Would you open a bank account and begin making withdrawals without making any deposits? Would you blame the bank for your problem, then switch to another banks every time your bank account reached a zero balance? James and John had problems with their role in proclaiming the good news. (Mark 10:35-45) They thought they were the best workers Jesus had, so on this day, they decided to ask Jesus if they could sit by his side in Glory. Our work for God is not for the purpose of improving our position with God. We are to work so that God gets the glory, not us. If you are looking for a church where you can improve you position before God by being an ideal church member, you are not going to find one. When you accept Christ as your savior, you cannot find a better position! You have been adopted by God and become his heir! Here is what Jesus told James and John in Mark 10.
41 When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. 42 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:41-45(NIV)
You see, if you want to be great in God’s Kingdom, you need to become a servant and a slave. You need to sacrifice your life so God can use you as a servant. Sunday morning church service is not about getting something for yourself, it is a meeting of God’s servants! Purpose of a Church Here is what should happen in church. Church is about giving of yourself. Here are eight things you can give in church.
- Give Glory and praise to God.
Ephesians 1:3(NIV) Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Revelation 4:9-11(NIV) Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: 11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” Revelation 14:6-7(NIV) Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. 7 He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” 2 Corinthians 9:13-14(NIV) 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you.
- Give Encouragement to other believers
I Thessalonians 5:11(NIV), Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. Romans 1:11-12(NIV) I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. Eph. 6:22(NIV) I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you. Colossian 2:2-3(NIV) My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Titus 1:9(NIV) He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. Titus 2:6(NIV) Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. Titus 2:15(NIV) These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
3. Give Time.
Acts 15:33(NIV) After spending some time there,(at the church at Antioch) they were sent off by the believers with the blessing of peace to return to those who had sent them. Acts 26:29(NIV) Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these. chains.” 1 Peter 4:2(NIV) As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God
4. Give service. (Matthew 4:10 and Luke 4:8 both record Jesus quoting from Deuteronomy 6:13 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’)
Ephesians 6:7(NIV) 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, Joshua 24:15(NIV) But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Acts 20:19(NIV) 19 I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing by the plots of my Jewish opponents. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6(NIV) There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
- Give tithe/offering/gifts
Malachi 3:10(NIV) Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. Luke 21:2-4(NIV) He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Matthew 14:19-20(NIV) 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, …
- Give Your burdens
Matthew 11:28(NIV) “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Galatians 6:2(NIV) Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Hebrews 13:17(NIV) Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.
7. Give your Mouth –
Ephesians 4:29 (NIV) Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Psalm 66:16-20(NIV) Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! Psalm 109:30(NIV) With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord; in the great throng of worshipers I will praise him. Romans 10:8-10(NIV) But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
8. Give Your Love –
Matthew 5:43-48(NIV) “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. 2 Corinthians 8:23-24(NIV) As for Titus, he is my partner and co-worker among you; as for our brothers, they are representatives of the churches and an honor to Christ. Therefore show these men the proof of your love and the reason for our pride in you, so that the churches can see it. Ephesians. 4:15-16(NIV) Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. 1 Thessalonians 4:10(NIV) And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more,…
Results of your giving. 1. Become one with the Father
John 10:16(NIV) I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. John 12:20-23(NIV) “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
- Become one with the body
Romans 12:4-5(NIV) For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Ephesians 4:11-13(NIV) So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Perhaps the reason it is so difficult for us to find a church that you “get something out of”, is because our account is “overdrawn”? What better time is there than now to begin making deposits in church, God’s body of believers.