Ive heard people complain about the things they have to do for the Lord. Oh, I suppose I have to visit Brother So-and-so, they grumble. How sad that a believer would try to serve God out of a grumbling sense of duty rather than the fulfillment of love. Too many of us speak of heavy burdens that we must carry.
Do you realize the importance Jesus puts upon your loving Him? He accepts only the works that flow from a heart of love. Hes not at all interested in the works you might do out of a sense of obligation or responsibility. He wants your service to Him to flow out of a heart of love. It must be the overflow of love and the expression of your love for Him.
Jesus said, My yoke is easy and My burden is light (Matthew 11:30). So if you discover that the burden youre trying to carry is so heavy that it weighs you down, then you had better take a second look at that burden. It probably isnt from Him. It may be something that youve taken upon yourself or allowed others to lay on youand that can be a heavy burden.
People try to lay their burdens on me all the time. Someone messes up his life and then comes to me and says, Fix it, Chuck. Its your problem. No, it is not my problem, its his problem. Dont lay your burden on me, I say. The Bible says, Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). Rather than coming to me, that person needs to cast his cares on Jesus. If you try to take responsibility for lifting someone out of a hole that hes dug for himself, that can be a terribly heavy burden on you! God allowed that burden to happen to bring that person into a closer relationship with Himnot you.
Remember that one day your works will be judgedand the only kind of works that God will accept are those motivated by love. Dont try to serve God out of a begrudging sense of duty. Paul the apostle said, For the love of Christ compels us (2 Corinthians 5:14). The compelling love of Jesus Christ within works in such a way that we no longer look upon our service as a sacrifice. We look upon it as a privilege, as a joy, as a blessing. What fun to be able to do things for our Lord who loves us so much. You see, the Lord does not long for our service; He longs for a growing, loving relationship with us. God simply wants a loving relationship with you.
In ancient times, a man who desired to remain the property of his master would say, I love my master. I dont want to be free of him. I want to serve him. The master would then take the servant to the doorpost and pin him with an awl through the lobe of his ear. Ever after, that servant would remain the masters bondslave.
I love my Master. Thats why I want to serve Him. This is the only true motive for any valued service to God. You must have this motivation for whatever you do for Him. It is the only motivation the Lord will accept.
So dont try to substitute your works for the fellowship He desires! Rather than busying yourself for Him, He would rather that you just sit, relax, and share time and love with Him. Serving the Lord always follows loving the Lord. You serve the Lord because you love Him. That is the mark of the bondslave.
- excerpted from Love The More Excellent Way by Chuck Smith
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon