“I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart…” (Psalm 9:1).
Is there any part of man that should be withheld from Him with Whom we have to do? How can we serve Him partially? What should we do to ensure that we are serving Him with our whole heart? These three questions, while they may appear blasé to some, may well determine the destiny of the person sitting nearest you as you read these lines…and they may well determine the destiny of the person sitting nearest them as well. Let us spend a few minutes considering each question in the light of the passage we have selected as our text.
I. Is There Any Part Of Man That Should Be Withheld From Him With Whom We Have To Do?
On the very face of it the answer to this question is pretty simple: no. We might even begin before this question and ask why anyone would wish to withhold anything from Him with Whom we have to do. Without Him we would not be. And not being we certainly would not know the beauty of a mountain sunrise or summer breeze or a quiet sunset. Not being we would never see the look of love on our children’s faces or hear them call our name anytime some little thing frightened them or perhaps when they have fallen and scraped a knee. Now, since He has given us life and all things in it what on earth would move us to want to withhold anything from Him for which He might ask? It flies in the face of logic! Having given us so much, even if He did ask of us that we give Him our very lives it would be no large price to pay. If we have drawn a breath it is His. So what if He wants it back? Is it not Him to want back? Should He turn from us this very minute and withhold from us all blessings henceforth we would cease to exist. We would simply not be. Anything, therefore, that He desires of us we ought to give Him. He is worthy! He alone is worthy!
II. How Can We Serve Him Partially? Is it possible to serve Him partially?
I suppose, after a sort, it is. Inasmuch as we can perform some of the tasks commanded by Him and leave others undone we can serve Him partially. That is not, of course, to say that He will acknowledge such, not by any means. But how can we do such a thing? We have noted already that He has given us all, is there any right or just way that we can give back to Him less than He has given to us? Of course, if we give Him our all we still have not given Him as much as He has given us. But in His grace He will accept our all if we give it. I often think of those who “do” many right things only to fall short in so many other areas. Think of the denominations with their charitable endeavors, or the Catholics with their active interest in health care or the many individuals who are so nice and profess so great a love for the Lord. They do many right things, but not enough. “If we keep the whole law and offend in one point…” How sad! But then, whose duty is it to know whether a man is serving fully? Is it not the duty of each man to determine as much from the Word? That being true, it is sad, not because of the consequences to the partially obedient, but sad that they would set an example of partial service — partial obedience -- which is, in essence, but full disobedience!
III. What should we do to ensure that we are serving Him with our whole heart?
In essence, this question deals with ensuring that we are not guilty of full disobedience by rendering only partial service. Every man will stand and answer before the judgment seat of the Lord for himself. Therefore every man has the duty of preparing for that accounting. How can I make such preparations as to be ready to give account? I would suggest to you first of all that we must study the Bible for ourselves. Never be content to believe “what we have always believed” on any subject. Learn the meaning of words you do not understand. Know that you know that you know what that passage really means. Meditate on the things you study. Mull them over. Consider them from every perspective. Be sure. Having done that, implement into your life what God requires of you. Leave nothing undone. If it means losing sleep, lose sleep. If it means making major changes in every aspect of your life, make major changes in every aspect of your life. Do whatever you must do to comply in every particular with the Word. Then, having studied and obeyed, never quit. You will never reach the age of retirement from Christianity. Retirement from your secular employment may come, but there is no retirement age from being a Christian! When you die nothing more will be required of you. Remain steadfast in all matters at all times and continue to study and to obey and never grow complacent The Lord will reward you accordingly.
Do you see how the answer to these three questions may well determine the destiny awaiting you? Rather, can you see a way wherein the answer to these three questions will not determine your destiny? May God bless you as you study and obey His word.