Pastoral Exhortation - Series of 2011

The Call To Serve The Lord

Written by Pr Dennis Kabingue Sunday, 16 January 2011

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A sad thing in the church is that a considerable number of worshippers are withdrawn from serving the Lord. It is shocking that this sin affects many. Why is it that God’s people are more committed to secular work than to the work of the Lord? Why is it that though they know they must lay up treasures in heaven, they amass for themselves treasures of this world, and thus waste their lives for a temporal and perishing world? Are they not aware that serving God is the best pursuit in this present life? Do they know that when one disengages himself from the work of the Lord, he endangers his soul’s well-being? Haven’t they heard concerning the Lord’s hatred against that unprofitable servant which He portrayed in the parable of the ten talents? (Matthew 25:14-30).

Dear reader, have you been serving the Lord? If you have been serving, how is your service to God? Are you giving your best to the Master? What have you done for Jesus? If you are lacking in your service to God, I pray that by the time you finish reading this exhortation taken from Psalm 100:2, the Lord will work in your heart that you may give yourself fully to do God’s assignment which He has given you. Yielding to serve the Lord is to be in the way of your own blessing.

Let us consider Psalm 100:2 which reads: “Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” This verse teaches us a very important lesson. The LORD GOD has called all His people to serve Him. This is the solemn decree from His Majesty. Nobody should take it lightly. It is sent out with all of God’s authority commanding all His people to obey. Whoever you may be, and wherever you may be, God commands you to serve Him.

No Christian can run away from the responsibility of serving his Master. Jonah tried but he failed. So we need to examine ourselves as to whether we have been trying to be a Jonah! We need to repent from it if we have been ‘Jonahs’. Otherwise, we have to face the Lord’s displeasure. We may run away from our brethren in the church, but we cannot run away from God. He knows how to catch up with us. He is all-wise and He never runs out of options in dealing with our disobedience. He will do something to awaken our conscience. It can be very disturbing to us. He may choose not to give peace in our hearts. The Lord knows what to do with us when we disobey Him. He can deal with us financially by cutting a hole in our bag that all that we have been working for would never be sufficient. “Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes” (Haggai 1:5-6). He can withhold grace at home so that instead of it being a little haven, it might become a war zone. The Bible says, “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:1-2). He may withhold protection from the invasion of deadly viruses and bacteria so that we find ourselves helpless. Even the modern medicine finds itself desperate to care for us against cancers and other terminal illnesses caused by those pestilences.

My brethren, we need to think right. Serving God is for our own good and eternal gain. Thus we must start serving Him. We are really missing the point if we remain aloof and snub the idea of working for the interests of God. Think about it carefully. The kingdom of God is far greater than the mighty empires of the world. His kingdom is a heavenly kingdom and it reigns forever! No outsider is allowed to take part in His ministry, no matter how promising and powerful such a man may be. In the kingdom of God, it is by invitation and not by application! Is it not a glorious thought to think that we are invited by the Supreme Monarch to join the ranks and be part of its glory and majesty? Is it not therefore a great privilege and a high honour? How many mighty ones are out there and yet have no chance to work for Him who is the King of kings and the Lord of lords?

So let us humble ourselves and obey God. Let us serve Him and seek His will as to which area of ministry in the church that God wants you to serve Him. We cannot be contented to be just an observer in the house of our God, for we are not strangers but joint heirs with His Son in His kingdom. Start praying for open doors and God will open your eyes where to serve Him.

As a way of testimony, when I came to Gethsemane in 2000, God placed a burden in my heart to serve. I did not know what I could do in the church. I was a “baby Christian” at that time, trying to pick up my life from the consequences of my sinful past. I felt strongly in my heart that I must help the brethren in whatever work there was for me in the church, no matter how small it is. So I prayed and kept praying for open doors. Soon, through the guidance of our beloved Pastor, I found myself serving God in the Teens' Ministry. I gave myself to that ministry which God has entrusted to me; and I began to learn to serve Him. I served Him to the best of my abilities in submission to the leaders of the church. To my great comfort and encouragement, the brethren in the church received me well. Though I was the only Filipino who was serving in those days, they did not regard me as an alien. They gave me a chance to love my Lord like the way they loved the Lord. It was a blessed and most exciting time for me. The more I served God, the more I grew in the knowledge of God. The more I knew Him, the more I serve Him.

As I continued to serve the Lord in Gethsemane, the burden to be of greater help increased. Soon God opened for me another area of service and that was to help in the audio ministry. It was another blessing. When I joined the church, the audio ministry was still using tapes. Having some knowledge of digital technology helped me to serve in this area. I helped the brethren in the audio ministry to change from the analogue technology to the latest technology. By God’s grace, I had the support of Pastor and the rest of the team. We mapped the layout for the new phase of the audio ministry in my home. Praise the Lord for another area of service and training!

Those were days of great excitement as the Lord was opening for me new frontiers of service. Finally, I end up serving as a bass singer in the Voices of Gethsemane. It was a great blessing, singing side by side with our church’s elder, Eld Alan Choy.

I thank God that I could serve Him. What an honour and privilege to be His servant! He invited me to serve Him. I never planned what to do or chose what I should do in Gethsemane. I just committed myself to serve Him and God took my hand and taught me how to serve Him - step by step, like a father who teaches his little one to walk.

Dear brethren, whatever it is that holds you back, put it aside. Those thoughts and concerns are not of God. They are sent by the devil to distract you. We may not be mighty, but He will strengthen us. What matters most is that we yield to God who wants us to serve Him. So step forward and serve he Lord with gladness!