Let me tell you, I absolutely love this little girl! You know how I know? I’ve never been a baby person. All of my life, I have always thought and said that all babies look alike and none of them are cute. They are just kind of weird looking and chubby. But guess what? I think Michaela is beautiful! I don’t think I have every changed a diaper in my life. Even when my nephew Malikai was a baby, I avoided diaper duty like the plague because that’s just gross! But guess what? Not only do I change Michaela’s diapers . . . I enjoy doing it! It’s the strangest thing. I enjoy cleaning her poopy diapers. I love rocking her to sleep late at night when I’m tired and exhausted. I love giving her attention when she wakes up, even when it interrupts important or fun things I’m doing.
I’m sure that those of you who are parents know what I’m talking about. Things that I thought were going to feel like a duty, chore, or burden don’t feel that way at all. Instead, I enjoy serving my little girl for the most part. Why? Because I love her! When I don’t feel like taking care of her, it just takes one look at the big eyes to change my mind and invigorate me to serve her.
I think that’s the way our relationship with Jesus should be as well.
It sure is the way its been for me. Before I was a Christian, there were a lot of religious and Christian things I would have seen as boring duties. Things like reading the Bible, spending more than thirty seconds in prayer, and going to church seemed like terrible ideas to me. But now that I’ve met Jesus and love Him, wow are things different. I love reading the Bible and praying. I love church. I even enjoy going out of my way to serve others for Christ.
Following Jesus is no longer this awful burden or chore. Instead it is this amazing love relationship I have with my Father and Savior. Keeping God’s commands is no longer a duty I must fulfill out of guilt but something that literally gives me joy because it’s a way of expressing my love to God and staying close to Him!
Have you had a similar experience?
I’ll admit, there are times that its not so easy and serving Jesus doesn’t immediately put a perfect little smile on my face. But its in those times that Romans 12:1 has proved invaluable. Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.
Does this verse tell us to just muster the resolve to do our duties to God? Nope. It tells us that when we need extra motivation to serve God when its hard, there is a place to look to find the drive we need. Look to the mercies of God. Look to the wonderful ways that God has loved you in your life and demonstrated that love to you. Look back at the answered prayers. Look back at the joyous blessings. Most importantly, look at the cross where Christ gave His very life in a powerful act of love to save you and wash you clean. Look into the big eyes of your loving Savior and you will find the drive you need to invigorate your hands to serve and heart to obey.
You see, we aren’t supposed to serve God out of guilt or duty. When you meet God for the first time, you understand this. The things you once thought of as burdensome chores actually give you joy because you love the one you are serving so much. When you lose sight of that and serving becomes a chore, just step back and take a moment to look the one you serve in the eyes and be reminded of why you serve.