Why try?

(continuation of yesterday’s thoughts)

Nothing I can do will ever impress God but that’s not to say that I can do nothing to please God. Yesterday I wrote about how I would react if God was coming to my house for dinner. My reaction would be the same as others in scripture … I would beg for my life and not be able to look upon Him. God’s that big of a deal.

But just because my friend’s argument was flawed does not mean that the intent of his argument is more right than wrong.

Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,

It is possible to please God. If our hearts are right and our intentions are pure, God is pleased when we put effort into blessing Him. That means we prepare well, we practice hard and we give it our best shot. Even if, by man’s standards, our performance is not excellent, God is pleased by our intent when we do all that we do to bring glory to Him.

When our efforts are more about bringing glory to ourselves or our attitudes belittle others and make them feel like they don’t measure up to us, we cease to be about the Lord’s work. When we appoint ourselves judge of what does and does not meet God’s standards for performance and appearance, we choose sin and take on a role never intended for us.

I have had the opportunity to host some very talented, nationally-known Christian musicians and speakers and been appalled to read their riders specifying things like fresh cut flowers in their dressing rooms and specific daily newspapers. I have hosted others who have humbly joined in helping us set up chairs before the concert. Which do you think represented Jesus better to the teenagers on the setup team?

I have been more blessed by the rough voice of an elderly man singing with passion than the melodies of a classically-trained recent graduate of a top music school and his flawless presentation of a German hymn.

I have wept tears over the $5 bill handed to me by a single, welfare mom for a mission trip while being grateful but not emotionally moved by the $50 given by the man who owned three vacation homes and drives a $70,000.00 car. I am not in a position to judge either gift but can tell you which one made me cry.

Mark 12:41-44 NIV
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.”

Whatever you do … bring glory to Jesus. Jesus is glorified by how we love Him and love others. If my doing becomes more about me than it is about loving others, I am missing the point.

So, yes, my friend is right. We need to do our best and work hard to bring glory to Jesus. It is when we work hard hoping others will be impressed by us that we miss the point.

About Scott Linscott

Living life to the fullest, walking in the dust of my Rabbi, creating art through photography and written word, speaking words of hope and encouragement at conferences, workshops, church and civic gatherings.
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