Minimum Effort Means Minimum Return


Elder Robert Willis (dec)

A hard lesson for many to learn is to learn the hard way that when you put nothing in or at least very little into savings, then very little will be there in the future.  The same could be said for the spiritual lives of many of God’s children.  Many people want to know what the bare minimum is that they can get by with and the Lord not get “upset” with them; then they want Maximum return.   

Does God allow a bare minimum of our effort?  Jesus himself answered this question when He said, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” (Mark 12:30)Loving God and wanting to please Him means doing all we can, not the bare minimum in His service. 

There are a number of questions God’s people ask to see what the “bare minimum” might be.  How often do I really need to go to church...isn’t once or twice a month enough?”  My church only meets one or two times a month, can’t I just stay home on the other Sundays?  How much do I have to give to the church?  How much do I have to do at the church... isn’t the yard and church clean when I do go without me having to help?   Actually, we should be saying, “Lord, we are unprofitable servants.”  Look at what Luke says in Lk. 17:10, “..when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.”

There seems to be times when we, as Primitive Baptist, seem to think we should not have to do  anything  in the Lord's service because we know that Eternal Life is a gift of God, and is not by the works of man.  We cannot “work our way to heaven,” so what is the purpose of having to work in the church?

Perhaps we have not read what Paul said in I Corinthians 15:58 or perhaps we would better understand the need for our labors while we remain on this earth.  As children, we did the commands of our parents to please them, or, in many cases, not be chastised.  The same is true with our Heavenly Father.  Paul’s statement was this, “ ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” 

To diligently seek Him is to have a burning desire to serve the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.  This is not a minimum effort, but rather a WANT to do all we are blessed to do.  And, there is even a reward for doing so, even though we should not be doing it for the reward.  Paul says “...he (God) is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

There is no better way to start off a new year than by being in the service of our Lord, whether it be attending church and listening to the gospel, calling and visiting the widows and orphans, checking on the sick among us (spiritually and physically), or by reading and studying our bibles.  Don’t put it off; why not start now?  As one once said, “Just do it!”    But then, that is just my “Two Cents Worth.”