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.

 

 

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.

Blessed are the Pure in Heart

More than a month ago we went to Baguio. It was fun as we enjoyed the weather and buying vegetables. For those who haven’t been to Baguio vegetables, coffee beans, honey, ube jam, honey, etc. are very cheap there. And when we were looking for honey we wanted to ensure we buy pure honey since there are those who sell honey with a mixture of sugar. This is fake and not beneficial to the body.

I know as consumers we want to buy the purest of foods. We want to eat what is unadulterated and free of any contaminants. But did you know, just like how we desire purity in the food that we eat, God also desires purity – He desires a pure heart.

Matthew 5:8

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

Matthew 5:8 is part of the Jesus’ sermon on the mount called The Beatitudes. From verse 3 to 11 in that chapter, each verse starts with “Blessed.” These are promises from God with a condition. The word “Blessed” simply means happiness – true happiness in its purest form. Not the type of happiness that the world offers, a happiness based on happenings and temporary. And verse 8 tells us that if you want to be happy you need to be pure in heart to be able to see God.

Now let’s look at the condition first. The condition is you need to be pure in heart. What does it mean to be pure in heart? A pure heart is a heart that is free from corrupt desires. Now that’s really not easy to have, right? Some of you may even be thinking that is totally impossible. We know we are sinners. We know we have a heart that is deceitful and wicked. So how can we have a pure heart?

Firstly, a pure heart is possible only through Jesus. Truly on our own, we cannot create a pure heart in us. It is Jesus who takes our heart of stone and turns it to a heart of flesh. Psalmist understood this that’s why he said in Psalms

 Psalm 51:10

Create in me a clean heart, O God,

And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

It is only through Jesus that we can have a pure heart. A heart that is cleansed of our sin, through our faith in Him, because of His death on the cross. It is his blood that washes away our sins and guilt. That’s why when we place our faith in Jesus, to confess our sin and believe on his death on the cross, positionally we now have the pure heart and since we now have the pure heart we should show that in our actions. We should now aim to progressively live with a pure heart.

To live with a pure heart is to daily desire to please God in everything that you do. It means having the purest of motives to glorify him in your work, ministry and daily encounter with people. It means a life that constantly battles sin and says no to sin. It does not mean perfection but progression. The beauty of having a pure heart because of our faith in Jesus, is that if even there is a moment that we have sinned and somehow tainted our heart, there is always forgiveness (1 John 1:9) and we can stand up and try walking in purity once more. Progressive purity is simply purifying your heart of evil desires that will displease God because you want your heart to be solely for him alone – pure.

And then, what is the promise once we have a pure heart? We will be blessed because we will see God. Does that mean that literally we will see God? No, it does not literally mean that we will see God. It means to see God in your mind and heart that you get a glimpse of who He is. To see God is to somehow to be so close to him that you now know Him and understand his heart. Truly there is no greater joy than to know God and be close to Him.

The beauty of being pure in heart is not only seeing God and knowing Him but it is to know that when people look at us they will also see God in us because we act according to how He wants us to act. That in itself is already a big reason to say truly I am blessed and happy because I am able to bless others through my life.

 Just some questions that you may want to think about:

  • When you check your heart, is it pure? Or it is divided and not single-minded for Christ?
  • What are things that keep you from giving your whole devotion and heart to God?
  • Do you find your happiness in other things other than God?
  • Is not seeing and knowing God a good enough reason for you to live with a pure heart?

I pray that we will all live with a pure heart – to obey, fix our eyes on Jesus alone and live the purest of motive to only please Him. May you apply this in your heart that together, we will be blessed as we see and experience God in our life. God bless you!