Minimum Required Service

Numerous people I encounter want to know, “How much ministry should I do?” They may not use those exact words, but their intent oozes through in other questions.  After all, we have a limited amount of time, so how much service does God require of me?

I hate this type of questioning as it feels like people are asking, “What is the least amount of effort I can put into serving the Lord that will still make him happy with me?” It sounds like the students I have known who did the bare minimum to get a passing grade. 

Do we really think this is a good question for us to be asking?

Christians worship a God who is believed to have come to earth to give of himself.  The words of the New Testament are that he “poured out” himself.  Philippians chapter two says that he made himself nothing.  He demonstrated his willingness to serve by washing the disciple’s feet.  His ministry’s final great act was to surrender himself on the cross as a ransom for many.  The result of this work is that his followers receive grace upon grace.  The abundance of his love, compassion, and mercy for his people is unmatched in all the world. 

If this is the God we worship, then should we ask, “What is the minimum amount of effort I can serve and still make God happy?” It seems like we should be seeking to give him our greatest effort and not our least.  It was Jesus who said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23 – NIV 2011) 

Some days I really do wish it were easier to follow Jesus.  I would love to lie on the couch all evening, along with weekends.  I would spend more lazy time asking the world to serve me and my needs.  But faith is no place for the weak or lazy.  It requires us surrendering our entire life to the one who gave his life for us.  Grace is amazing, and our response should be nothing less than our best. 

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