“And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.”
I experienced a shiver when I read the above text because I wondered what exactly would motivate a man to give all he has to the poor or his body to be burned if not genuine love.
But the Bible says it is possible not to love and still do these things. It is possible not to have a heart for God and still serve Him with all your strength. The fact that this is possible should scare you. It should make you bring your heart to God again and again for a check.
It should make you realise how much God values the state of your heart, the intentions that back up your actions, and every reason you do the things you do. God is not a man, and he is rarely ever impressed just because you did one thing that looks so massive to you; what impresses Him is if you did it in obedience, surrender, or as a response to love.
There’s an enormous difference between a man who goes on a fast for 49 days with the intent to move God’s hand in search of power and a man who goes on a 3-day fast in obedience or just to stay in fellowship and seek the face of the Lord. One thinks his sacrifice can force the hand of God, while the other just wants to offer himself as a sacrifice of praise. So, guess who moves God’s heart more? You thought right—the latter did.
Ask God for a heart that seeks His Glory in all things. Ask Him for a heart of compassion—one that can feel the pain of others and be like Jesus to them. I’ve heard it said a lot of times by unbelievers about how unfair it is for God not to rate “good people”. By good people, they usually mean those who give all their riches in donations, those who go to faraway places and become monks and never hurt a fly, those who endanger themselves to find cures or save the life of the little African boy, as we see in documentaries. These deeds are impressive, but the Bible says you can do all these things and still not have charity.
The heart of man is desperately self-seeking. Most times, these things we do that are “good” are actually because they benefit us in some way—either it gets us the accolades of men or makes us feel good about ourselves. The mistake is when we mistake these motivations for love and expect God to be pleased by it when we’re simply doing it for ourselves.
God is not pleased by the many things you do; He is only delighted by obedience, surrender, and love—all out of a pure, holy heart. So, pray. Ask the Lord to check your heart. Ask Him to reveal the intents of your heart to you. Ask Him to teach you how to love in His way. Remember, it is not about what is good in your eyes but what is good in His.
- Dear God, help me that my sacrifices to you are acceptable and pleasing before your eyes.
- Teach me, Lord, to love genuinely. I don’t want to love for selfish purposes but to represent and honour you.
- Search my heart, Father, and see if there be any wicked thing in me. Then, please purge me of every iniquity in Jesus’ name.
- Save me from a heart powered not by your love but by my selfish motivations.
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Have a blessed day!