1 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
I have been thinking about this a lot recently. What does it mean to have a servant's heart? What first comes to mind is the passage above from the book of Matthew. I have looked at this passage many times and always come to the conclusion that when I give I should not be doing it to get praise from men because ultimately that would be my reward--which is unfortunate to think I could be storing up eternal gifts in heaven yet i will settle for mortal praise! However, I always looked at it as being praised from outsiders, but what about looking for praise from the person I am serving?
I recently realized that if I give a person food and expect him to be grateful, or open my house to someone and expect them to be grateful, then I do not have a true servants heart! When I give a homeless man food, and in return I get no thanks, or worse yet, receive a disgusted response at my food selection for him, I must not be bitter. If I am bitter, then I was looking for his praise and acceptance, and thus my service is selfish and futile. Instead, I should act lovingly towards him, and want to serve him just the same as if he was the most grateful person on the earth.
My actions do not reflect the amount of gratitude and thanks I should be giving Jesus for what he did in coming and dying on a cross for my sin. Why then do I expect this other imperfect human to be grateful for my imperfect act of service? Often I think too highly of myself...this is one of those cases...
Sunday, May 22, 2011
I remember when I first moved to Rochester, and we moved into the a cozy apartment which had a backyard that also served soccer complex. By the apartment was a path that led from my house down to a park about a mile or two away. About halfway to the park there was a mink farm. I don't know if you've ever experienced the smell, but the first time I passed by I couldn't decide if I should breath through my nose and suffer through the awful smell, or through my lungs which, at the time, I thought could be harmed by foul odors( for clarification I was 11 ). Over the years I have never forgotten that feeling of nausea that swept through my body as the first bits of odor touched my innocent nose, but oddly now when I drive by I don't even notice a hint of bad odor.
Desensitization is great gift from God at times--like the example above--and calls for us to praise him for his great design. However, In the spiritual realm this idea where our senses are numbed over time is dangerous! The longer I allow sin to dwell in my heart, the less it tends to bother me, and eventually I don't even believe or care that I am in sin because I am so numb to the effect it has on me! It is only by the grace of God that I can realize how much I smell and that I need a savior to put to death that sin in my life.
I believe this is one reason God has given us His Word, and brothers and sisters in Christ. We are incapable of realizing on our own the odors of our life and character, so he graciously gives us His Word and brothers and sisters in Christ. The Word is "sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Heb. 4:12), and brothers and sisters who know us intimately can point out areas of our lives that "stink," which we were unaware of before.Publish Post
What are some smells in our lives that we grow too accustomed to?
I know this has nothing to do with YWAM or preparation for my trip, but it is something on my heart that I wanted to put into words:). Also, pardon my poor writing abilities...I am working on it, so just bear with me as I grow in that area!