Summary: Do your best with what you can while you can.
I remember the time when I was just getting active in the campus ministry when I was a college student. In our Bible study, I heard an announcement inviting people to join the leadership training. The word “leader” immediately caught my attention. In my mind, I see people following my lead. That was my mental image of a leader. A leader leads. It’s obvious, right? So, I signed up. On the first day of the training, our trainer asked me to look for a vacant room where we can hold our training and arrange the chairs. As I was grudgingly setting up the room, I was wondering, “I thought this was leadership training?” Right then and there, on the first day of our “leadership” training, our trainer taught us a valuable lesson. Leaders are servants. So, what about you? What comes to your mind when you hear the word “leader”? Do you think of a leader who is being served? Or do you think of a leader who serves?
This morning, we will continue our series on the 7 Habits of a Highly Effective Servant-Leader. Remember the acronym S-E-R-V-A-N-T? We inserted a card in our bulletin where we printed for you what S-E-R-V-A-N-T means…
Serves the Lord
Values the Word
Adores God in Worship
Networks with Believers, and
Thrives in Prayer.
You can put this card in your wallet or purse or pin it in your cork board… wherever you place it as long as you memorize it. For the next two Sundays, I will focus on the first one, “Serves the Lord.” I will talk about “Hands On!”
Now in your card, we also printed the first part of our verse for today’s message. It’s from Ecclesiastes 9:10. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might”. So, let’s memorize it together. Repeat after me, “Whatever your hand finds to do…” [Audience: “Whatever your hand finds to do…”] “…do it with all your might.” [Audience: “…do it with all your might.”] Let’s recite it again. [Audience recites the verse.] Together! “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might”. Let us first commit our time to the Lord in prayer.
We tend to view life like a pizza. We tend to slice our lives into separate areas. We think this area belongs to God and that area belongs to me. So, the area that belongs to us we ask God to bless but He is off-limits. We don’t really say He is off-limits. But we don’t want Him to meddle with it. For example, we don’t want God to dictate how we run our business, how we handle our relationships, how we manage our time or how we deal with our finances. Yes, He can bless those areas. Yet that’s as far as He can go.
Now, let us say that by some miracle Bro. Jun lends me his Nissan Skyline GTR for the day... the only one in the Philippines! It can jump from zero to 320 kilometers per hour in just 20 seconds. Not really fast. It’s not really expensive, right? It’s actually very cheap… by Bill Gates’ standards. Of course, it’s expensive. Can I tell him, “I would only take care of ten percent of your car”? “I will vacuum it. No French fries on the floor, I promise.” “I will return it to you with a full tank.” Would that be okay with him? I don’t think so. When I return it to him, if ever he would actually lend it to me, I think he will examine it thoroughly with a magnifying glass. Why? It is because when he lent me the car, I am responsible for the GTR one hundred percent. He holds me liable for the entire car. So, it is also with our lives. God holds us liable with everything in our lives.
We think for example that, because we gave our tithes or ten percent of our income to God, the rest we can do as we please. But, even that ninety percent belongs to Him. Just as we are accountable to God to give our ten percent to Him, we will also be as liable to Him for the way we invest or spend or save that ninety percent. God holds us responsible to pay the right taxes at the right time. He wants us to keep one set of books only in our business. He does not want us to keep one set for internal books of accounts and another set for external books of accounts for the Bureau of Internal Revenue. Don’t think that because you gave your tithe, God is bound to bless your business even if you are actually cheating on your income tax return. Don’t ever think God would turn a blind eye away from your financial dealings just because you are a giver. Why? It is because life is not a pizza. It is not divided into “This belongs to God” area and “That belongs to me” area.