There is an ice cream parlor about a mile away from my house; I know . . . how lucky can you get? One of the things that Elizabeth and I like to do is go for a walk down to the ice cream shop, get a cone of our favorite ice cream, and then walk back to the house, licking it the entire way home. It’s funny how it all works out though. Elizabeth never asks, “Do you want to go get some ice cream?” It is always the simple request of, “Let’s go for a little walk, you want to?” This is usually followed up by “Be sure to bring your wallet with some money . . . just in case.” Some people may call it splurging, but Elizabeth and I call it exercise. If there is anything in the world to help get people motivated to exercise, it is ice cream!
Motives are an amazing thing. Sometimes motives can make us do things we do not want to do, try harder to accomplish difficult tasks, or even make enjoyable tasks more pleasant. The Bible often mentions that in many cases motives are more important than the action itself. Sure, you go to church, but why? Yea, you help people, but for what reason? Sure, you tithe each week, but why do you do it? Is it all just lip service, or is it “heart service”? One of the powers of God is to be able to look into your heart and see your motives, not just your actions. This gives God a lucid glimpse of who you are on the inside; for some of us, this can be very intimidating. So the next time you act out your faith, make sure your attitude is in the right place. Don’t go to church to be social, but go to worship authentically and experience God. Don’t help people for the recognition, but help them in order for people to see Jesus in you. Don’t tithe just because the Bible instructs you to do so, but tithe to help further the Kingdom of God. Give your alms to prove your trust and faith that God will provide for your every need. And what about the ice cream? I guess as long as you walk to get it, technically it is still exercise!
-Spending time in the Word-
“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” -Ann Landers
1. In Luke 21:1-4, notice that Jesus is not concerned about the amount of money that was given, but the attitude and sacrificial giving behind the offering.
2. Matthew 6:1-18 explains how giving to the needy, praying, and fasting can either be done for selfish reasons and a reward on earth, or done for God, securing an everlasting reward in heaven.
-Hiding the Word in your heart-
Memorize these verses as you continue to study the Word of God daily.
1. “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.” -Jeremiah 17:10
2. “All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord.”
3. “God will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.” -1 Corinthians 4:5b