Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning and evening, Dec. 24, 2000, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia.
HOW TO GIVE YOURSELF TO THE LORD’S WORK
By Michael D. O’Neal Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church Albany, Georgia
Scripture Reading: Matthew 2:1-11
Text: Matthew 2:11
Matthew 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
Introduction: I want to thank the people of our church who have been so kind to me and my family with cards and gifts. I want to encourage you, since you are in the habit of giving gifts at this time of the year, to remember the One after whom this season is named. I want to encourage you to give a gift to JESUS.
Let me hastily say that no one is saved by giving something to the Lord. You are saved by His giving something, eternal life, to you. You don’t give Him your heart. You don’t give him your life. You don’t give Him anything … in order to be SAVED. However, AFTER you are saved, it is certainly appropriate to give things to the Lord.
The wise men brought expensive gifts to our Lord: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Perhaps you are not wealthy. You don’t feel that you have anything of value to give Him. Well, I will tell you the thing the Lord wants most.
He wants YOU.
Romans 12:1 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.
There are a number of ways in which you can give yourself to the Lord.
GIVE YOURSELF TO THE LORD’S WORSHIP
GIVE YOURSELF TO THE LORD’S WITNESS
GIVE YOURSELF TO THE LORD’S WORD
GIVE YOURSELF TO THE LORD’S WILL
GIVE YOURSELF TO THE LORD’S WORK
I am afraid that to expound on each of these might bring us past this season into the coming year, so in order to keep the sermon brief, I want to focus this morning on giving yourself to the Lord’s work.
There are two things that God is building today, and my message will only have two points.
I. GIVE YOURSELF TO YOUR HOUSE THAT HE IS BUILDING
Psalms 127:1 Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
A. Take time for each other
- 1. Men, come home at night! Change jobs if necessary!
- 2. Psalms 104:23 Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.
- 3. God ordained for men to work during the day! Have you noticed that God turns out the lights at night?
- 4. John 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
- 5. Ladies, devote yourselves to your husbands, your children, and your homes!
- 6. When you started having children, you CHOSE YOUR CAREER until they are grown! Stay home! Prepare the evening meal! Clean your house!
- 7. Turn off the television!
- 8. Go places together! Take everyone to the restaurant! Take everyone to church!
B. Train your children
- 1. Proper training involves spending time with your kids! It is better to be poor and train your children right, than it is to have extra money in the bank and see your kids go to the devil!
- 2. Gentlemen, get off of your computers, get away from the shop, quit the shift work, the overtime, and the second job, get off of the golf course, and raise your children!
- 3. Many boys have never been taught how to shave, how to comb their hair,how to sit, walk, and talk like a man, or even how to go to the bathroom, because Dad was too busy doing other things!
- 4. Many girls have never been taught how to cook, how to sew, how to clean house, how to sit, walk, and talk like a lady, because Mom was too busy working night and day and too tired to spend time with them!
- 5. Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
C. Temper your spending
- 1. Proverbs 21:20 There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.
- 2. Most financial problems are not INCOME problems, but OUTGO problems!
- 3. It’s better for kids to sleep on bunk beds and have Mom and Dad with them at night and at church than for them to have their own rooms, VCRs, videogames, and telephones WITHOUT a Mom and Dad at home.
- 4. By the way, you might find that you Christians would spend less on hospital bills, car repairs, and “accidents,” if you honored God with your money, such as tithes and offerings, and living within your means.
- 5. If you have to, shop at the thrift store, the yard sale, and the flea market. Buy winter clothes at a discount before summer and summer clothes at a discount before winter.
- 6. Don’t worry about keeping up with the Joneses! The Joneses may be getting a DIVORCE next year and selling everything they have!
II. GIVE YOURSELF TO HIS HOUSE THAT HE IS BUILDING
Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
1 Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
1 Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
A. Get planted in the local church
1. Psalms 92:13 Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.
B. Get partial to the local church
- 1. Psalms 26:8 LORD, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.
- 2. Jesus said that all men would know that we are His disciples if we have love one to another – John 13:35. Do you love the local church?
- 3. I love Grandma’s house, but I’m not going to miss God’s house for Grandma’s! We will go to God’s house on Sunday, go to Grandma’s house on Monday, and come back to God’s house on Wednesday!
- 4. Psalms 84:10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
C. Get persistent in the local church
- 1. Psalms 27:4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.
D. Get pleasure in it
- 1. Psalms 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.
- 2. Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
- 3. Rejoice!
- 4. Say, “Amen!”
- 5. Laugh when the preacher tells a joke!
- 6. Sing out!
- 7. Smile! You’re saved! Heaven bound! A lost sheep found! Angels all around! Doctrinally sound! Soon to leave this ground! One day to be crowned! AMEN!
E. Be productive in it
- 1. Psalms 52:8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.
- 2. Get into the church and be stirred up, and go out into the world and stir THEM up!
- 3. Go down deep into the word of God and get rooted and grounded, but then rise up and bring forth fruit for heaven!