Motivation Behind Serving

Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well, and that this devotion finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy!

Readings for February 14, 2021; Transfiguration of our Lord

2 Kings2:1-12 or Exodus 34:29-35; Psalm 50:1-6; 2 Corinthians 3:12-13, (14-18), 4:1-6; Mark 9: 2-9

For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 2 Corinthians 4:5

Don’t you love being acknowledged for a job well done? I know I certainly do. Whether it’s at home or at work, by family or by friends, it feels good when someone congratulates you on a job well done.

In itself, there is nothing wrong with receiving praise from another person. In fact, we are to use our gifts and abilities that God has given us, and we are to give it our best, as if giving to the Lord himself. It is natural for people to see and acknowledge a job well done. The problem lies in our motive behind our doing, our creating. If we are doing what we do simply to receive praise from others, or we are greatly disappointed when we don’t receive praise from others, then our motive behind the ‘doing’ is misplaced.

Everything we do should be viewed as if doing it for the Lord himself, and to know that if we have given our best, then that is all we can do and God is glorified by our actions. The way we feel towards our outcome should not depend on the glory and praise we receive from others afterwards. Ultimately, our actions are all in service to the Lord, and in him we will find our contentment and worthiness.

The idea that what we do is not to promote ourselves, but draw others to Christ- that we are just servants trying to proclaim Christ to the world- is especially relevant when we serve in our churches, when we take leadership positions within the church and especially in Worship Service itself. This idea is a tough one to learn. I know it firsthand. As a vocalist, I have always enjoyed singing in the church choir, singing solos, and simply singing the hymns throughout the service. In my youth, I enjoyed receiving the accolades of others and to some extent I felt my ‘performance’ was rated based on the number of compliments I received. I hate to admit it but at times I remember even feeling threatened if someone out sang me. Oh how sad!

This whole way of thinking is contrary to who we are in Christ and our service to him. It is contrary to who I am as a child of God and my service to him. Although I had always loved proclaiming his praises for my own worship, I didn’t fully see myself as being the instrument God was using to edify others; to humbly enter their life’s situations and draw them gently, gracefully back to himself, back to Jesus. When I realized this purpose behind my service, it was no longer about me, but 100% about serving God’s people. Oh what a humbling task! No more were there ‘performances’, only a desire to be his instrument to serve his children and draw them closer to him!

So may you too see all that you do, especially in Worship service, as God’s tasks given to you inorder to draw each soul back to their Saviour, and to be his balm of grace and forgiveness to all who see and hear. And by doing so, may you rest in the assurance of his pleasure, and the whisper of his inaudible words, “Well done good and faithful servant.” To God alone be the glory!

Prayer: Dear Lord, please forgive me when my motive behind serving is self-centred. Help me to do those good works that you have prepared for me to do by using my gifts and abilities for your sake alone. May those who see me, see you and your love for them. Let it not be about me but all about you. To you alone be all glory and praise, my Lord and Saviour, Jesus. In your name I pray. AMEN!

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