Then King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will surely buy it for the full price, for I will not take what is yours for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings with that which costs me nothing.”~1 Chronicles 21:24
Then the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which costs me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.~2 Samuel 24:24
It should cost us something in order to worship God properly. We should always strive to do our absolute best in all we do, even those tasks we hold absolute disdain towards! Because it is a task that God desires us to do, as it will be the preparation for something much bigger!
Think about this for just a little bit…
When we do something for God, anything, it should cost us something, don’t you think? After all, we are to emulate Christ as part of our purpose in this life of ours, but look at what it cost Jesus to follow His Father’s desire and command? It cost Him his life, His human life, in order to placed upon a cross, be crucified as a common thief – and between two thieves, to-boot!
Even though, Jesus was the final sacrifice for all of mankind…He took on all of mankind’s sin and guilt upon himself in order to be that final sacrifice. To be seen as a common thief, to be separated from God because of all that sin, as it was written in the Bible:
But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
And your sins have hidden His face from you,
So that He will not hear. ~Isaiah 59:2
Whether in actuality or in reality, imagine it…that our God and Creator turned His back upon His one and only Son because He was full of sin, just so we could be acceptable to God:
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. ~2 Corinthians 5:21
It is a rather difficult idea, or concept, to truly grasp a hold of…isn’t it? But it is because of this ideology that we must ensure that what we do for God is done at a cost to ourselves. Because God has done so much for us. If we truly accept our full sonship to, and adoption by, Our God and Father in heaven…everything we do for Him, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit will cost us. Out of obligation, out of love, and out of honor & respect! We have an obligation to do everything that we do in order to bring the glory to God, showing Him that He is, in fact, everything to us!
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. ~1 Corinthians 10:31
I recently read and reviewed the book “RAISE YOUR LINE” by Robert Stevenson. An excellent book on the basics of raising one’s own line…that line in the sand you make upon, or to give a challenge (primarily to one’s own self.) Raising the bar in order to raise your self-esteem, control, or power over yourself. In either case, should we no do all that we can to do the best we possibly can…regardless of the circumstances? Once we gave our lives to Christ, we also said we would emulate Him in the very best way possible. We are obligated to do so and as children (adopted into sonship) of the Most High God, the only way we can show ourselves as His son or daughter is by emulating Jesus. The only way we can do such a thing is to read, comprehend, and understand all that His Son had done, believe the words written about Him, and then copy those same actions by living those very same word and actions in our lives. James said it best, the half-brother of Our Lord, Jesus:
Are we saved by our faith, no that is not what the bible teaches; however, once we have learned the word it is our works & actions that give credence to our faith. The old adage rings true, in this respect:
Actions speak louder than words!
Also, it is through our actions and by our works that others can tell we have truly changed for the better, or the worse. Consider this for a moment, when you turned your life over to Jesus:
- Did you decide to give Him YOUR best or worst?
- Have you been giving YOUR first-fruits, or YOUR leftovers to the church?
- Did you promise to give YOUR whole life over to God, or only part of YOUR life when it was convenient?
I believe you get the point…and do not take this as a personal affront to your character as everyone has struggled with this dilemma at some point in time in their lives.
Remember this that God blesses us daily with life, life anew! A new start to change our bad habits, improper conduct, etc. Will God bless you because you are giving your best? Yes and No. Yes, because you will…if it be His will, grant you another day to make necessary changes or do good as He wills it. No, because He is not in the habit of bribing anyone to do what is right and just in His sight! Remember what happened in the Book of Daniel:
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” ~Daniel 3:16-18
Look at what they said to the king, “…But if not…“meaning that even if God did not deliver them from the burning fiery furnace, it didn’t matter to them. God can and will deliver you from all evils, but even if He doesn’t you and I are still obligated to follow His dictates. We shouldn’t expect to receive any special gifts, emoluments, or any other form of what would end up being bribes to do what is expected of His own children! What kind of God would you be serving if you were to be receiving something just because you fulfilled your obligation(s) and accomplished your task(s) that was expected of you? That would be like agreeing to do a job for a set price and then expecting more money because you did the job that you agreed to do in the first place…rather ironic, if you ask me.
Think on that for a bit…
May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!
MK Murphy, PhD, DD