Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Serving with Sincerity

"I gave you a land on which you had not labored and cities that you had not built, and you dwell in them. You eat the fruit of vineyards and olive orchards that you did not plant. [. . .] Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and in faithfulness."
Joshua 24:13-14

I came across these verses yesterday as I was reading in the book of Joshua. It is such an encouraging book about the Lord's faithfulness to His people. In these verses, Joshua is reminding the Israelites that they received the Promised Land as a gift from God that must not be understood as based on their own achievements or behavior. One of the things that I struggle with a lot as a Christian is the belief that my actions, my achievements, and my behavior determine the way God views me. I sometimes go into this "performance mentality" instead of realizing that my merit before the Lord comes from the work of Jesus on the cross, not how well I "performed" for the Lord today.

These verses also reminded me of the innumerable amount of blessings the Lord has bestowed on my life. I have an amazing husband, a precious daughter, loving families, a beautiful home, blossoming friendships, and a God-glorifying church. The Lord brought such a gentle reminder and some correction to my heart because there is nothing that I have that is due to my own achievements. It is all the Lord's doing. I pray that I will walk in obedience as I "therefore, fear the Lord and serve in sincerity and in faithfulness." May I do this not because I aim to earn the Lord's favor through my actions, but as a response of love and gratitude and awareness of the God I serve.

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