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Draper cites 3 reasons why it’s ‘worth it’ to serve God

NEW ORLEANS (BP)–“Does it pay to serve God? Is it worth it?”
The president of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention asked these questions rhetorically Feb. 25 at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary on the final day of a special emphasis week on the ministry of LifeWay.
James T. Draper Jr., preaching in chapel from Malachi 3, said those in Christian ministry today can well understand the circumstances and questions raised in the classic passage about a faithful remnant. While they walked with God, they experienced disappointment and despair and felt forgotten by God. At the same time, wicked, arrogant, callous people who tested God succeeded and prospered.
Draper presented three answers to the basic question, “Is it really worth it serving God?”
First, “it pays to serve God if you’d rather God hear you than anyone else. It pays to serve God if you’d rather get God’s attention than anyone else.”
God is even gracious to hear and listen to various types of complaints, Draper said, such as:
— an exclamation: “It’s vain to serve God!” Other Bible heroes such as the prophet Jeremiah expressed this feeling of “anguished faith,” which Draper also described in terms of “What will you do when your neatly wrapped theology doesn’t work?”
— a question: “What value, what profit, what’s the use? Is it futile serving God?” The remnant had faithfully kept God’s ordinances, but at the moment the result did not seem profitable.
— an observation: Those who walked uprightly observed the wicked succeeding when they did not.
“When faith falters, we need someone to talk to. God listens. His attention never diminishes,” Draper said, encouraging ministers to feel free to express their feelings and even complaints to God.
Second, serving God is worth it “if you’d rather be remembered by God than by anybody else.”
The names of his faithful servants are always before God, Draper said. “The world forgets us, but God never does.” The things God remembers through all eternity are his servants, Draper said.
Third, it pays to serve God “if you’d rather be a treasure than have a treasure.”
“God, who could have anything in the world to be his treasure, will treasure most his servants,” Draper said.
Draper was one of a team of 16 administrators and staff members from LifeWay to lead a special emphasis week at NOBTS focused on the variety of ministry resources and services available through LifeWay.

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