Recently, I had a short chat with a regular customer who is a Christian:
"So, on which day do you close your stall?"
"Oh, that's good. You are honouring the Sabbath."
"Not really. I close my stall because I want to rest and go to church."
"But you are making a sacrifice since Sunday is the weekend and a good day for business. You can always come back and open the stall after the service."
"I tried that before but I find that I am not concentrating during the service because I am always thinking about what I need to do after it is over."
Actually, nowadays I don't feel like it is a sacrifice for me to close my stall and go to church on Sunday. For me, going to church is rest. I get refreshed when I hear the now word of God being preached by Pastor Prince (or the guest speakers) on Sunday. I am doing this for my own sake, for my own benefit.
There was a time though, that I felt that I was doing God a service by going to church on Sunday. That was when I was attending my previous church where I felt that I wasn't fed by the word of God. Going to church was a drag then, and I forced my family and myself to go because I thought I had to honour God that way.
Do you remember your dating days when you were happily courting your girlfriend (or if you are female, being courted by your boyfriend)? When you met your girlfriend at the appointed place, did you think that meeting her was your privilege or hers? Man, was I glad that my then girlfriend (who is now my wife) agreed to meet me! I wanted it so much and spent time making sure I looked good before I set out from my home (but I have to admit that the effort level went down a few notches after a few years :p).
How would you feel if your girlfriend was, in fact, not keen to meet you but agreed to meet you for your sake? Would it be an enjoyable date? Can you imagine going to church with that kind of attitude? I think God would rather you had stayed home!
The point I'm making is that I look forward to going to church and it is for my own sake that I'm doing it, not His sake. When I am doing this, yes, I am honouring God but it is incidental, not deliberate on my part.
Another customer overheard Pastor Prince "preaching" on my dvd player and told me to turn up the volume so that more people can hear the gospel. She thought that this is a good way for me to evangelize. I told her that I was playing the sermons because I wanted to listen to them myself, not because I wanted to evangelize. However, over the years, I have chatted with quite a number of customers about the gospel and given away quite a number of CDs to them, just because their interest were piqued from hearing Pastor Prince's voice playing softly in my stall while waiting for me to serve their orders.
Again, I was playing the sermons at my stall for my sake, not His sake but He is honoured in the process anyway. When you serve God in church through the many different ministries, are you doing it for His sake or yours?