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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT WEDNESDAY - WHAT MOTIVATES US TO SERVE?

The teenager lost a contact lens while playing basketball in his driveway. After a fruitless search, he told his mother the lens was nowhere to be found. Undaunted, she went outside and in a few minutes returned with the lens in her hand.

"I really looked hard for that, Mom," said the youth. "How'd you manage to find it?"

"We weren't looking for the same thing," she replied. "You were looking for a small piece of plastic. I was looking for $150."
- Source Unknown.

We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. - 1 Thess 1:2-3. TNIV

"I'm so depressed and I can't get any dates," the 300-pound man told his minister. "I've tried everything to lose weight."

"I think I can help," said the minister.
"Be dressed and ready to go tomorrow at 8 a.m."

Next morning, a beautiful woman in a skintight exercise suit knocked on the man's door. "If you can catch me, you can have me," she said, as she took off. He huffed and puffed after her.


This routine went on every day for the next five months. The man lost 115 pounds and felt confident that he would catch the woman the next day.

That morning he whipped open his front door and found a 300-pound woman in a jogging suit waiting for him. "The minister said to tell you," she began, "that if I can catch you, I can have you." - Allan C. Boyer in Reader's Digest.


Have you ever thought of what motivates our service to God! I have, and I would like to share some principles from our text that will make our service to God richer, stronger and eternal! First we look at our…

WORK OF FAITH
Paul is encouraging
the Church at Thessalonica, by reminding them that he and his people were constantly praying for them, and pointing out that they were always in their remembrance of their Godly work of faith! What a wonderful way to encourage each other and our service for God!

Our motivation for service should not be for selfish glory or to try and gain God’s attention, as some are apt to do, and it shouldn’t be for some kind of spiritual high that affects a lot of Christians today, but it should be because we know Christ as our Lord and Saviour! His Spirit leads us and we respond to the call…

We serve the lord, because we believe who He is…
If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. – Rom 10:9. We owe everything to Him, and we trust Him for salvation, and for all of life! Hallelujah!


A young boy, on an errand for his mother, had just bought a dozen eggs. Walking out of the store, he tripped and dropped the sack. All the eggs broke, and the sidewalk was a mess. The boy tried not to cry. A few people gathered to see if he was OK and to tell him how sorry they were.

In the midst of the works of pity, one man handed the boy a quarter. Then he turned to the group and said, "I care 25 cents worth. How much do the rest of you care?" James 2:16 points out that words don't mean much if we have the ability to do more. - Stanley C. Brown.

Secondly we look at our…

LABOUR OF LOVE
When the going gets tough,
and we feel weary, or we are in some trouble, we keep on working because of the love He has instilled in us…

We love because he first loved us. -1 John 4:19. Not just because we know and have faith, not because this is our reasonable service, but because of our love for Him and of Him! We are not motivated for any other reason. He loves us so much that He gave His all for us, he went the extra mile, and He still demonstrates this love for us, every day!

If you're into bumper-sticker philosophy, you've probably seen the axiom, "I owe, I owe, so off to work I go." For a vast portion of the workforce, that's the best reason they can muster for going to the job each day. According to one poll, only 43 percent of American office workers are satisfied with their jobs. In Japan, the figure dips to 17 percent.

In the first century, Christian slaves had even less reason to be enthusiastic about their work. But Paul gave them a way to grasp a glimpse of glory amid the grind. He wanted them to "make the teaching of God ,attractive " that is, to show the beauty of their faith in Christ by how they work (Titus 2:10).

A significant and often overlooked way that we serve God is in our everyday tasks. Martin Luther understood this when he wrote, "The maid who sweeps her kitchen is doing the will of God just as much as the monk who prays -- not because she may sing a Christian hymn as she sweeps but because God loves clean floors. The Christian shoemaker does his Christian duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship." -Our Daily Bread.

Our third and final principle is our…

ENDURANCE OF HOPE
We are in this for the long haul;
our walk with Jesus is not a short sprint, but a marathon run! This brings a peace and a rest to our souls that cannot be improved on! This commitment to Jesus is inspired by our hope, and helps us to stay focused to the finishing line…

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. - Heb 12:2.

A recent television documentary pointed out that the cheetah survives on the African plains by running down its prey. The big cat can sprint seventy miles per hour. But the cheetah cannot sustain that pace for long. Within its long, sleek body is a disproportionately small heart, which causes the cheetah to tire quickly. Unless the cheetah catches its prey in the first flurry, it must abandon the chase.

Sometimes Christians seem to have the cheetah's approach to ministry. We speed into projects with great energy. But lacking the heart for sustained effort, we fizzle before we finish. We vow to start faster and run harder, when what we need may be not more speed but more staying power--stamina that comes only from a bigger heart. Motion and busyness, no matter how great, yield nothing unless we allow God to give us the heart. - Grant Lovejoy.

We get hope from endurance, because the leading and the work of the Holy Spirit, brings a peace upon us! We have the rest, because of knowing that God has in the right place at the right time, and that helps us to enjoy His goodness. Our endurance inspired by our hope shows to others, that we believe God holds our future in His hands! Hallelujah! Be motivated in the right way!

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit, to keep my motivation pure. Help me Lord to run the race, by serving Jesus and his commands. Help me Lord to keep my eye firmly fixed on Jesus, the founder and perfecter of my faith, and help me Lord to labour in your love. In Jesus wonderful name I pray, Amen!

Be encouraged!
GBYAY

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