomon was not supposed to be the next king of Israel after his father. He was not the oldest, neither was he one of the sons of David’s first wives. He was even an offspring of an illicit affair with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah. Yet it was Solomon whom God chose to sit on the throne. God even sent Prophet Nathan to David to give Solomon a special name – Jedidiah (beloved of the Lord).
2 Sam. 12: 24-25.
Solomon started ruling at 20 years; he began well. He later started marrying strange women who turned his heart away from the living God. Such that towards the end of his life, unlike David his father, Solomon did not serve the Lord with the whole of his heart. God became angry with him; the peace he was enjoying started being under attack. I guess the excuse Solomon would give was that he was trying to please his wives (I Kings 11: 1-6).
But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites:
2 Of the nations concerning which the Lord said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.
3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.
4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father.
5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.
6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord, as did David his father.
Is your spouse or people you love influencing your service to God in a negative sense? It should not be so. The place of affection to our family is different; our passion to serve God is another thing altogether. None should interfere with each other. Solomon did not manage his relationship with his wives, vis a vis that of God well, only God knows where he is right now.
- Time would not permit me to mention the stories of the ten of the twelve spies that Moses sent to view Canaan and how they gave excuse not to enter Canaan because there were giants in the land (Num. 13: 25-33).
Also, of the life of King Ahab, how it was Jezebel his wife that introduced him to Baal and Ashtoreth, and wickedness.
I Kings 21: 25 ERV
25 So Ahab sold himself out to do what the Lord says is evil. There is no one who did as much evil as Ahab and his wife Jezebel, who caused him to do these things.
As husbands and wives, and as families, we are to inspire ourselves to good works and not to do bad to the work of God.
How can I serve the Lord? Eight ways to serve God
- With your whole heart – I Sam. 12: 20
- With gladness – Psalm 100: 2
- With undivided attention – Rom. 12: 7
- With diligence and fervency – Rom. 12: 11b
- Faithfully – I Sam. 24; I Cor. 4: 1-2
- With your substance – Prov. 3: 9; Barnabas Acts 4: 36-37
- Without eyeservice – Aaron Ex. 32: 1-6, 21-24; Gehazi 2 Kings 5: 20-27
- Without compulsion, willingly – Luke 10: 1-12
Are there any benefits of serving the Lord? Nine benefits listed
- Long life – Ex. 23: 26
- Pleasurable life – Job 36: 11
- Prosperity – Ex. 23: 25a
- Divine health – Ex. 23: 25b
- Inner joy – Luke 10: 1-20
- Divine honour – John 12: 26b
- Heavenly rewards – Col. 3: 23-24
- Fulfilling earthly purpose – Eph. 2: 10
- God’s kingdom on earth expands through you – Eph. 4: 12
Are there any consequence(s) for not serving the Lord, or for not serving Him well? Yes
- Restlessness: emptiness, void that nothing can fill – I Sam. 28: 4-7
- Lack of joy, dissatisfaction, regardless of what one has – Eccl. 2: 1-11
- Unnecessary struggle and lack of progress, unending circle of trial and errors – John 21: 1-17
- Spiritual poverty; eternal bankrupt – Mt. 6: 19-21
- Possible eternal separation from God – Mt. 6: 24; John 12: 26a
If you have not accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour before. Today is a perfect time to do so. If you want the power of God to work on your behalf, you must be one of His. If you are prepared to do that; you will need to pray this short prayer with me: Father, I come before You; I ack that I am a sinner; I confess all my sin; I repent of them; I ask that You please forgive me; write my name in Your Book of Life; keep me saved until you come for me or Your Son comes again. Thank You for saving my soul in Jesus name.
- Pray that God will help you to continually to walk in love: obey my command
- Pray that God will help you to walk by faith in His Word: disciple turned back
- Ask God to give you more and more grace: who can work the works of God?
- Ask God to grant you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in God’s Word
- Pray that you will constantly experience the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
- Pray that God will give you compassion for the lost and the unsaved world
- Ask God to help you deepen your commitment to His work in your local church
- Pray for a better understanding of God’s will and divine purpose for your life
- Ask God to strengthen your heart and help you to remain faithful when challenges arise
- Pray that you will understand the personal authority given to you as a believer in Christ Jesus
Sermon delivered on July 11, 2021.