He does not need our service?

I grew up in church and have been used to serving God in church. I have seen my family serve in church, and even my friends. But without really having a relationship with Jesus Christ, eventually serving in church will feel like an obligation rather than having joy in the heart. This happens when we serve God for the wrong reasons. This happens when we think God needs our service, because the reality is God doesn’t really need our service. Paul was very clear when he said in Acts 17:24-25

ian-chen-522662-unsplash 24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things.

 

Sometimes we feel God needs us. Sometimes we think that he needs us for his kingdom to expand and grow. But that is far from the truth! God’s word will never return to Him empty, it will accomplish its purpose even without you. God does not need you.

But if God does not need my service, then why is he commanding us to serve?

There can be a lot of answers to this question, but Psalm 50:8-14 gives us a good picture of why we are to serve and what God wants from us.

8 “I do not reprove you for your sacrifices,

And your burnt offerings are continually before Me.

9 “I shall take no young bull out of your house

Nor male goats out of your folds.

10 “For every beast of the forest is Mine,

The cattle on a thousand hills.

11 “I know every bird of the mountains,

And everything that moves in the field is Mine.

12 “If I were hungry I would not tell you,

For the world is Mine, and all it contains.

13 “Shall I eat the flesh of bulls

Or drink the blood of male goats?

14 “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving

And pay your vows to the Most High;

What God wants from us is to serve him from a thankful heart. We are to serve God not because He needs us. We are to serve God because we know what He has done for us. Our service should be because we want to worship him – it comes from a thankful heart.

I hope this gently reminds those who serve in any ministry that, before you do what you need to do, you ask yourself first “Why am I doing this?” Are you serving Him because you love Him? Or are you serving Him because you are becoming proud thinking the ministry won’t survive without you?

Remember, God opposes the proud but gives grace to humble. May we always live a life of humility as we serve our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory forever – not us.

 

 

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Take heart. Wait Upon The Lord.

If we’ve come to really know God and believe in Him, we know that he is sovereign. Everything that is happening in our life is under his control and authority. Thus when bad things happen to us, often the first person that we blame and even complain to is God.

As I read Isaiah 40:27 this is the same scenario that I see.

Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel,

“My way is hidden from the Lord,

And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”?

Isn’t this what we feel at times? We complain and ask God why he allowed this plight in our life. We ask God for justice for people who have deliberately wronged us. We sometimes feel that the Lord does not care or does not notice us in times of trouble and pain.

But be encouraged, after verse 27 God encourages us by revealing to us his heart and power.

Isaiah 40:28

Do you not know? Have you not heard?

The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth

Does not become weary or tired.

His understanding is inscrutable.

If ever you thought God did not notice you because he was tired or had other things to do. Take heart, he is always at work and he never gets tired. No one may really be able to understand how he works but surely, he knows what we are going through

Isaiah 40:29-31

He gives strength to the weary,

And to him who lacks might He increases power.

Though youths grow weary and tired,

And vigorous young men stumble badly,

Yet those who wait for the Lord

Will gain new strength;

They will mount up with wings like eagles,

They will run and not get tired,

They will walk and not become weary.

Take heart, even though you are very discouraged and tired. The Lord can give you strength. The strength comes from our hope and faith as we wait for his help. That’s why in times of discouragement you should not be complaining but instead, you should be exercising your faith to believe and wait in the Lord.

And as we wait in the Lord, the promise is we will have strength, we will run and not get tired, we will walk and not become weary.

I know during times of disappointment, trouble, and pain it’s hard to walk and stand up, but take heart, my dear brother and sister. We need to believe in God and wait upon him. We need to believe that in everything God can work out all things for good because He is a good God.

I hope this message brings you hope. It is hope and faith in the Lord that can cause us to fight the good fight. May we always stand firm and wait upon His deliverance.

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Our God who allows the good and the bad

If you think God is just a God who allows good you are wrong. God is a God who allows calamity as well.

Isaiah 45:7

The One forming light and creating darkness,

Causing well-being and creating calamity;

I am the Lord who does all these.

 

I know people always question, how can a good God allow calamity or evil. Numerous answers have been given. I for one particularly like what Ravi Zacharias said in one video.

Yes, this is a hard question to answer and who are we to really question God’s ways. But there is one thing that I know, even though God permits calamity, distress or evil in this world, He can always turn it for our good. So even with the bad that we think is happening in our lives, in God’s eyes, it is actually good because He can turn it for our good.

Singles Retreat 2018 Group PicI remember the past retreat that has just passed. I have been organizing retreats for years and by far, Singles’ Escapade has been the biggest one yet. When we started planning for this retreat we were only expecting 250-300 participants. A month before the retreat, a surge of registrants entered. For the first time, we had to close the registration two weeks prior to the event. We closed our registration at 397 and some people were still asking if they can join the retreat. Some problems are bad, and some are good, and this is definitely one good problem to have.

Then we started to think, how will we be able to accommodate all of these participants. We checked the venue, added an additional bus and even bought more materials. In the end, God delivered us, and we were able to serve 393 participants during the retreat.

Even during the retreat, I encountered so many setbacks and concerns:

  • We encountered a brownout during the second session
  • Only one shuttle was provided during checkout when it should have been four
  • There were so many concerns with the participants’ room
  • Food portioning was so small
  • The volume of our own speakers was not enough
  • The temperature of aircon in the hall cannot be adjusted

When all of these things happened the only thing that I can do is pray. Plus, I remembered what God showed me in Isaiah 45:7, “The Lord causes the good and the bad – well-being and calamity.”

It was then that I just started to really trust God. Yes, it is God who allows the good and the bad because he wants us to know that nothing is beyond His control. Even if it looks like everything is already bleak and hopeless, God is still in control and can do the impossible.

122 BaptizedIndeed, that is what I saw. Despite the many issues that we encountered during the retreat. God still worked mightily, and His word did not return to Him empty. The brownout did not stop the word of God from convicting people of their sin. The issues with the participants’ room cannot hinder God’s plan. And even if the volume of the speakers was not loud enough, God’s love through Jesus spoke so much volume that 121 people declared their faith in Him and were baptized.

Who can really thwart God’s plan? Man is just an instrument used by God for His glory. The bad that we encountered during the retreat was used for good. Truly God is good no matter the circumstance.

I know sometimes we view God based on our circumstances but remember, who God is according to His word and not according to our own circumstances. Not matter if we are experiencing something bad, God is always good and he can turn our situation around for our good.

I hope this gives you encouragement to just trust God and see Him work in your life. If there’s anything that encouraged you in this post, leave a comment below and I would love to hear from you. May the Lord strengthen and establish you. God bless!

1 Peter 5:10-11

10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 11 To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.

 

 

 

 

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