When I Give The Best
I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1
My brothers and sisters, what God wants and what God deserves is all our being and all that we have. God wants our hearts and our living. He wants us to love Him and He wants us to serve. Him. We are to give Him praise and give Him obedience. We are to bow down at His altar and we aer to work in His vineyard. We are to give Him thanks for what He’s done for us. We are to do for Him all that He wants and all that you we can. What God wants and what God deserves is all our being and all we have. He wants your praise and your talents. He wants your thanks and your time. He wants your tears and your treasure. He wants you to give Him praise in the pew and He wants us to be a witness everywhere we go. Oh brothers and sisters all that God gives to us, He wants us to be willing to give back to Him. If God gives you a blessing, He expects you to give Him some praise. If He does something to help you, He expects you to tell somebody what the Lord has done. God wants all that you have. Can I get a witness?
Oh, I know that some of you think you’ver done a lot and you’ve done enough. Because you don’t do what you use to, you think God should be satisfied with the little you do. And since you no longer hand out in the club, you think that God is satisfied with you staying at home. Just because you quit some of your bad habits, you don’t see the need to take up a cross. Just because you stopped gossiping you think that makes up for you not giving Him praise. Just because you are at church all day Sunday, you think it justifies you for not coming to Bible Study. What you don’t realize is that God wants all you are and all you have. God doesn’t want a piece of you, He wants all of you. He doesn’t want part of your life, He wants all of you living. He’s not satisfied just because you don’t sin like you use to. He wants you to serve Him like you should. God wants all you are and all you have. I know many of you have given a lot and some of you have given more.
I know there are some who have gone the extra mile and made the sacrifice, and yet the Word declares God wants more and God deserves better. Have I a witness? Heat me. All of us have shortchanged God. Don’t y’all sit there and act all Holy. All of us have cheated the Divine. If the books were opened, we would all come up short. Oh brothers and sisters, I think I ought to tell you that God’s goodness is greater than our obedience. God has done more for us than we have attempted for Him. God has been more faithful to us than we have had faith in Him. He trusts us more with His stuff than we use Him with our lives. He has put more in our hands than we are willing to give back to Him. God wants all of our being and all that we have. There’s a song that says, “What You Need God’s Got It.” But I want to tell you, that whatever you have God wants it . I don’t care how much you have or how little you possess. God wants it. I don’t care if you live in a mansion on a hill or you hang out in the slums, God wants it.
You can have a Phd or a GED, you can drive a Mercedes Benz or ride a bicycle, God wants it. You can be a Denzell Washington or a Pee Wee Herman, whoever you are and whatever you have God wants it. He wants all you are and all you have. Can I get a witness? That’s the message of our text. Paul says that what we need to do is more than that we have done. Paul says that what we have give is far less than what God deserves. Oh brothers and sisters, we ought to do better. What you have done and what you’ve been doing is not enough. It may satisfy you, but it may not satisfy God. It may impress others, yet it may not please God. It may give you a thrill, yet God may be disappointed. God wants all you are and all you have. Oh I know you’re tired and I know you’re weary, But God wants more. I know you have to deal with stress and you work under pressure, but God wants more. I know you sing in two choirs, serve on three boards, come out to church twice a week, but God wants more.
If you haven’t done all that God requires of you, what you’ve done in the past is insufficient. What you did yesterday is not good enough. Some of that stuff that you have been doing all your church life does not measure up. God wants all you have and all you are. He wants worship and praise. He wants song and service. He wants your heart. He wants your desires as well as your praise. He wants you to come to Him for directions as well as going to Him for Help. God wants all you are and all you have. Paul would have us to know that the life of the saved and the purpose of the redeemed is to praise God and to please God. This thing ain’t about us, it’s all about God. It ain’t about us getting what we want. It’s about God getting what He deserves. We don’t come here to get something, we come here to thank God for all that we have. The church ain’t about us, it’s about God. I don’t just come here to get a blessing, but I come here to thank God for what He’s already done. So I don’t know how you feel about it, but I’m blessed. I don’t have to ask God for stuff.
I already have more than I deserve. You don’t believe that I’m blessed? Is it alright if I tell you just how blessed I am? I’m blessed because I got life. I got health and strength. I got air to breathe and blood running warm in my veins. I got shoes for my feet and a destination for my life. I got a roof over my head and salvation for my soul. I got food on my table and a fire in my bones. Oh brothers and sisters, this thing ain’t about what I like, It’s about God. Can I get a witness? When was the last time you came to church and determined that God would get what He wanted? When have you gone out of your way not trying to please yourself, but trying to please God? This thing ain’t about us, it’s about God. Worship and church is not for us, it’s for God. This is not a time to always get, but there are times when there ought to be some giving. I think I ought to tell you that church is not for you, church comes from you. The choir is not singing you, they are sing for the Glory of God.
In this place God gets the glory. When we gather God gets the praise. In here God gets the honor. When we arrive God is the one to be worshipped. This thing is not about us, it’s about God. You don’t come in here profiling, you come in here bowing down. You don’t come in here looking to be stroked, you come in here to praise His Holy name. This thing ain’t about us, it’s about God. Who cares if you didn’t get what you wanted? So what if somebody stepped on your shoes. Who cares if you can’t have it you way? So what if nobody called you name or shook your hand? This thing ain’t about you, it’s about God. It’s not what you get, it’s what you give. Oh brothers and sisters, Paul says, “Present.” He didn’t say anything about receive. Paul says give. He does not say get. You see some of us try to impress, but we never present. We play to the crowd without bowing down to Christ. We do all we can to be seen,, but we don’t mind if we never see Jesus.
We put our money in the plate and carry our Bible under our arm to be seen, but this thing ain’t about impressing, it’s about presenting. You don’t just lay your all on the altar, you lay yourself on the altar. You don’t just give God your problems, you let God know you are at His disposal. You don’t just ask Him to lay His hands on you, but you tell Him in words of an old familiar song, “Use me Lord in your service. I am willing to go all the way.” Can I get a witness in here? Oh brothers and sisters, Paul says you have to present. “Present your body a living sacrifice.” Don’t give Him something that’s dead and cold. Don’t give God your cold heart, a cold look and some dead service. Don’t show up with a mean look and an attitude in your heart. Don’t come in here dead and dry, cold and listless. Don’t be lukewarm in your praise and dead in your service. But God wants a living sacrifice. No dry bones, but something alive. God don’t want something to burn on the altar, but He does want somebody with a fire shut up in their bones.
Paul says, “Present your body a living sacrifice.” Oh brothers and sisters, when you tell Him to use your hands and use your feet, that’s a living sacrifice. When you cry out, “Here am I, send me,” that’s a living sacrifice. When you say, “Where He leads me I will follow,” that’s a living sacrifice. When it was time to save us, and when it was time to deliver us, God sent a living sacrifice. Can I get a witness? He didn’t send a committee to study the matter. He didn’t send a lamb to lay on the altar. He didn’t send a dove or a rainbow sign, but when it was time to save us, God sent a living sacrifice. Sent Jesus all the way from Heaven down here. God sent Jesus down through forty-two generations. Sent Jesus from the seed of David and the house of Jesse. He sent a living sacrifice. He sent Jesus to heal the sick and to raise the dead. He sent Jesus to give sight to the blind and joy to those in sorrow. God sent Jesus to preach good news to the poor. He sent Jesus, a living sacrifice.
Oh brothers and sisters, this same Jesus, walked out on the water, spoke peace to the storm. This same Jesus, fed the hungry and rebuked Satan. God sent Jesus, a living sacrifice. God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. That’s a living sacrifice. God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son. That’s a living sacrifice. While we were sinners, Christ died for our sins. God sent Jesus, a living sacrifice. Paul says give God all you got and realizes the least you can give. Whatever you’re doing and you call it service, it’s not enough. Whatever you’re doing and you call it religion, it’s not enough. Even if you’re doing more than anybody else, it’s not enough. Until you present your body a living sacrifice, it’s not enough. Paul says, “reasonable.” Paul is taking about service and He’s talking about worship that makes sense. He’s not talking about where worship is, he’s talking about the quality of worship.
You see, some folk don’t shout and praise God until they are at a certain church or around certain folks. Paul is not talking about the place of worship, but rather he’s talking about the purpose of worship. Paul is talking about worship and service that makes sense. Some of what we do don’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense to serve the Lord with a frown on your face when the Bible says serve the Lord with gladness. It doesn’t make sense to sit still in the pew and be quiet in the service when the Word says make a joyful noise unto the Lord all ye lands. It doesn’t make sense to come out to the house of prayer, speak to everybody and don’t say nothing to God. Oh brothers and sisters, worship and service ought to make sense. Paul talks about “reasonable service.” He talks about service that makes sense. When Paul says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren,” Paul is saying, “Based on what I’ve said before, this is what you ought to do now. Since you have something from God, you ought to give something to God. Since the Lord has good to you, you ought to be faithful to Him.
Since the Lord changed your name, you ought to give Him some praise. Since the Lord picked you up, you ought to lift up holy hands. New hear me. What’s reasonable service to God may be unreasonable to us. Sometimes what God would have us do, doesn’t make sense to us. Reasonable service to the world looks like unreasonable stuff. In the world you can be excused from service when you are battered and bruised. In the world no one expects much from you when your burden is more than you can bear. To the world you’re not expected to worship God when it looks like God has let you down. To the world it’s alright to AWOL when your prayer is not answered and your situations don’t change. What makes sense to us who are saved, don’t make sense to those who are lost. Oh brothers and sisters, reasonable service is when you do like Abraham did when he got ready to kill his child of his old and age and still say, “The Lord will provide.”
Reasonable service is when you lose your money, lose your health and lose your family, but you can still say, “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Reasonable service is when you have a cup from which you don’t want to drink and you have a task you don’t want to do, but instead of going AWOL on God, you can say, “Not my will, but thine be done.” Can I get a witness?
* As I hurry on to a close, reasonable service is when you don’t understand life but you praise God anyhow. Reasonable service is when you don’t like what’s going on, but you lift up Holy Hands anyhow. It’s reasonable service when you believe in God’s goodness in spite of the all evil that is all around. When you don’t understand what’s going on, you just give Him praise anyhow. When you cannot see your breakthrough, you just go on and give Him praise.
When what He asks you to do seems like it’s more than you can handle you give Him praise anyhow. Paul says, “Present your body as a living sacrifice.” Paul says, give God all you got. Give Him all you have. And that is your reasonable service. Don’t give God the limit. Don’t give Him a dare. Don’t give Him some. Don’t give Him a drop. No, no don’t do it every now and then. Don’t wait till everbody calls your name, but when there’s sickness in your body, when there’s trouble in your way, when hell hounds are on your track, when you’re cried all night long, when you’re burdened down with the weight of the world on your shoulders, go on and praise His name. Go on and give Him glory. Go on and tell Him thank you. Go on and say hallelujah. God on and give Him the honor. Go on and call on His holy name. Praise Him when you’re feeling bad. Praise Him when there’s sickness in your body. Praise Him when you’re down and out.
I’m going home when I tell you, “I beseech you, brethren and I beseech you sisters, by the mercies of God.” Oh, I like that about the mercies of God. I give Him reasonable service because He gives me mercy. Oh I don’t know how you feel about it, but I thank that God of mine that He is a God of mercy. If it had not been for the Lord on my side, where would I be? It was mercy that picked me up. It was mercy that turned me around. It was mercy that carried me when I couldn’t carry myself. Oh, when I give Him the best of my service, He gives me mercy. Is there anybody here that knows that God is a merciful God. I need somebody here to help me testify that God is good. I don’t know how you feel aobut it, but He’s been better to me than I’ve been to myself. And because God’s been good, it’s all right for me to serve Him and to praise Him. Oh, I’m going to serve Him. I’m going to serve Him if I have to serve Him by myself. There may times when I want to give up like Jeremiah, but I’m going to serve Him. Oh Loving Peace, I’ve got to praise Him.
I’ve got to serve Him. I’ve got to lift Him up. For the rest of my life, I want to give Him all that I have. When I give the best of my service, I want to Lord to swing down His sweet chariot and let me step on board. When I give the best of my service, I want to be able to bid farewell to all of my fears. When I give the best of my service, I want to be able to make Heaven my home. When I give the best of my service, I want to hear the Lord say, “Well done, well done, well______done, thy good and faithful servant. You’ve been faithful over a few things, come on up and I’ll make you a ruler over many. Ain’t the Lord alright? Ain’t the Lord alright? Say yeah, Say yeah, Oh yeah.