In my first attempt to have a home Bible study, I invited neighbors, friends, and some of my husband's colleagues' wives to an introductory coffee. For two days I worked in the kitchen making what resulted in rather pitiful-looking French pastries. Just as the women began arriving, my coffee grinder flew apart, landing a big pile of coffee on the floor. There was no time to clean up the mess, so we just had to step around it.
After I made my presentation, one neighbor casually announced she had already studied the Bible. I didn't detect much interest in anyone.
The last woman walked out the front door, and I walked back into the kitchen wondering just how low I would feel after all the emotional energy I had expended. As I stood in front of the kitchen closet, the Lord spoke to my spirit: "I am pleased. You did what I wanted you to do." My spirit soared. I knew my joy would not depend on the women's responses to the invitation.
Our primary motivation for ministry will determine the joy we have in our service. If we are serving simply because we love the people, that purpose may seem noble, but the love will wear thin. The people may not appreciate our ministry or even notice what we've done. But if we are first of all doing it simply because we want to express our love to God, then His approval is enough.
George Watson said, "The best part of all that we say or do for the Lord is that which others do not see or hear; it is the secret flavor of pure love which rises like fragrant incense to Him we love and serve."
Jesus, thank You for every opportunity You give me to express my love for You! My joy is in seeking to please You in all I do.
"God...will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people" (Hebrews 6:10).