Archive for November 9th, 2007

Whatcha Doing? How Come?

Friday, November 9th, 2007

Today’s scripture: I Chronicles 28:9-10 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Specifically, ask yourself, “Why do I serve God?” Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Ben Lamb):

What an undertaking Solomon was given — to build the new temple for Israel! (FYI: his father was King David; of the “David and Jonathan” love story.)

David was giving Solomon words of wisdom: “…serve God with single mind and willing heart…” Isn’t that the way we always do it anyway?

I wish I could say yes, but I can’t. It’s so easy to let the focus of my life slip away from God sometimes. I’m not talking about turning my back on the whole shebang. I’m talking about everyday life: work, school, social time, and even during free time. Dare I say “church time” as well? I confess — there have been times when my mind has been a thousand miles away during moments in church.

A single mind seems to imply decisiveness, rather than still being in the state of trying to make up one’s mind. “Let’s see here, am I going to serve God? Well, maybe. Sort of. Kind of. I’m just not sure” isn’t the type of thought pattern I envision coming from a singularly-focused mind of a person who serves God.

Then there’s the “willing heart” issue to deal with. Have you ever had to do something you really didn’t want to do, but did it anyway? Maybe due to social pressure. Maybe because it would earn brownie points with someone. Or it could even have been because it gave you a warm fuzzy. But are any of those a good reason to do something for God?

“Hey now. How does it matter what the motivating reason happens to be, as long as service to God gets accomplished?!” some people would reply. Yes, good things can, indeed, come about regardless of what our motivation is. But let’s look at another part of today’s reading.

“…the Lord searches every mind, and understands every plan and thought.” It would appear that God already knows our motivation for serving. How do you suppose it makes God feel to watch us and have to say, “Yes, it appears impressive to others that my servant is doing things for me, but I’d really like to see it happen out of willingness than for any other reason.”

God loves us unconditionally. It doesn’t matter what we’ve have done or have not done. God’s love for us isn’t based on what we’ll do in the future, either. God loves us no matter what! That fact, alone, compels me to strive to serve God. Not because I have to, but because I want to serve with a heart of gratitude.

Thought for the day: Dear God, help me to understand my true motivation for serving you.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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