DEVOTION:How Can This Be A Burden?
Following His declaration of a better future in verse 11, the Lord continues to describe the pathetic spiritual condition of Israel. Here is what He said through His Prophet Malachi:
“But you profane it by saying, ‘The Lord’s Table is defiled,’ and, ‘Its food is contemptible. Malachi 1:12
In addition to this, the Lord reveals their attitudes toward His service.
And you say, ‘What a burden!’ and you sniff at it contemptuously,” says the Lord Almighty. Malachi 1:13
Can you imagine this? Serving the Lord had become a burden to the people of Israel. You have to remember these are the people who had been in exile for 70 years and were now back in their homeland. They had the privilege of worshipping and serving The Lord. But instead of enjoying the service of the Lord, their attitudes towards serving Him changed. Instead of service and worship being a joyous experience, it became a burden.
You can see why the tittle for today’s devotion is: How can this a Burden?
1. Is there a time in your life that serving the Lord became a burden? What circumstances caused you to change your attitude?
a. Did other believers cause this?
b. Did your family make it difficult to serve God?
c. Was there anything happening in your own life that made it difficult to serve the Lord?
d. Is it possible you might have been disappointed in God because He had not answered your prayers?
e. How then did you overcome this temptation to quit serving your God?
f. Now that you are on this side of the challenge, how can you use your experience to encourage other believers who are going through the same experience?
2. For some, the most relevant question is this; why is it a burden for you to serve the Lord? What do you think is the cause for this?
a. Is it because you are living in sin?
b. Is it because you are disappointed that God has not answered your prayers?
c. Is it possible that you are burnt out because you have been doing this for a couple of years without a break?
d. Do other believers make it difficult for you to serve God?
e. How will you overcome this challenging time in your life?
3. The preceding questions suggest some of the reasons why a believer might consider serving the Lord a burden. Write down about five to ten reasons why anyone would be forced to have this kind of attitude toward the service of the Lord.
4. Here are a few reasons why serving the Lord should not be a burden to any believer.
a. It is a privilege to serve the Lord. It is not our right. God does not need any of us to help Him accomplish His purposes. He has chosen us, mere humans, to accomplish His purposes.
b. We should always be reminded that His purposes will always be accomplished with or without us.
c. Each one of us has an assignment from God to accomplish while here on earth. In other words, God has a purpose for you here, and He expects you to pursue it.
d. Your rewards in heaven will be based on what you are doing for the Lord here on earth.
5. What are the present benefits of serving the Lord?
a. Serving is working in partnership with the Lord. That is God is working through you because He has chosen to accomplish His purpose through humans as His vessels. Now that is not only a privilege, but also an incredible experience! Can you imagine partnering with God?
b. Serving is an opportunity to get to know God beyond the basics. Because of his service to God, Moses got to know God better. God talked with him face to face as a friend talks to a friend. He spent time in the presence of God. He saw the glory of God. Moses experienced all these and many others because he was serving the Lord. It can happen to you too!
c. Serving lets you get to experience the power of the Lord as He works through you to accomplish His purposes. Now that is a very humbling and a scary experience!
d. Serving brings joy.
e. Can you add to this list?
Now with all the above stated
Benefits of serving
HOW CAN SERVING THE LORD BE A BURDEN?
–Pastor Shadrack Ruto