Evangelism

By Barr. E.T.C. Ogbusu, KSC SOMETHING FOR THE LORD!

“IF YOU KNOW THE LORD HAS BLESSED YOU, DO SOMETHING FOR THE LORD”. This is what you are most likely to hear each time a priest or lay conductor finishes preaching or conducting a church service. When they say so, what they mean is that you should clap for the Lord, and people must clap! I have no serious problem with that.

In this article, all I want to do is show us that it is not only when the Lord has blessed you that you can do something for the Lord. You can do something for the Lord so that He can bless you.

Again, clapping, which some “somehow priests” now call “clap offering” is good but is not, and cannot be, the only thing you can do for the Lord. What you can do for the Lord are, indeed, many!

Firstly, you must “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”. The Bible says that this is the first and greatest commandment (Mt.22:37-38). It follows, therefore, that if you clap from today till tomorrow, from River Niger to River Nile, without love for God, the effort is good but regrettably futile.

Secondly, you must obey His Commandments, bearing in mind always that obedience is better than sacrifice. This means you have to obey them to the last letters, without a choice as to which one to obey and which one not to obey or vary.

Thirdly, we must fear and respect the Lord. In everything you do, you must do it with the fear of the Lord, respecting Him for who He is, what He is and what He is capable of doing, particularly remembering that He is a consuming fire who can render a whole city or nation desolate in His anger.

It follows again that if you clap without ceasing but without obedience to the Lord, without fear of Him and without respect for Him, you will have laboured in vain.

Our God is a DOING-God. There is nothing He is not prepared to do for us. He gives us life and sustains it. He delivers us every day from the traps of the evil ones. He makes us sleep everyday and wake up the next day, refreshed to continue living. He makes the pregnant woman deliver in peace or safely. He provides for us and heals our diseases. He answers us, even before we call Him. Most importantly, He gave us His only begotten Son to die for the remission of our sins, and so that whoever believes in him may not die but have eternal life (John 3:16). What else does He not do for us, and has He not done for us?

Unfortunately, many of us still have this deceptive mentality that it is only when He blesses us that we shall do something for him. We seem to forget that any day we wake up from sleep is a blessed day from God to us. Do not mind that some people, because of hardship, claim that they do not know whether they are alive or dead.

Actually, we should do something for the Lord always because the things we do for the Lord are like planting during farming season. We reap the benefits during harvest time. All we need do is plant and keep on planting. Unfortunately, many people plant for themselves, not for God!

Many people have, indeed, disappointed God by the things they do or fail to do, or the things they say or fail to say. For instance, it is of common knowledge that power, authority and promotion come from God. When God gives you any of these, He does so for a purpose, particularly for making His world better. But when you go out there and suddenly become a tyrant or kleptomaniac, you have disappointed God.

People have even abused talents and therefore, have disappointed God. For instance, the church choir stalls have continued to be near empty, despite the fact that God blessed a lot of people with good voices. Some use the voices, He has given them to sing and glorify Satan. This would be painful to God.

It will also pain God if a boxer goes up and down the streets to beat people. It is a wrong exercise of the strength God has given hi. So also will it pain God’s heart when a rich man uses his wealth, given to him by God, to oppress the poor.

We can sing for Him in the church with the good voices He has given us. We can serve Him with the hands and legs He has given us by going for Him whenever the need arises. I suppose that this is the whole idea behind the lyrics of that all-time beautiful hymn, TAKE MY LIFE, AND LET IT BE (A&M 361).

A calm look through that hymn will readily reveal that there are many things we can do for the Lord. It shows we can praise Him, go for Him, confess Him and evangelize for Him. It also shows that we can make ourselves available for God’s use, surrender ourselves totally to Him, live pure and holy lives for Him and follow Him without looking or turning back. It shows that we can do things, physically or spiritually, for the Lord. For instance, when you leave your house every Saturday or Sunday to clean and decorate the house of God, you are doing something for the Lord using your hands and feet.

Again, when you take time to tell people about Him, you are using your intellect to evangelize for the Lord. This way, you are saving souls for God and increasing His kingdom, as well as depopulating hell or Satan’s kingdom. Remember, He has enjoined us to go into all corners of the world and make disciples of all nations (Mt.28:19;Mk.16:15).

There are, indeed, so many things we can do for the Lord. We can build for the Lord or contribute in building for the Lord. Unfortunately, most houses of God today are neglected while we are busy building mansions for ourselves. Many of us are even not ashamed to go into those neglected churches to call upon the name of the Lord and ask for His blessings.

David frowned that he lived in a house of cedar while the ark of the Lord was under a tent (1 Chr.17:1). When he eventually prepared for the house of the Lord, he planned for a house of “great magnificence, fame and splendor in the sight of all the nations” (1 Ch.22:5). How many of us today care for how the house of God is?

The children of Israel under Nehemiah agreed and sealed it that they would never neglect the house of the Lord (Ne.10:39). When it seemed they were neglecting it, Nehemiah asked them, “Why is the house of God neglected?” (Ne. 13:11). The Bible testifies that after Nehemiah asked that question, “All Judah brought the tithes of grain, new wine and oil into the store-rooms” (Ne.13:12).

How many of us today care so much about what comes into the store-rooms? How many of us would not, like Cain, bring sick fowls, over-ripe fruits and decaying yams into the store-rooms of the Lord? Many care more for what they will take from the store-rooms than what they will put into them. That is why some of us put their pilfering hands into the church’s treasury and cause trouble in the church when they are not given chance to do so.

You can also do something for the Lord by investing in human beings. Firstly, children are very important to God (Mt. 18:1-8; Mt. 19:13-15). So, one child you help to bring up in the ways of the Lord is something done for the Lord. It is for this reason that I put in a word of thanks and encouragement to all those who are involved in the children’s ministry, for example, the Anglican Children’s Ministry. The work you are doing for God shall not go unrewarded.

Again, little kindness shown to the needy in the society, not necessarily your relations, is something done for the Lord. The clothe you give to the naked, the water you give to the thirsty and the food you give to the hungry are all things done for the Lord (Mt. 25:35-40).

The harvest is plenty but the labourers are few. Therefore, do not harden your heart when you hear the clarion call to do something for the Lord. Isaiah heard it when it was asked, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” and he did not harden his heart. He said, “Here am I! Send me” (Isa.6:8). Are you going to say, like Isaiah said, “Here am I! Send me” or are you going to look the other way until another person responds?

Do you know that the truth you say out there can save someone’s life or property? Do you know that when you save someone’s life or property, that is one life saved for God, particularly, if what you have done causes that one to appreciate the goodness of the Lord and praise Him?

You must do something for the Lord. Clap if you have to clap, and clap always! Sing if you have to sing, and sing always! Give to the work of the Lord, and give always. If you do not have what to give, God knows it. But you have to encourage others to give, and not be a Sanballat or a Tobiah! Appreciate those who give!

Whatever you chose to do for the Lord, do it cheerfully, not grudgingly. Do whatever you do for the Lord with deep sense of gratitude for His goodness and mercy. This is because He first gave to you and would not restrain His hands from giving to you!

No matter the condition you find yourself, there is always something you can do for the Lord. You may not have the hands to clap for the Lord. But if you have the mouth, you can use that mouth to sing for Him and to tell people of Him goodness. If you do not have money to sponsor the work of God, you can contribute your talent and service.

What are you going to do for the Lord? What have you done for Him of recent? You may have clapped or sang for Him quite alright. You may have donated church buildings or vehicles to the church. It is possible you built, furnished and presented the parsonage to your church. It is possible that you pay the highest in your church stewardship or is in every Committee in the church. One thing is certain! If you do all these but have not given yourself to God, in the sense of accepting Christ as your Lord, Master and personal Saviour, then be sure that what you are doing will not justify you in the end.

In the final analysis, therefore, I call on all of us, brethren, to give and surrender our lives entirely to God through Christ. This is the highest and most rewarding thing we can do for Him.

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