by Kenneth L. Samuel
What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me? - Psalm 116:12 (KJV)
It’s estimated that approximately one third of the U.S. population, or some 64 million Americans, volunteer each year. This equates to $139 billion worth of time annually. Most charitable/nonprofit organizations, including churches, could not function without the dedicated volunteer hours and financial contributions of persons who believe in their causes and willingly invest time and resources for their support.
But what about the other approximate two-thirds of us who don’t volunteer to support any effort or cause outside the immediacy of our own comfort and convenience? And what about the approximate 30% of church volunteers in most churches, who are often called upon to do 100% of the work?
According to Jesus, what we receive in life is in direct proportion to what we are willing to give back: “Give and it shall be given unto you” (Luke 6:38). Jesus went on to say that to whom much is given, much will be required.
In God’s economy, our own desire for increase is connected to our willingness to give back. God doesn’t just send blessings to us; God sends blessings through us. We are not reservoirs of self-aggrandizement. We are conduits of amazing grace.
Wisdom tells us that service to others is the rent we pay for being on the planet. May the 70% of us who never ask the question, “What shall I render?” bring our rent payment out of delinquency.
And when new volunteers show up, may they not be discouraged by the insecurities and turf-wars that sometimes derail the enthusiasm of those willing to give freely of themselves in service to others.
Lord, you have blessed me abundantly. Help me to not just count my blessings, but to make my blessings count. Amen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Decatur, Georgia.