Monday, March 19, 2012

gratitude, not obligation

inspiration: small group study and quiet time study.
"Serve the Lord with gladness!" -Psalm 100:2
yesterday, i sat down and put together small group study materials.
the next section in our study of spiritual disciplines is about serving.
i was going through the questions and scriptures and the author listed 6 motivations for us as believers to serve.
one of which hit a little closer to home than the rest: motivated by gratitude.

Jesus' sacrifice for us should motivate us to sacrifice as well, not out of obligation, but out of gratitude for the Cross. He paid the ultimate price. Our response should be worship - service being one of those venues of worship.

this morning, my quiet time study for today contained a quote by C.T. Studd about "sacrificial discipleship":
"If Jesus Christ be God, and He died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him."
it just reiterated the fact that i am to live a life that glorifies Him and the sacrifice that He made for me.
i am nothing without Him.

i tend to err on the "follow the rules because that's what you're supposed to do" side of grace rather than appreciating and rejoicing in serving. i serve because i'm "supposed to". i serve because there are positions that need to filled, jobs to be done.

i'm very blessed to serve in a ministry like theWell where i'm using my gifts to connect and minister to others. i love connecting with people and i'm blessed to lead an awesome small group.
but outside of that realm, i'm not good at serving out of gratitude.
when i'm at home, i serve my roommate out of obligation of keeping our apartment clean, not because i'm grateful for her (which i am! just being honest about the heart behind my service)
when i'm at work, i serve others because it's my job (which i love), but also because i will get fired if i don't get my job done.

i feel blessed to have my area to serve with a loving heart at church, a lot of people don't take the time to heed the call to service in church. but i need to take that same spirit to serve others in gratitude and not obligation.

what areas of your life do you need to serve out of gratitude and not obligation?
how can you be more intentional about serving out of gratitude and love and not out of duty and obligation?

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