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1. Over the years, Iíve sat in business meetings and elders meetings where the subject of involvement would be discussed. Many times, Iíve heard the same question "What can we do to get people motivated to do more for the Lord?" That is an excellent question. We would agree that the key to involvement is motivation. People need to want to work for Christ. But how do we motivate those who arenít self-starters? How do we get people involved when itís their nature to be wallflowers sitting on the sidelines watching others carry the load?
2. Some think that the problem is laziness. Youíll here some folks say, "People are just too lazy to do much church work anymore!" That might be true for some people. Paul called the people of Crete "lazy gluttons" [Titus 1:12]. The book of Proverbs has numerous warnings against the sluggard or "lazy man." There may be some church members who are just too lazy to do much work for the Lord.
3. However, I do not believe this is our primary problem. Those who stand on the sidelines in the church are often actively involved in other kinds of activities. So itís not that they wonít do anything; itís that they donít understand the need to do the main thing. A church sign marquee along a North Carolina highway declared, "The main thing is to see that the main thing is the main thing." I think I know what that means. Prioritize things so that whatís most important gets the attention it deserves.
4. Look at Malachi 1:6-10 (NKJV) "A son honors his father, And a servant his master. If then I am the Father, Where is My honor? And if I am a Master, Where is My reverence? Says the LORD of hosts To you priests who despise My name. Yet you say, íIn what way have we despised Your name?í 7 "You offer defiled food on My altar. But say, íIn what way have we defiled You?í By saying, íThe table of the LORD is contemptible.í 8 And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, Is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, Is it not evil? Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favorably?" Says the LORD of hosts. 9 "But now entreat Godís favor, That He may be gracious to us. While this is being done by your hands, Will He accept you favorably?" Says the LORD of hosts. 10 "Who is there even among you who would shut the doors, So that you would not kindle fire on My altar in vain? I have no pleasure in you," Says the LORD of hosts, "Nor will I accept an offering from your hands.
a. Old Testament priests were dishonoring God because they were not giving the best to Him.
(1) They had despised the name of God by offering defiled food on Hs altar.
(2) Blind, lame, and sick animals were offered as sacrifices while they kept the healthy animals for themselves.
(3) Their approach was to give God what no one else wanted.
b. Kindling a fire on Godís altar would be in vain when worship was offered with that kind of attitude.
c. God says simply, "I have no pleasure in you." He refused to accept an offering from the hands of those priests.
5. Itís important for us to bring this scenario up to the present day. We arenít concerned with offering animals as sacrifices on an altar. But the main thing remains the question of what we owe God.
a. We donít give animal sacrifices to God.
b. Instead, we give ourselves
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