Summary: Ministry should be the heart and soul of every Christian. When we minister, we must always find ways to keep on improving because at the end, God will is our judge. In this message we will learn how to do ministry the right way.
Let me start with a quote from Rick Warren. He said, "Faithful servants never retire. You can retire from your career, but you will never retire from serving God."
That is true.
If you are a faithful servant of the Lord, there is no retirement here on earth because our retirement is in heaven where we will be honored with the rewards from God.
Service to God should always be the heart and soul of every dedicated Christian.
We are called by God in order that we could serve or minister to God Himself and to other people as well.
When we minister to God, it is because we love Him with all our heart, soul and mind.
It might be possible that you are here this morning and you have NOT been involved ever since in any ministry work for God.
I encourage you to do something for God.
Serve Him with all your heart.
Discover and use your particular talents and your spiritual gifts so that you can start serving God in ways that are fitting.
I assure you that when do you this, it would be the most fulfilling and satisfying experience ever.
But then, again, it might be possible that many of you have been doing ministry to God for a long time.
If you do, I encourage you to continue your wholehearted service to God faithfully and diligently until the end.
Don't get tired of ministry work.
We can retire from our career, but we will never ever retire from serving God.
In fact, we must keep on improving our service with excellence and great competence.
2 Corinthians 3:6 (NIV) 6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."
The word "competent" means we are fully capable, we are efficient and qualified whenever we do ministry work for God.
Only through constant practice are we able to be competent and fit for His service.
You see, as much as possible, we are to AVOID doing ministry work haphazardly or carelessly without putting to heart our service for God.
We are to avoid incompetence when serving God for at the end, God will either judge us or reward us in accordance to how efficient we do ministry work on earth.
And having said all of these, our message for today will be focused on the second chapter of the Book of First Samuel.
We will discuss the proper and the improper way of ministry work.
Because sometimes, we thought we are doing our service to God the right way when in fact, God is not pleased with how we do the work.
You see, God desires that all of our ministry work and service to Him should be done with a great attitude- with good demeanor and character.
And so, we must constantly evaluate and adjust ourselves if we are doing the right thing or the right way in serving God.
The ultimate standard that we have attained competency, I believe is when there is so much joy and fulfillment in the ministry.
There is so much peace in your heart knowing that you have accomplished something for God.
Let us review what we have learned so far from chapter one of first Samuel.
We remember that Hannah was one of the two wives of Elkanah who was facing a great problem at home.
She had no children and was always been provoked to rivalry and strife by Penninah, the other wife of Elkanah who had children herself.
Because of that, Hannah was always depressed, downhearted and could not even eat.
But she did not release her problem to other people and avoided becoming bitter in her heart.
She decided to express her feelings directly to God in fervent prayer.
And so, the Bible says that she was in deep anguish and wept bitterly as she prayed to God in the temple.
She even made a special vow that if God would give her a son, she would commit and fully consecrate him to the Lord.
It did not matter if she was misjudged by the priest Eli as a drunken woman.
What matters is that she was able to pour forth her heart to God.
Then, finally, the day comes when God answered her request.
God gave her a son and named him Samuel.
In due time, when the boy was of the right age, Hannah brought him to priest Eli so that he could minister all the days of his life.
It was an expression of her gratitude and thanksgiving to the Lord for answering her prayers.
It is in this context that Hannah prayed this special prayer to God that we will study later.