Sometimes we can get caught up in what we do for God. The sacrifices we make. Maybe we teach Sunday School, lead a ministry or we find ourselves listed as an usher or a volunteer in the nursery. I’ve caught myself thinking how important I am and how much God needs me to perform some task for Him. When we love we serve but…I don’t believe service is the best thing.
We are reminded through the prophet Hosea that God wants more than our service and sacrifices. More than our outward show of righteousness. He wants our love. I could list the offices I have held and the committees I have served on. I could tell you when I have missed my favorite shows and sleeping in on Saturday. What I don’t like to recount is the times God has told me to do, go, say, forgive, love…and I have just flat out said no – either in word or action.
How about those times I knew the right thing to do but chose to do what I wanted? Secretly hoping I had gained enough “sacrifice/offering” brownie points to outweigh my disobedience. I mean, do I think my “doing” is an insurance policy?
“But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22 (NIV)
God does not need my money, my time, my resources, or me, to accomplish what He needs done. He didn’t create us for service. We were created for relationship. God wants to walk in the garden with us. To share in our lives. He wants us to choose the better thing.
“But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42 (NLT)
This story can make me crazy because I can be more Martha than Mary. I mean, if you are planning an event or having company (our word for guests in the south) for supper, you better hope there is someone with a few Martha tendencies around. If not, we might all be having some great conversation but our company is leaving with their stomachs growling. What is the better thing that Mary chose?
Maybe Mary was willing to eat a sandwich at Jesus’ feet instead of watching Him eat a buffet from afar.
Maybe Mary understood that more than what she could do for Jesus is what Jesus was doing within her.
Dear Lord, help us to love as You love. Remind us that more important than what we can do for You, is knowing You and living our lives in obedience to You. We want a show Lord. We want others to “see” our service and all the while, You are a stranger to us. We crave a relationship with You and often we don’t even understand that’s what we long for. We need You Lord. Thank You for loving us before we even loved You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10 (NIV)
Joining in with Kelly Balarie’s #raralinkup