My First Bible Study

Years ago I followed a strong desire to invite my neighbors and friends in for coffee to introduce a Bible study I hoped to begin. I prayed, gave invitations, and spent hours baking French pastries. Only six women came and listened to my presentation. I served the coffee and pastries, and the women left with only two indicating interest.

After the last woman walked out the door, I went back into the kitchen preparing to clean up. Aware of the usual letdown that often follows a great use of emotional energy, I anticipated an emotional low. But while I was standing in front of the kitchen closet, the Spirit whispered, "I'm pleased. You did what I wanted you to do."

Suddenly nothing else mattered. I had done what I could out of love for the Lord, and He had accepted it.

Our primary motivation for ministry will determine the measure of joy we have in our service. If we are serving simply because we love the people, it may seem noble, but that kind of love wears thin. The people may not appreciate our ministry or even notice what we've done. But if we are serving simply because we want to express our love to God, then His approval is enough. We are protected from both discouragement and burnout when we are serving others because we love Jesus.

George Watson said, "The best part of all we say or do for the Lord is that which others do not see or hear; it is the secret flavor of pure love that rises like fragrant incense to Him we love and serve."

Thank You, Jesus, that our joy does not depend on others' response to what we do, but upon knowing we are pleasing You."

"God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them" (Hebrews 6:10).