“I love… Jesus”, I said to my husband right before falling asleep in bed. I think he expected me to say, “I love… you”. We don’t fall asleep without saying I love you to each other. But, on that particular day, I just had to verbalize to someone how much I truly loved Jesus. Not because it’s a cliché thing to say or because it’s the Christian thing to say, but because I was learning so much about who He is and what He did for us.
During the months of March and April, I made a decision to study the book of Matthew with a group of ladies, in order to prepare for this Easter season (we are following a bible study plan from Good Morning Girls). We share every day what God has revealed to us. The testimonies and new understanding we share, are ways we help each other grow in our faith. I think they can say, as can I, that learning about Jesus has caused our heart to long for Him and love Him even more.
My mission during these couple of months was for my faith and understanding of God’s word to be renewed. I’ve read the passages in the book of Matthew many, many times before, but for some reason they have come alive. Perhaps it has to do with the intention and motives of my heart in seeking God.
One of the themes we have seen in Jesus’ words and ministry is having the right motives for what we do. He is all about the intention of our hearts. When speaking of murder he said that if we curse a person, we have murdered in our hearts. When he spoke of prayer, he said God didn’t want to hear repetitive words, but authentic heartfelt prayers, and when He spoke of fasting, He told us to keep it to ourselves, because what we do in secret for God, He would reward us for it. The intentions of our heart matter more to God than our works. How we do things, versus what we do, matter to Him.
There have been many times that I’ve served God with the wrong motives, for recognition, or for my own gain. He knew I did and although those works served other people’s needs, God knew the intentions of my heart. Any other type of accolade I gained had no weight compared to the reward God could’ve given me if my heart had been set on Him. Have you been there before? Expecting to get a reward from people for the service or work you do? It’s human nature to desire recognition, but let me encourage you today to believe that the reward that God has for you is greater and better than any reward you can gain from people.
Reading Jesus’ words convicts me to my core. There’s nothing better and more loving than some tough love. People that love you, tell you what’s right and what’s good for you and that’s why I exclaim, “I love Jesus!”. He truly desires what’s good and right for me.
What can you do today to focus on serving God with the right motives?
Have you ever received “tough love” from someone, and it consequently brought positive changes to your life?