“Does It Pay to Serve God?” -- Malachi 3: 13-18


As servants of God, we get tired and think no one cares. Our feelings of inadequacy run wild. We think we lack sufficient wisdom and strength. Insurance agents get plaques, but nobody gives us a plaque for visiting a hospital, preparing a meal, or planning a Sunday School lesson. So come the inevitable questions: Is it worth it? Is it worthwhile to become a ministering Christian? Does it pay to serve God?

Malachi addressed these very questions in his prophecy at the end of the Old Testament in our opening text. In the days of Malachi, when the inner core of the faithful remnant of Israel complained, God heard them. When every outward sign indicated that it did not pay to serve God, God listened to his people. You get God’s attention when you are serious about serving him!

According to Mal. 3:16, what kind of people does God hear?

Many people in the Bible wondered if there was any point in serving God. Jeremiah became so depressed in his service to God that he accused God of deceiving him by calling him to be a prophet. He also complained that God had not killed him in his mother’s womb so that he would not have had to be a prophet. John the Baptist, who in a moment of soul darkness, sent two of his disciples to ask if Jesus was really the messiah. In prison and about to be beheaded, he came to doubt the substance of his own message.

How do you relate to the discouragement of Jeremiah and John the Baptist?

________ I’ve never been that discouraged.

________ In the past, I have felt that discouraged.

________ I presently feel that discouraged.

God knows our discouragement and hears our complaints (Psalm 31:22). He always attends to his people when their faith begins to falter and they doubt if it pays to serve him. God listens to you (Psalm 4:3). You may think the community ignores you, the ones you try to help don’t appreciate you, and your own church family fails to recognize your efforts. Remember that God knows you, hears you, and promises you his care! Our God is a gracious God!