Is it Worth It?
I challenged Grace with the question several times on Sunday, “Is it worth it?” Is it worth it to pray to God? Is it worth it to serve the Lord? Is it worth it to sing to Him? Is it worth it to worship? Everyone reading this will say, “Sure, it is worth it.” Yet Israel made the statement and asked the question in Malachi 3:14, “You have said, `It is useless to serve God; What profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, And that we have walked as mourners before the LORD of hosts?” (Mal. 3:14 NKJ) Israel may not have said it, but their actions said, “It is useless to serve God.”
Israel said by words AND especially their actions that submission to God was not worth it. Job cited the pride of many regarding prayer, “Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? And what profit do we have if we pray to Him?” (Job 21:15 NKJ) David sang about the foolish one who said it was not worth it to submit to God’s authority. He wrote, “Who have said, “With our tongue we will prevail; Our lips are our own; Who is lord over us?”(Ps. 12:4 NKJ) Malachi admonished Israel’s cavalier attitude that pure sacrifices were not worth it. Malachi wrote, “You also say, `Oh, what a weariness!’ And you sneer at it,” says the LORD of hosts. “And you bring the stolen, the lame, and the sick; thus you bring an offering! Should I accept this from your hand?” says the LORD.” (Mal. 1:13 NKJ) Isaiah rebuked Israel for saying that godly fasting was not worth it, because Israel rather fasted for personal benefit,
<!–[if !supportLists]–>· <!–[endif]–>3 `Why have we fasted,’ they say, `and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’ “In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, and exploit all your laborers.
<!–[if !supportLists]–>· <!–[endif]–>4 Indeed you fast for strife and debate, and to strike with the fist of wickedness. You will not fast as you do this day, to make your voice heard on high.” (Isa 58:3-4 NKJ)
Jesus told the parable in which workers said God’s blessing to them was not worth it (because others received as much as they did), “And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner, saying, `These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’” (Matt. 20:11-12 NKJ) Jonah said life serving God was not worth it, because God was gracious and forgave Jonah’s enemies, the Assyrians. He angrily whined,
<!–[if !supportLists]–>· <!–[endif]–>But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry.
<!–[if !supportLists]–>· <!–[endif]–>2 So he prayed to the LORD, and said, “Ah, LORD, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm. (Jon. 4:1-2 NKJ)
Israel said many ways and many times, “It is useless to serve God.”
What do your actions say about whether there is spiritual profit in your life? Do your actions say it useless to serve God? Do you show the Lord that it is worth it to pray, besides for personal prayer requests? Is it worth it, according to your actions, to fast before the Lord? IF someone watched you, would they say you believe it is worth it to passionately sing to His praise? Is it worth it to anticipate and worship the Lord? Let us look at six of these matters.
First, is it worth it to pray? If you do not see answers to prayer and you do not see God, then is it really worth it to pray? James wrote,
- 13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.
- 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
- 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
- 16 Confess your trespasses1 to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
- 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.
- 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. (Jam. 5:13-18 NKJ)
Is it worth it to join a prayer meeting during the week or come to church 15 minutes early to join the prayer meeting on Sunday morning at 8:30 am? It matters that we pray.
Secondly, is it worth it to fast? Fasting is often considered as fasting from food, but fasting can be a number of things in order to spend the extra time on Bible study and prayer. Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23 NKJ) Denial of self is always worth it, so that greater time can be devoted to prayer and study in God’s Word. It matters that we deny ourselves.
Thirdly, is it worth it to worship as an assembly? Does it really matter if people gather. They can do a whole lot of things, instead of gathering with other people and who cares if one does not gather every week? Today, people are often tempted to stay home and “catch a service on the television,” as if that satisfies God. God is not pleased at all. The purposes of gathering with other believers is to worship the Lord and encourage other believers to love and good works,
- 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
- 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (Heb. 10:24-25 NKJ)
Are people so self-centered in their thinking that they go to church only to gain academic knowledge and see some friends? My beloved, weekly gathering is about active worship to the Lord and by your presence and words of encouragement to compel others to keep on assembling. It matters that we assemble.
Fourthly, is it worth it to sing in church? “We are just singing in the church. God is already glorified and I cannot add or take away anything from God,” some might think. People make all sorts of foolish excuses why they do not sing out loudly, like, “I can’t sing well,” “Other people like to sing, not me,” “It won’t make any difference if I don’t sing” and “I’m interested in the message.” God looks at singing as a sacrifice that He expects from His followers. The writer to Hebrews wrote, “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” (Heb. 13:15 NKJ) The weekly service encourages us to sing at least on one day of the week. It matters that we sing.
Fifthly, is it worth it to serve the Lord? This one is easier to understand. Scripture states that there are rewards and blessings for serving the Lord, but remember Israel asked this exact question in Malachi 3:14. Inaction from Christians today loudly proclaims that serving the Lord may not be their priority. Or they will serve where, when, or how they want to, but do not ask them to do something they are not comfortable doing. On the contrary, Hebrews 3:16 records, “But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” (Heb. 13:16 NKJ) God is well pleased with our service done in His name and in His power. It matters that we serve.
Sixthly, is it worth it to obey spiritual leaders? Really? Maybe some think, “Are the leaders not just in it for the job?” “They get public recognition, they get an opportunity to be out front. They get their way. Why cannot I have my way?” cry some Christians. Hebrews 13:17 mandates, “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. (Heb 13:17 NKJ) Obedience to spiritual leaders makes the local church an organism that grows and influences the community around it. Obedience is joining the ministry in that local church they have developed and blessed. Obedience is humbly looking for ways to carry out the momentum they have established in that church. Obedience and serving under the leaders helps them serve with joy in the midst of a flock of sheep. Lack of obedience is unprofitable to the members. It matters that we obey spiritual leaders.
The challenge is that over time, people forget how important each of these matters are. People become busy and distracted. People get sick and care for sick children. People deal with critical emergencies and often never get back on track and ask, by their actions, “Is it worth it?”
Is it worth it? You declare whether you believe it or not by your words and actions. God knows what you think either way. Let us rise up and declare the worth of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the Holy Spirit declare that nothing matters but worshiping Him and helping people become spiritual parents! We may not see tangible results right away from what we do for the Lord, but it matters that we do serve. God sees all things (Heb. 4:13). God is most glorified, when we serve without the expectation of results. The results are up to Him. He will choose to bless with tangible results that glorify Him. It is a joy to be His servant (Luke 17:7-10).