“When He comes, he will bring out in the open and place in evidence … inner motives and purposes and prayers. Only then will any one of us get to hear the “well done” of God.” (1 Cor. 4:5 The Message)
“He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts.” (NIV)
It’s not about how much we “do” for or in the name of God. Our good works cannot earn us brownie points with God.
It’s about the heart – nothing more, nothing less.
I don’t say this so we can get off the hook, by not doing anything for God. This is not an excuse to sit on our duff. God wants us to serve Him and He deserves nothing less – but we must do so for the right reason and with the right motives.
And what, might you ask, is that?
I’ve talked about this so many times I’m starting to sound like a broken record. Love, love, love! That’s what it’s all about. We love Him because He first loved us. We also love others, because He loved us. This is the first and greatest commandment – to love. It’s His love that is to compel us to serve and love others. Unless we do “good works” out of love, those works mean “nothing.”
That’s what God says. You could do the greatest acts of service ever known to man kind, but if you did not have love in that, God says that act is meaningless, not only that, He virtually calls it “an annoying noise.”
That’s how God feels when we serve Him out of duty or to get noticed, etc., rather than out of the pure motive of love.
The second motive, which comes on the heels of “love,” is to bring honor and glory to Him.
Everything we do, should be done for His glory. Matthew 5:16 says it well. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify the Father in heaven.” All our good works, should point people to the Father. They should cause people to look to Him, not to us.
It’s so easy to do things for the praise of man. Who doesn’t like a pat on the back? Sometimes we are doing this without even realizing it. That’s why we must continually examine our hearts.
When we serve Him with the right heart and pure motives – and we cannot hide this from God - then when we stand before Him, we will receive our praise from God. We will be able to hear Him say, “well done.”
That’s what we need to live for – the praise of God. We must continually remind ourselves that God sees not as man sees. He looks on the heart.
When we serve Him and worship Him out of a heart of love, gratitude and a desire to bring glory to Him, then and only then, will our offerings, our acts of service, our prayers be like a sweet smelling fragrance before His throne.