It will be worth it in the end.

Today, after the weekend break, I continue my mini series on Renewal – three blog posts off the back of a mini series that I led at mine and Megan’s small group at church. Last time, I wrote about renewing our giving. This time, the post is about renewing our service. Here’s the passage:

13 “You have said terrible things about me,” says the Lord.

“But you say, ‘What do you mean? What have we said against you?’

14 “You have said, ‘What’s the use of serving God? What have we gained by obeying his commands or by trying to show the Lord of Heaven’s Armies that we are sorry for our sins?15 From now on we will call the arrogant blessed. For those who do evil get rich, and those who dare God to punish them suffer no harm.’”

The Lord’s Promise of Mercy

16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke with each other, and the Lord listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and always thought about the honor of his name.

17 “They will be my people,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “On the day when I act in judgment, they will be my own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child. 18 Then you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.”

The Coming Day of Judgment

4 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says, “The day of judgment is coming, burning like a furnace. On that day the arrogant and the wicked will be burned up like straw. They will be consumed—roots, branches, and all.

“But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. On the day when I act, you will tread upon the wicked as if they were dust under your feet,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

“Remember to obey the Law of Moses, my servant—all the decrees and regulations that I gave him on Mount Sinai for all Israel.

“Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lordarrives. His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse.”

Sometimes, serving God can seem like a waste of time.  These were the thoughts going round the Israelites heads at the time. They saw the wicked prospering. They were trying to follow God but they thought they got the rough end of the bargain. Yet God reminded them and reminds us that it will be worth it in the end.

The main thing I gout from the passage is that God calls us to complete the work that we have started, and whilst that seems a majorly hard and difficult task, it is actually God who promises that he will complete the work that has been started in us. God is a God of mercy yet a God of Justice. Even if things don’t seem fair right now, they will come to be in the end.

Those who are found under the shadow of his wing and have remained faithful will use the gift of hindsight to say, “Ah, yes, God is faithful”.

What do you find hard in your Christian life? How can you renew your service to God today?

Dean Roberts

Dean is a Minister in the Anglican Church. Currently he is Curate in the parishes of Bedwas, Machen, Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry in South Wales. He was born and bred in Wales, is married to Megan, and has two dogs called Taliesin and Melyn, and two cats named Sinsir and Hâf. He graduated from Cardiff University with a BA Hons. in Theology & Religious Studies, and has studied for an MA in Theology, Ministry & Mission at Trinity College Bristol. He also holds a Cert.RSCM from the Royal School of Church Music. He loves playing music, walking, reading, blogging and horse riding as well as going to the cinema and theatre. Read More @