G. K. D. Vere
'Neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing, 2 Sam. 24. 24.
'Know ye not that. . .ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's, 1 Cor. 6. 19, 20.
SOME OF us WERE TALKING RECENTLY about the apparent reluctance of young men to join the Unit teams, and these two texts sprang to the writer's mind. There is reason to believe that in some cases the wife or sweetheart is not willing to sacrifice her beloved for even one evening a month, much less a Saturday afternoon and evening. Yet we are sure that in the day of reward, those women who have made the sacrifice will share equally with the men who performed the service, 1 Sam. 30. 24. There are also, of course, men who are not willing to forego their comforts.
But think of the solemn quotations at the head of this article. Dare we offer to God that which costs us nothing? If we undertake only the service which costs us nothing by way of sacrifice, of time, of separation from loved ones, of ease and comfort, are we not a poor lot? And what does God think of it? Precisely nothing. The Lord loveth the cheerful (hilarious) giver, 2 Cor. 9. 7. Do you sometimes wonder why we see no blessing in our service? It could be because we give it grudgingly. A man once told Spurgeon that he thought nothing of getting up at any time and delivering an address. 'No', said the great preacher, 'and the audience think nothing of it either'. The only address which will glorify God and bless others is one which has cost time both in preparation and in waiting upon God. Dare we offer Him any other?
What of the second quotation? If we receive the call to undertake some service, who arc we to refuse? We are not our own, neither body nor spirit. Paul said he was the bond-slave of Jesus Christ. Have you ever thought of the sacrifices missionaries make when they answer the call? They have to go because they are 'not their own'. How little we give up when we undertake any service for the Lord in this favoured land. Think of Rom. 8. 32, 'He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all', and 2 Cor. 8. 5, 'But first gave their own selves to the Lord', and v. 9, 'For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich'.
'Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my heart, my life, my all'.