God doesn’t just want part of us, but he wants us to be serving him 100% with our whole heart.
Psalm 138:1 I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.
God owns us whether we’re saved or not. It’s important to be sure our whole heart, mind, strength, and soul are given to God.
I Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost…and ye are not your own?
Jesus came to serve and gave his life as a ransom for us. He wants us to give our life to serve others, whatever our situation.
Mark 10:45 (Amplified Bible, Classic) For even the Son of Man came not to have service rendered to Him, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for ([a]instead of) many.
As a servant, we’re willing to give ourselves 100% and do whatever God asks. Servants meet the needs of others and put themselves in submission to others. Servants give themselves to work voluntarily. A slave doesn’t work voluntarily but is forced. Every slave is a servant, but not every servant is a slave. A Hebrew servant who was bought could go free at the end of 6 years. He could choose to not go but stay as a servant because he loved his master. His master would pierce his ear with an aul if he chose to stay a servant. We should all choose to serve because we love our master. We won’t go away but do as God says.
Exodus 21:2-6 If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself. And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: Then his master shall bring him…unto the door post; and…bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.
Servants are clothed with humility. We’re subject to God and others so there’s no contention, arguing, and fighting. Joseph was a slave who was a servant. He willingly did what Potiphar said. He wouldn’t do things to hinder or cause reproach (shame or disgrace) to Potiphar. He wouldn’t give into the wife who tried to entice him so was falsely accused and suffered going to prison. He wasn’t selfish but reliable and willing to sacrifice. If our opinions are contrary to God, we have to sacrifice them.
I Peter 5:5-7 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Servants are flexible and willing to adjust to situations. When Daniel and his friends were slave – servants, they were flexible to adjust to their situation. They were taken to a foreign land and had to learn another language. They didn’t resist or find fault. We’re in a pandemic that is controlling things, but we need to be flexible and adjust to whatever God asks. Some neighbors expressed their concern that people aren’t honoring Sunday to watch live online services. Some choose to watch whenever they wish or not at all. Are we flexible to adjust to changes and be watching live services as if we were in person? We need to watch the live services and be faithful as if we were attending in person services on Sunday morning, Wednesday evening, and Tuesday Bible study. If we’re not, there’s a problem. It shows we’re not fellowshipping with the body of Christ, but are being independent. To be servants, we’ll be where God wants us to be, doing what he wants, and not taking chances on our experience. Joseph was honest, trustworthy, had integrity, and didn’t have a double standard.
Stones in the ground need removed or people are offended and leave. God wants us to have good ground so our roots go deep and we’re not offended by the word or people. We need to have a servant mindset. The world has thorns and weeds in their ground. People zero in on cares of the world. God doesn’t want us meditating 24-7 on news but on good things. It doesn’t mean you can’t watch the news and know what’s going on, but not all the time. We need positive things like scriptures or songs going in our minds. Care of the world, the media’s news, and deceitfulness of riches chokes the word.
Matthew 13:21-22 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
Jesus wouldn’t have listened to the news 24-7. He didn’t get involved in political things, but was concerned with Father’s business. We need to be about Father’s business. Let God take care of all the other stuff. Our mind needs set on what God wants us to do – not be a servant for the world! God doesn’t want us to dwell on stuff in the world that won’t encourage or help us be a better testimony for him. He wants us to dwell on encouraging things. If we’re clothed with humility, we’ll cast all our cares on him, knowing he cares. If we’re not clothed with humility, we will be trying to carry our cares.
Luke 21:34-36 (Amplified Bible, Classic) But take heed to yourselves and be on your guard, lest your hearts be overburdened and depressed (weighed down) with the giddiness and headache and nausea of self-indulgence, drunkenness, and worldly worries and cares pertaining to [the business of] this life…that day come upon you suddenly like a trap or a noose; For it will come upon…the entire earth. Keep awake then and watch at all times [be discreet, attentive, and ready], praying that you may have the full strength and ability and be accounted worthy to escape all these…to stand in the presence of the Son of Man.
Amaziah did right but not with a perfect heart. God sent a prophet to say not to go to battle. Amaziah paid gold to hire soldiers. He asked the prophet what to do about the money. The prophet said God could give him more money and to let it go. Amaziah took the counsel but later went to battle because he wouldn’t listen to what God said through the prophet. Amaziah started out with an imperfect heart. People may come with a mindset to be obedient to what is said, but their heart is not fully set to do it. They’ll go back to the gods of this world after a while. God wants us to serve him whole heartedly.
II Chronicles 25:2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart.
II Chronicles 25:14-16 …after that Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods…of Seir …to be his gods…Wherefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against Amaziah, and he sent…a prophet, which said…Why hast thou sought…gods of the people, which could not deliver their own people out of thine hand?…king said unto him, Art thou made of the king’s counsel? forbear; why shouldest thou be smitten? Then the prophet…said, I know that God hath determined to destroy thee, because thou hast done this, and hast not hearkened unto my counsel.
Asa did what was right when he started. Asa cried to God and he destroyed the enemy of a million people who came to fight. The prophet told Asa as long as he sought the Lord, the Lord would be with him. If he forsook God, God would forsake him.
II Chronicles 14:2-4 And Asa did that which was good and right…For he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down the images…commanded Judah to seek the Lord…to do the law and the commandment.
II Chronicles 15:2 And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.
It’s the same today, we have to seek God and do right every day. When Asa sought God, God encouraged him.
II Chronicles 15:7 Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.
II Chronicles 15:12 And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord…with all their heart and with all their soul;
II Chronicles 15:15 And all Judah rejoiced at the oath: for they had sworn with all their heart, and sought him with their whole desire; and he was found of them: and the Lord gave them rest round about.
If we really seek God, we’ll find him and know what he wants us to do. We have to seek him every day, no matter how long we live. God gave the Israelites rest from their enemies for 35 years. In Asa’s 36th year as king, he decided on his own without praying to take treasure from the house of the Lord and make a league with Benhadad king of Syria.
II Chronicles 16:2-3…Asa brought…treasures of the house of the Lord…sent to Benhadad king of Syria…saying, There is a league between me and thee…I have sent thee silver and gold; go, break thy league with Baasha…that he may depart from me.
God wants to show himself strong for us, but we need to have a perfect heart and do what he wants.
II Chronicles 16:7-9…Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the Lord…the king of Syria escaped …Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge host…? yet, because thou didst rely on the Lord, he delivered them into thine hand. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.
Asa’s spirit changed so he wanted to make decisions without seeking God. He was proud and half hearted about serving God. We can’t allow ourselves to be half hearted, no matter how long the virus situation lasts. If we’re unwilling to serve the Lord with joyfulness and gladness of heart, we’ll be under the curse. God has abundantly blessed, supplied all our needs, and been with us through all the hard places. He wants us to serve him with gladness and joyful hearts. Unless we’re 100% submitted to God, we won’t be able to do it. We must have ourselves, family, work, and everything on the altar. Daniel knew the king signed the decree and he gave thanks for all God had done. He didn’t complain about the ruling or tell God all about it.
Deuteronomy 28:45-47 Moreover all these curses shall come…and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto…thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes…And they shall be upon thee for a sign… Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things;
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)