Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Missing Ingredient

When I copy a recipe, I'm very careful to write 'B. Powder' and 'B. Soda' to make sure I focus on the powder and soda and not only on the 'baking' part. If I see 'baking' and focus simply on that, it's easier to end up with the wrong ingredient, which will ruin the finished product and make it inedible.

The other day my friend talked about motivation and attitude, and it was like being hit with a one-two punch. The more she talked the more convicted I became. Truth does that to you.

Let all that you do be done in love. ~I Corinthians 16:14


Too many times I focus on the doing and not on the love. My motivation is all wrong because I'm doing things out of necessity and not out of love.

Our motivation should be our love for Jesus.
Not obligation, not duty or self-recognition.
An act of love for Jesus and nothing else.

That love is like the difference between baking powder and baking soda in a cookie recipe. If I do something out of duty or obligation, the final product will be of no lasting value. Sure, there will be a finished product that might look just right, and everyone around us may be convinced and the need may be filled—but will it be edible in God's sight? Will it have lasting value? No.

Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men's hearts; and then each man's praise will come to him from God.
~I Corinthians 4:5


God sees our hearts. He knows the real reason we're doing things even when people around us don't. Love is the missing ingredient far too often in my life, and look at what Paul has to say about that missing love in I Corinthians 13:
PhotobucketIf I ___ ...but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. (Nothing pretty sounding about that! That's just being a loud, obnoxious noise-maker in God's ear.)
PhotobucketIf I ___ ...but do not have love, I am nothing. (Sound good, huh? Nothing. No one wants to be a nothing!)
PhotobucketIf I ___ ...but do not have love, it profits me nothing. (Not only is it obnoxious and being a nothing, but the profit, the bottom line, is nothing, too. In business, if there's no profit, it gets eliminated.)

But the good news is that we can choose love and we can choose to do things as an expression of love to Jesus. Now that's something I can wrap my mind around. Because I love my husband, I choose to do things for him and with him that I would never do on my own. But I'll do it gladly for my husband. And as believers, the body of Christ, who's our husband? Jesus. We can do things simply out of love FOR HIM that we would never choose to do on our own. That attitude of love falls in the category of gold, silver and precious stones. The love will last while the rest burns.

Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay straw, each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. ~I Corinthians 3:12-13

What's our motivation? It should be love for Jesus.
What's the attitude we do things in? It should be an expression of our love for Jesus.

Lord, there are many things in this life that I'd rather not do for one reason or another. I'm a sinful, selfish girl, but Father, I don't want to stay this way. I want to live for You. Help me do things as an expression of love for You. Teach me to love. To love others, to love You. Thank You for the ultimate expression of love when You gave Your life for me—help me to remember that when I'm digging in my heals. I want to love You more, Father. Please, help me. In Your most precious and Holy name, amen.

3 comments:

  1. What a great post! I love how you apply Biblical truths to our every day lives. Very good, Peejers!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, amen! So much truth here, and excellently presented. I needed this.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Patti, this is really so true, so often we DO and DO and DO - and yet don't even take the time to examine our hearts to know, as God already does, the motivation. And yet we keep on moving forward in Him, thankful He is able to complete the good work HE is DOING in us! Be blessed, stay in peace.

    ReplyDelete

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