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A family was rushing to get to the movies. The parents told the children they had to leave “right now” at which point their teenage daughter headed for the bathroom to apply makeup. Her father yelled for her to get in the car immediately, and headed to the garage grumbling.
On the way to the theater, the father glanced in the rearview mirror and saw his daughter applying lipstick and blush, which produced the predictable lecture. “Look at your mom,” he said. “She didn’t put on any makeup just to go sit in a dark movie theater.” The daughter’s response was, “Yeah, but Mom doesn’t need makeup.” The mother’s heart was swelling with the compliment, and she turned back to thank this sweet, wonderful daughter just as she continued, “Nobody looks at her.”
I’m sure there have been times when your choice of clothing or the way you got yourself ready in the morning was determined by whether anybody would see you or not. If you’re just going to be around the house where no one can see you, you may dress one way. If you’re planning to be out in public, you’ll likely dress another way.
Sometimes, though, we make the mistake of determining our actions in the same way. If we think someone is watching, we’re careful to do what’s right. But if we think no one is paying attention, we tend not to be quite as careful. We think, “Nobody’s looking at me anyway!”
The truth is, though, you constantly being watched (and not just by God!). If you have children, you can be sure they see and hear everything you say and do! When you’re in line at the grocery store, others are watching. When you work in your office, others are watching. When you go out to eat at a restaurant, others are watching. When you go to the Post Office, others are watching.
That shouldn’t make us nervous or bothered. Rather, it reminds us that everywhere we go, we have an opportunity to live in a way that honors and glorifies God! Always be conscious of that opportunity.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” ( Matthew 5:16 ).
The Bible enjoins us to serve God. “Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;” (Rom 12:11). The Thessalonians, we are told, “turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God.” But if I serve God, what does that entail?
It means serving God with all my heart and soul.
There’s nothing half-hearted, lukewarm, or indifferent about my service. It’s “all in” for God. “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut 10:12). Play-acting is excluded.
It means to serve with a willing mind.
David pointed this out to his son Solomon before his death. “And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father, and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will cast you off for ever” (1 Chr 28:9). It’s not reluctant service, or grudgingly doing it out of a sense of duty. Service to God is done with a willing mind.
It means to serve with humility.
One of the great servants of God was the apostle Paul. In speaking to the elders of Ephesus he said, “You yourselves know how I lived among you all the time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which befell me through the plots of the Jews” (Acts 20:18-19). Arrogance has no place in or out of the pulpit. Service to God must be characterized by genuine humility.
It means to serve with gladness.
The psalmist said, “Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! (Psa 100:2). True service to God is a challenge for me. What about you?
John Gibson – adapted
It is always good for a person to do regular checkups on themselves and their lives. We know the importance of this physically, mentally, and even financially. But too often we neglect to do this spiritually – and this is the most important area of all.
In Micah’s day, there were questions of how best to demonstrate one’s faith in God. Was it simply just going through the motions of required sacrifices and offerings? No. Their faith was to be more than an outward ritual – it was to be proper outward actions based upon the proper inward attitude. The prophet summed it up with these words: “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8). In this verse are three areas that each of us must check up on regularly in regard to our faith.
* Christian, Check Your Righteousness. The first check point was “to do justly.” Being just is being right with God and His will. It is living right, living morally, and living properly in our daily walk. It is always conducting oneself in an upright and upstanding manner. The internal attitude that creates this is a passion to please God. So, Christian, check your life – is it one that is admirable according to God’s standard?
* Christian, Check Your Respect for Others. The second bit of advice from Micah 6:8 was “to love mercy.” Properly respecting others is treating them as God treats us – with kindness, love, and forgiveness. It is selflessly giving to others what is needed in their lives. The internal attitude that brings this forth is a joy of the mercy and salvation that God has given us. So, Christian, check your life – is it one filled with eagerly helping others?
* Christian, Check Your Relationship With God. The final part of our faith checkup is mentioned as “to walk humbly with your God.” Walking with God implies harmony and fellowship. This is attained through reading and studying the Scriptures, regular and fervent prayer, and heartfelt, proper worship. The internal attitude that strengthens this is a desire to grow closer to God. So, Christian, check your life – is it one that honors and involves God in every way?