A Matter of Choice - Part III & The Conclusion

A Matter of Choice - Part III & The Conclusion

PART III

THE EXAMPLE OF AMASIAH

Let us examine this singular reference to this personality of the Old Testament.

Look at the valuable lessons we can discover regarding Christian service. A marvelous lesson on Christian service is revealed by asking a few simple questions:

1. WHAT did Amasiah do? He “willingly offered himself.”
As Jehoshaphat was building Judah’s defensive infrastructure, he needed those of willing hearts; capable soldiers; devout patriots. He sought those who were committed to the cause. What kind of defensive network would the king have without such individuals? Amasiah realized this need; he understood his abilities; responded to the urgent need. Amasiah offered the best possible! He offered himself in service.

This attitude of self-surrender, self-sacrifice, self-realization is urgently needed today! We need members of the Lord’s Church to possess this mind-set of this ancient Judean warrior!

Cheerful, self-surrender is the secret of all service that pleases God!

Christianity was established by the spirit of self-sacrifice.
John 10:17, 18

This same spirit is essential if the Lord’s Church is to exist today! Examine Matthew 19:27 and discuss how it urges Christians to self-sacrifice.

Unwillingness to surrender completely to the Lord’s will denote a lack of conversion.
Mark 8:34b; Romans 12:1; 1 Peter 2:5

When one becomes a Christian he/she is confessing the Lord’s sovereignty over all life, is submitting (by baptism) and surrendering personal will and wishes to the Lord. If one attends services and is baptized but has not completely surrendered by “crucifying” one’s priorities, then he/she IS NOT truly converted! (Luke 9:23-26).

Christ emphatically urges all to sacrifice self and surrender to Him. See Luke 9:57-62, especially v. 59.

Is this request optional? What does it practically mean for Christians in every day activities? How does it relate to one’s desires to be in attendance at all services?

Too many Christians today lament the fact they are not finding “joy” in the Lord’s Church. They are not “fulfilled.” Why? Because they failed to do what Amasiah did – willingly offered himself unto the Lord!

There are some today who fail to enjoy Christianity because they hesitate to give a total sacrifice to God until their later years. They then look back at how they spent their energies and resources in youthful years and are filled with remorse.

This is a sad thought BUT they should not allow Satan to steal away their joyful surrender to Christ! They have much to offer God and should begin where they are and serve as Amasiah did!

Amasiah offered himself unconditionally; no conditions; no ifs or buts.

There is a tremendous need for such sacrifices today. Do you possess this attitude? Do you serve God with ALL your heart? Whose priorities do you pursue?4

2. HOW did Amasiah do this? He surrendered himself “willingly.”

It is interesting to notice that this is the only captain in the king’s army given this compliment. We are not told why Amasiah is so complimented.

a) Possibly, he was a man of great skill and was desperately needed but he could have had greater success elsewhere.
b) Possibly, he came from a far district of Judah.
c) Possibly, the words enshrine some now forgotten memory of cheerful courage or some heroic feat on the battlefield. Whatever the reason, the words are a wonderful point to contemplate.

Amasiah’s willingness causes us to focus upon another critical element of proper service in the Lord’s Kingdom — the DEGREE of our willingness!

The degree of Divine acceptance to our service/sacrifices is in direct proportion to the degree of willingness which motivates them!

An unwilling act or sacrifice is immediately rejected. God is repulsed by those who are compelled by factors other than a willing heart. Study through Malachi 1:5-14 and observed God’s attitude toward those who are unlike Amasiah!

The citizens of God’s Kingdom are volunteers. They enter the Kingdom voluntarily. They enter the Lord’s Army voluntarily. A “willing heart” is the hallmark of God’s followers (cf. Psalm. 110:3).

Is God pleased with your service? With your sacrifices? How can you be absolutely certain? By imitating Amasiah!

The degree of Divine acceptance is in proportion to the degree of willingness in your heart!
a) To do the right thing with biblical commands, cheerfulness, eagerness, and abounding joy is to receive the fullness of God’s acceptance, commendation, and reward.
b) The apostle Paul illustrates the blessings that arise when we offer voluntary service to our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Galatians 2:20; Philippians 3:7-9).
c) King Zedekiah illustrates the consequence of evil that arise from unwillingness (2 Chronicles 36:11-16).

A willing attitude is VERY important because . . . Unwillingness destroys the character of our offering and robs it of all sacredness (cf. 2 Corinthians 9:7; review Malachi 1:5ff). Reluctant Christianity is not true Christianity!

Amasiah WILLINGLY offered himself in service! This should provoke all Christians to do some “personal soul-searching.”
a) When announcements are made about needs, how responsive are you? When activities are announced, how readily do you volunteer to sign-up and volunteer? Look at your personal level of “willing service” and ask, “If every member was like me, where would this congregation be?”
b) Let us decide that we will do as Amasiah did so that we will be known as he was – a willing servant! If nothing else is known about a person, it is wonderful to hear this commendation spoken, “Well, whenever there was a need and something to do, he/she was ALWAYS there!”

3. WHY did he do it? Amasiah loved “the Lord.”
This phrase suggests that Amasiah was so willing because he possessed a sense of devotion to God. His primary aim in serving – not for personal accolades but because he knew it was the Lord’s business!

Amasiah reveals another important point that is often ignored when service is considered – all service offered to God is forever remembered! (Amos 8:7).

Whatever is offered willingly and in accordance with the Scriptures is FOREVER remembered by God!
Men may shrug off your service here. Some may think what you do is insignificant. You may do many acts of service that no one knows about. When your service is met with these responses it is easy to become discouraged and quit!

Have you ever considered how God prizes the “insignificant” deeds? Here are just a few . . .

a) How many “cups of cold water” have been given and thought to be insignificant and unnoticed? (Matthew 10:42).
b) There have been many “alabaster boxes” that were given and the gifts were met with scorn by men but smiles by God (Mark 14:8,13).
c) The “widow’s mite” has often been viewed as insignificant but the Father in heaven sees it as a great treasure (Mark 12:42).
d) Whatever service you are able to offer to God is accepted as an “odor of a sweet smell”, if it comes from a willing heart that is committed to God’s will (cf. 1 Peter 2:5; Philippians 4:18; Colossians 3:23).

THE CONCLUSION

THE RESULTS OF CHOOSING TO SERVE WILLINGLY

Amasiah’s example assures us that the following results will be very evident in our lives:

APPROVAL BY GOD
The world has forgotten this ancient soldier, or it never knew him – an obscure soldier in an obscure kingdom.

However God has never forgotten His servant Amasiah! His service stands as a memorial to all generations. His service urges all today to serve as Amasiah served!

ENCOURAGEMENT TO OTHERS

The example of Amasiah had a tremendous influence upon others. Others looked and saw his heroic service and they followed his example!

Many today bemoan the lack of service being performed – they find themselves unlike Amasiah who saw the need and immediately volunteered!

If they would become involved as Amasiah and serve from devotion, commitment to God’s Law, and offer a willing heart, they will encourage others to become involved in activities that will promote God’s Cause!

Learn these fantastic lessons from this amazing personality of the Old Testament. See John 4:34-36 and the emphasis the Lord has on the urgency of serving God!

a) The BEGINNING of serving God – Crucifying Self!
b) The ESSENCE of serving God – A Willing Desire!
c) The PRACTICE of serving God – A Daily Submission!
d) The RESULT of serving God – Divine Approval!
There is a voice that is mightier than the Chronicler’s–the Almighty God. It matters very little what history books say about us and our service, but it matters EVERYTHING what God says about our service! (Matthew 25:34-36).

WE MUST HAVE A DETERMINATION TO HELP.

It is not enough just to want to be a servant – we must be determined to be servants, we must be determined to help.

Let’s look at 2 Corinthians 8:1-4:

1 “Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;
2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.
3 For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;
4 Praying us with much entreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering of the saints.”

This church had an awesome determination to help. Nothing was going to keep this church from helping. Even in their own poverty they were determined to help.

You know what I have found – there are four types of givers:
1. People who give because they are willing to give.
2. People who are able to give but they are not willing to give.
3. People who are unable to give but don’t have the will to give.
4. People who are unable to give but do give willingly at all cost.

If we want to develop a servant’s heart we must be determined to help.

WE MUST COMMIT TO FOLLOW-SHIP.

Everyone is following something: Friends’ advice, the pursuit of money, and the opinions of others, to name a few. Look at Hebrews 13:7:

“Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.”

To imitate is to follow.
The first question to ask is: “Where are they going?” In other words – Is this person leading me to the right destination? Is his/her leadership in keeping with the Word of God?

If the answer is yes, then, the three principles of follow-ship need to be implemented.
1. Trust – (if they go left – you go left.)
2. Obedience – (if you say, I don’t want to – you are not following.)
3. Risk – (If they go fast – you go fast.)

Look at Hebrews 13:17:
“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”

APPLICATION
WE MUST START MEETING THE NEEDS AROUND US.
The minute we start meeting the needs around us – we become servants.

Look at Matthew 25:31-46.
a) Never miss an opportunity to help. Matthew 25:35-40
b) Suffer the consequences of missing an opportunity to help. Matthew 25:4146

You want to find good workers – simple rule – find people who are already working.

Good workers – work. Good servants – serve.

When coaches are trying to win a game they don’t look at who looks best in his uniform. The coach looks for the players who perform the best on the field. The Lord Jesus Christ does too:

“Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of the lord.”

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