Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 28, 2018
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:9-10
I imagine there are times in everyone’s life when they wonder if they are doing what God has called them to; they doubt they are making a difference, and they wonder if they should move on to something else. Several years ago, I found myself in that exact place. For over ten years, I knew I was called to communicate about life challenges from a biblical perspective through written and spoken communication. But then doubt set in.
This doubt came on the heels of worldly attitudes that crept into my heart without my realizing it after I worked closely with someone who didn’t influence me for the better. As a result, I got too caught up in worrying about how many people I was reaching, how many books I was selling, and how many speaking engagements I was doing. It didn’t help that my sole income came from ministry. Consequently, my motives for ministry got muddied.
Around this time, I took a full-time writing position with Blueprint for Life, a Georgia-based non-profit. The relief that came from having a regular paycheck was refreshing, but more importantly, it gave me time to consider my motives and why I served. I had gotten burned from too many expectations about what I would be able to accomplish and I never wanted to go there again. It made me irritable, unappreciative of the people I served, and ungrateful for the small ways God was moving in my life and calling. But I didn’t know how I could get motivated without expectations. After all, it’s said that if you want to accomplish something, you should set a goal, because it gives you something to shoot for, right?
I took this burden to the Lord one morning and said, “Lord, I don’t know how to get motivated if I don’t know what I am trying to accomplish. How do I stay away from worrying too much about numbers, performance, and the future, and just serve you with a pure heart?”
The Lord reminded me of his greatest command, to love God and love others in Matthew 22:37-38.
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
In that moment, I understood how to do my work without getting trapped in striving. The truth was simple, but powerful: keep love in mind above all else. I knew that when I make loving Christ and others my greatest motivation, I will avoid worldly thinking. I will also experience love as a reward. When we give Christ’s love away, it always comes rolling back to us, filling up our own hearts. Others may not love us back; or we may not receive what we want in return. But the love we give is its own reward.
This doesn’t mean we can’t work or set goals, it just means that we keep love in mind as our highest priority, do our best as co-laborers with Christ, and leave the results to Him.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).
Lord, help me to keep love in mind as the highest priority as I work. Amen.
Talk with the Lord about what you learned today.
By God’s grace, make loving Christ and others our greatest motivation. #WisdomHunters #generouslove
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