SERVE THE LORD THY GOD
Fair Avenue Baptist Church
Sunday Morning Sermon
February 1, 1998
“And now, Israel, what doth the Lord require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to SERVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART AND WITH ALL THY SOUL.”
Notice three key words in this passage:
work - to DO work
make oneself a servant
to serve in a religious sense
HEART inner man
determination of the will
conscience, courage, spirit
seat of feeling
activity of the will
activity of the character
Serve the Lord thy God,
Labor for the Lord thy God,
Work for the Lord thy God,
Make yourself a servant for the Lord thy God.
Serve the Lord thy God with all the inner man,
Labor for the Lord thy God with all thy understanding,
Work for the Lord thy God will all thy thought,
Make yourself a servant for the Lord thy God with all thy resolution.
Are you with me on this?
Serve the Lord thy God will all thy
determination of your will,
Labor for the Lord thy God with all your
Hebrews 9:14, “...purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.”
Work for the Lord thy God with all your courage,
Make yourself a servant for the Lord thy God with all your spirit.
Are we serving the Lord?
Are we laboring for the Lord?
Are we working for the Lord?
Are we making ourselves servants for the Lord?
... with all our inner self,
... with all our understanding,
... with all our insight,
... with all our thinking,
... with all our thought,
... with all our resolution,
... with all our determination,
... with all our conscience,
... with all our courage,
... with all our spirit
IS THAT WHAT WE ARE DOING?
If so, then why are we missing so many
opportunities to do something for the Lord?
I’m afraid some people will have to come to the conclusion that the Christian life is more than they bargained for.
But that’s not all -
The Word of God says, “with all thy heart AND with all thy soul.”
Serve the Lord thy God will all thy heart,
and with all thy being,
with all thy desire,
with all thy emotion,
with all thy passion,
with all thy activity of the will,
with all thy activity of the character.
LABOR for the Lord thy God with ALL thy
desire ... is our desire to serve the Lord?
WORK for the Lord thy God with ALL thy
Make yourself a servant for the Lord thy God with all thy passion,
all my desire,
all my emotion,
all my passion.
I can hear someone thinking to themselves, “I ain’t ever heard this before. This thing of the Christian life is more serious and more work than I ever realized.”
What is your desire?
What is your passion?
I think of Brian Stover. Up until about a year ago his desire and passion was to rebuild that old Chevy pickup. It took up his time and all his spare money. (now he doesn't have any)
But praise the Lord he got saved. Now his desire and passion is to serve the Lord. That old pickup is just sitting there wondering what
happened to all that desire and passion.
Now, Brian, you better watch out. The devil is not happy you got saved and he is going to do anything and everything to get you out of church. He will do anything and everything to get you to lost your desire to serve the Lord with a lot of desire and emotion.
What is your desire?
What is your passion?
Do you remember when your desire was here, all the time, for everything?
What does your will want to do?
What does your inner being want to do?
What does your character want to do?
Serve the Lord,
Work for the Lord,
Labor for the Lord,
Make yourself a servant.
Back to our text in Deut. 10:12 and notice the word “REQUIRE.”
REQUIRE means “to be given on request, to grant on request.”
Here is what God REQUIRES...
Here is what God wants to be given on request,
Here is what God wants to be granted on
It is not an option,
It is not a suggestion,
It is a requirement!
He wants us to serve Him,
with all our heart,
and with all our soul.
He wants us to serve Him with all our:
understanding and insight,
and with all our desire and emotion.
He wants us to labor for Him with all our:
resolution and determination,
and with all our passion and will.
He wants us to work for Him with all our:
conscience, courage and spirit,
and with all our being and character.
I have to believe that means more than just
coming to church and sitting.
I have to believe that just coming to church and putting in a tithe is not what the Lord had in mind when He gave us this passage of Scripture.
I'm afraid our idea of serving the Lord is just a little different from God's idea.
Does it sound like just coming to church and basically doing nothing is serving the Lord with all our heart and with all our soul?
Notice also that VERSE 12 ends with a comma and not a period.
VERSE 13, “To keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes which I command thee this day for thy good?”
How good are we at keeping the commandments and statutes of the Lord?
Let me once again remind everyone that our service and labor and work for the Lord has nothing to do with our salvation.
We shouldn’t do good works to try and get saved or try to stay saved, we should do good works because we are saved.
I John 2:3, “And hereby do we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.”
One way we know we know Him,
One way we know we know Him,
One way we know we know Him,
Our Lord and Saviour,
IS IF WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS!
V. 4 deals with the issue of the 90’s, “He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His
commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
Are we liars?
Then why do we SAY we know Him and yet we completely ignore so many commands of our Lord?
V. 6, “He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”
He that SAITH ...
OUGHT himself also so to walk.
I John 3:24, “And he that keepeth his
commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us.”
What God requires,
What God wants on request,
What God wants to be granted on request,
Is that we serve Him,
Is that we labor for Him,
Is that we work for Him,
With all our heart,
With all our understanding,
With all our resolution,
With all our determination,
With all our conscience,
With all our courage,
With all our soul,
With all our desire,
With all our passion,
With all our will
to keep His commandments and statutes.
Because we love Him,
Because we say we love Him,
Because we want to walk like Him,
Because He dwells in us.
I John 5:3, “For this is the love of God that we keep His commandments: and His
commandments are not grievous.”
For this is the love of God,
That we keep His commandments,
AND His commandments are not grievous.
GRIEVOUS means “burdensome, severe.”
Why is it that this judgment of God,
This statute of God,
This principle of God’s Word,
This Bible teaching,
This matter of women wearing the right kind of clothes is so grievous?
If we love Him like we say we love Him,
then keeping His commandments should never be a problem,
and His commandments should never be
burdensome and severe.
A statute is something prescribed by God to set a limit, a boundary.
Why do farmers and ranchers put up fences for their cattle? It is a boundary to PROTECT the cattle and horses. The fence protects them from wandering off and getting hurt. The fence keeps them near the protection of the owner. The fence is a protection, not a burden.
But we don’t like boundaries,
We don’t like limits,
We don’t like being told what to do,
By the Lord or anyone else.
We don’t like to serve the Lord,
We don’t like to work for the Lord,
We don’t like to labor for the Lord.
And most Christians today certainly do not want to do anything for the Lord with all our heart and with all our soul.
Scripture sure can get tough, can’t it?
Back to Deut. 10:15, “Only the Lord had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he CHOSE their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day.”
John 15:16, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have CHOSEN you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit...”
God loved us,
He chose us.
He loved us and chose us to serve Him,
WITH ALL OUR HEART,
AND WITH ALL OUR SOUL.
He loved us and chose us to keep Him
commandments and keep His statutes.
But we don’t always do like He wants us to do and neither did the children of Israel.
Deut. 10:16, “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.”
Be no more stiffnecked,
Remove the foreskin of rebellion from your heart!
We know what is right,
We know what is wrong,
Let’s just do right.
Deut. 10:20, “Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God: him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.”
Fear the Lord,
Serve the Lord,
Cleave to the Lord.
But let’s be honest.
We are falling a little short.
Do we really fear the Lord? I mean, do we really fear the Lord?
Are we really serving the Lord? I mean, are we really serving the Lord?
Are we cleaving to Him?
“Well, Preacher, I do love the Lord.”
I didn’t ask if you loved the Lord.
My question was, “Are you SERVING the Lord as defined by the Word of God?”
I guess it all boils down to our definition of serve, our definition of serving the Lord with all our heart and with all our soul.
NOW, if your definition of serving the Lord your God with all your heart and soul means:
coming to church about 75% of the time,
tithing about 75% of the time,
giving a few dollars a month to missions,
keeping the nursery once or twice a month,
THEN I guess you are serving the Lord.
But with your definition it makes tithing work and labor.
With your definition, coming to church is work and labor.
I guess that is why you don’t enjoy church, it is too much work and labor.
I’m sorry, but I don’t get the impression from Scripture that tithing and coming to church is labor and work.
Teaching a Sunday School class is work,
Studying for the lesson is work,
Visiting the class and prospects is work,
and it is serving the Lord.
Working a bus route,
Visiting and inviting people to church,
Passing out gospel tracts,
Those things are work and are serving the Lord.
I just don’t see coming to church about 75% of the time, and giving tithes and offerings, and keeping the nursery from time to time as serving the Lord with ALL YOUR HEART AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL.
Yes, it is serving,
But surely you don’t believe that it is serving the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul.
Surely, serving the Lord with all my heart and all my soul means more than a 50-60% faithfulness to my church.
Here are the attendance percentages from the month of December 1997 for most of the men of Fair Avenue Baptist Church:
4% 11% 31% 77% 74% 93% 79%
62% 12% 80% 8% 30% 23% 62%
72% 58% 69% 40% 82% 50% 100%
5 out of 23 men are here for services 80% of the time; meaning that less than one in four men are here 80% of the time.
7 out of 23 men are here for church 75% meaning that about one-third of our men are here three out of four times.
The reality is that a majority of the men in our church are here only about three services out of four.
We can’t do it at work,
You can’t expect to keep a job if you show up only 75% of the time.
We can’t do it at school,
Kids can’t make the grade going to school only 75% of the time.
We can’t do it with any activity or function,
but we want to do it for God’s house.
That doesn’t make sense!
I don’t believe that a church with nearly three-fourths of the men being faithful less than three-fourths of the time is a church that is serving the Lord with all our heart and with all our soul.
I believe that the Bible teaches that serving the Lord with ALL my heart and with ALL my soul means going out into the highways and hedges and inviting people to Christ.
Luke 14:23, “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”
Serve means “make oneself a servant.”
And Luke 14:23 said the Lord said unto the servant, “GO.”
Are we going?
OR are we just sitting?
Joshua 22:5, “...serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Joshua 24:14, “Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth...”
I Sam. 12:24, “Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart...”