1 Thessalonians 1; Isaiah 11-13; Psalm 112
With some things, it doesn’t matter why you do them, the important thing is that they get done. Housekeeping chores are a lot like that. My wife doesn’t care why I do the laundry, just that I get it done. It doesn’t matter if the motivation is that I’m bored, that I realize I need clothes, or that she needs clean clothes.
Motivation becomes more important when we think about our work for the Lord. Paul prayed for the Thessalonian church as he remembered what they did and why they did it. “We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 1:3) The motivation behind the actions Paul noted are important.
Work should be produced by faith. Too many people today think that they need to do something good to get on God’s good side. How many people work hard doing good things hoping that their work will result in faith? Their work supposedly for God becomes empty, and hopeless because it will never be enough. When we do God’s work because of our faith and our love for Him, there is a joy in the process and the results. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve God in that way.
If you are doing good things hoping to make God happy; if you are going through fruitless labor to gain God’s attention; if you are growing weary in your desire to get God’s love, stop. Examine your relationship to God. Put your faith and trust in Him, not in your good works. When you do, you will find that the work that used to be wearying now brings joy and endurance due to your hope.
Lord God, remind me of Your great love for me each and every day. Thank You for the opportunity to be called Your servant. Thank You for the privilege of living in Your kingdom. Let me work each day in gratitude for that opportunity.