God Uses People to Care for People
Serving Willingly and Eagerly – Part VII
Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:12-17
Key Verse: James 4:3
When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
I end this set of devotionals with a warning to all of us who ask God to use us in His Kingdom work. I aim this warning at pastors as well as laypeople who want to care for people that God directs them to.
Our Key Verse tells us that God is not going to answer our prayers and use us in His Kingdom work if we ask with wrong motives. The motives that God hates is spiritual pride and a greedy attitude.
Jesus warns us by pointing to those who were claiming to be great men of God but had wrong motives:
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.” (Matthew 6:1-2)
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:5-6)
Have you ever caught yourself doing spiritual activities so that others would think highly of you? Have you ever talked to others about a gift you gave to the food and clothing drives that your church is having for the poor in the community?
To be honest, I am afraid that I am guilty of both of those.
Doing things to look good in front of people is a common problem for all of us because it feels good to have people speak well of us. The good news is, when we are careful not to do things for the applause of people, our Heavenly Father makes sure to reward us. Sometimes He allows people to find out what we have done and lets us have a “pat on the back”. His concern is that we do not do things for that reason, and that our motives for service to Him is about Him and our love for Jesus.
Keep in mind that our Father in heaven “sees what is done in secret”. If we do things for public approval, that approval is all we get. God’s rewards and approval is so superior to anything people can give us, let’s do all things “as working for the Lord”! (Colossians 3:23).
Father, forgive me when I do things for other’s approval. Holy Spirit remind me to always have the right motives. I pray this in Jesus’s Name, amen.