This morning I had the opportunity to listen to a devotional given by one of our disciples. This lesson had not been pre-prepared for him; he gave it out of the overflow of his own personal relationship with God. And it was powerful.
In life, it is a common temptation for things to become routine, and ministry is no different. We attend and lead several services and Bible Studies a week, with some at odd hours like 4am on the day after our day off. I can’t count the number of times I have resolved to simply survive, my eyes on the clock just waiting for the moment when I can make my grand escape and do “what I want to do.” As the time draws closer to the end of our contract, that temptation grows stronger as our hearts start to make the transition from here to wherever we will go.
However, today God used my disciple to remind me of the heart of the mission: love. It should be the reason for everything we do. It should be the standard by which we govern our lives, and the motivation behind even the things that we wouldn’t personally choose to do. Am I serving out of obligation, or out of a supernatural awareness of God’s love for the people to whom I am serving? Am I leading because that’s what my contract tells me to do, or am I aware of the honor that I have been given to even be here, doing what I do?
Perhaps it’s easy to look at someone in ministry and say, “Of course it’s an honor to be there,” but I have held many different kinds of jobs that I didn’t like one bit. It was a drag to get up in the morning and go to work. Does the concept still apply in these situations? Absolutely. Once we have given our lives to Christ, every moment should be an overflow of the love we are constantly receiving from Him. After all, our lives are a gift that God gave us out of His love for us. Does the life we give back to God share the same caliber of passion?
Great reminder. Much easier said than done.
And what about our hearts? We can serve God on the outside, but on the inside be harboring bitter feelings toward God or our leaders. People can only see so much of who we are. We spend a few hours in public, but many more hours behind closed doors. We can fake a good face, but at the end of the day our relationship with God is only between Him and us. Am I giving Him my love or only my reluctant obedience? Does the sacrifice I am offering smell pleasing to Him or is it offensive? We can walk a good walk, but God knows the intention behind the actions. He knows the heart behind the service.
I want every moment of my life to be all for love of my Savior. I pray that I would not seek to simply survive my tasks, but that I would offer my Lord the best of me. God, please forgive me for often serving out of obligation rather than love. Please change my heart to reflect Yours.