1 Chronicles 16:37-42 (Part 2) – Giving My Church My Excellence: It Could Matter In Someone’s Eternity

Posted: April 29, 2020 in 13-1 Chronicles

1 Chronicles 16:37-42 (Part 2 of 2)

Worship at Jerusalem and Gibeon

I think the interesting thing here is we see the name of Obed-edom again. He was the guy who kept the Ark at his house after the Uzzah incident put a halt to carrying the Ark to Jerusalem. Obed, I will call him that for short, simply served God in whatever way he could. He did what needed to be done. And whatever he did he gave it his best and his highest and his most. How do you think he ended up being a gatekeeper? It’s because David saw that Obed considered it a privilege to host the Ark at his house for those several months it was there. It was an honor to him. He took care of the Ark. He did what needed to be done with passion for the Lord. As a result, we see his name again here. He just loved the Lord and did what needed to be done. He gave it his best whatever job it was. It was not some side job that he fit in when he could. Giving glory to the Lord was not something he just did on a required occasion. No matter what is what he gave his utmost for His Highest. These subtle reminders about Obed are instructional to me and should be for you too. His name keeps popping up – as a person who is there and doing what was needed because he apparently WANTED to do that. It was not some forced or obligatory thing to him. He WANTED it.

That got me to thinking about how in church today how people often think of church as an add-on to their lives. It reminds me of the book of Malachi. This prophet got all over the Israelites for bringing the Lord what amounted to their leftover sacrificial animals instead of their finest and their best. We often do that in today’s church. We fit church around our schedules instead of fitting our schedules around church. Everything secular seems more important sometimes than church even to some Christians. That was the question that came to mind this morning. Am I giving my church my best, my all, my highest importance, my firstfruits, my excellence, am I all-in when it comes to my church? And that’s the question for you too, this morning.

Let’s read the passage, 1 Chronicles 16:37-42, now with this question about giving God your best in mind:

37 David arranged for Asaph and his fellow Levites to serve regularly before the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant, doing whatever needed to be done each day. 38 This group included Obed-edom (son of Jeduthun), Hosah, and sixty-eight other Levites as gatekeepers.

39 Meanwhile, David stationed Zadok the priest and his fellow priests at the Tabernacle of the Lord at the place of worship in Gibeon, where they continued to minister before the Lord. 40 They sacrificed the regular burnt offerings to the Lord each morning and evening on the altar set aside for that purpose, obeying everything written in the Law of the Lord, as he had commanded Israel. 41 David also appointed Heman, Jeduthun, and the others chosen by name to give thanks to the Lord, for “his faithful love endures forever.” 42 They used their trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments to accompany their songs of praise to God.[a] And the sons of Jeduthun were appointed as gatekeepers.

In this passage, we see that Asaph and fellow Levites ministered in the Tabernacle, doing whatever was needed each day. Also, we see Obed-edom’s name mentioned again having to do here with the Ark or the Tabernacle. To carry out God’s work is not merely to engage in religious exercises. It includes other necessary tasks. Even you are not the preacher of your church or the worship pastor or anyone else who gets “stage time” at your church, God can use you in ministry.

Everything is important when it comes to (1) making the worship, learning and fellowship opportunities for our present members to be enriching and (2) making these experiences for newcomers to be so compelling that they will come back and come back again. When we give whatever our volunteer job is at church our highest and our best, it provides our people and our guests with experiences that are professionally done and done with excellence. When there is evidence that we done give our volunteer jobs at church our very best, people will tune us out and they will not experience what we want them to experience. Statistics prove that people who visit churches will make up their mind within the first 15 minutes on your church campus as to whether they will return or not. We must give our church volunteer jobs the same excellence that we give in our jobs. We must view our volunteer opportunities at church as potentially being the difference between someone coming to Christ or NOT! Hopefully, that’s enough motivation to give our volunteer jobs at church our highest and our best no matter what that job may be. It all matters!

What needs to be done – cleaning the church before and after Sunday activities, preparing the sanctuary for services in prayer, greeting regular attendees and guests as they arrive, teaching a class, being an usher, being part of the security team, serving coffee and donuts during meet and greet time before and between services (if your church has multiple services), working as a parking lot attendant, being a member of the choir or worship team, being part of the accounting team (that prepares Sunday’s collections for deposit), being a leader of a small group that meets at a time other than Sunday before services, being an outreach team member who helps the church do things to impact the community with the love of Christ, being part of a mission team to a domestic or foreign location, being part of a tech team that helps with the sound and video for Sunday mornings and for special events, just to name a few of the ways that you can help your church. All of the jobs are necessary. It’s not about screen time or stage time, it’s about giving your church your best and most excellent service so that God is glorified. God is glorified when present members’ walks with Jesus are deepened and broadened or when an unsaved person is compelled by the Spirit through being in our church to dedicate their lives to Jesus Christ.

Satan will use any excuse to contaminate the unsaved person’s mind about an experience at church. For example, if we do not do our best in our volunteer jobs at church that can be a reason Satan latches onto with a person visiting us. If the parking lot attendant is inattentive and doesn’t help, that could be a reason. If the greeters are in a bad mood, that could be a reason. If the Sunday School teacher appears to not even have studied the lesson for today and goes on a rant about something that has nothing to do with the lesson for today, that could be a reason. If the ushers don’t have the right information about what’s going on at church, that could be a reason. If the worship service is filled with mistakes, that could be a reason. If the pastor appears to have written his sermon late last night, that could be a reason. If there is no one available in the nursery, that could be a reason. If the rooms are dirty, that could be a reason. If the rooms look like they are stuck in the 1950’s, that could be a reason. If outreach events look as though they were thrown together with leftover supplies and leftover time, that could be a reason. If it takes forever for their contribution check to clear the bank, that could be a reason. If youth leaders are not passionate about Christ and about teaching kids and teenagers about him, that could be a reason. If they do not feel secure in the building, that could be a reason. Any one or a number of these failures could prevent someone from returning to our church. Further, any one or a number of these failures could cause one or more of our regular attendees to simply tune out and get absolutely nothing out of worship or teaching experiences at our campus. Satan will use whatever he can to shut the garage door of our souls whether we are unsaved or saved. He doesn’t want us to get anything out of being at a church event.

No matter what our volunteer job is at church, we must give it the same excellence and the same priority as we give our money earning jobs. Why? Because it is for the Lord. Because it could be the difference between (1) a believer having those a-ha moments that deepen their faith and (2) an unsaved visitor to our campuses coming back again and again and then coming to Jesus as their Savior or NOT. Would you give your earthly job, your second best or leftovers or just work it in when you can? With church, we could be the difference in the timing of when someone comes to Christ? Give your job at church everything you got. Lay it all on the line. Eternity is at stake. Remember Revelation 7:9-11? How many people will be there because we gave our volunteer jobs at church our excellence, our passion, our all.

Amen and Amen.

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