Thursday, April 15, 2010

Serving Him before we serve others

Much that is done religiously is not done unto God. A sermon may be preached, and contain excellent truth, and the language in which the truth is stated may be everything that could be desired, and yet the service rendered may be to the hearers, or to the man’s own self, and not to God at all. You may go to your Sabbath-school class, and with great perseverance you may instruct those little children, but yet you may have served your fellow teachers, or the general community, rather than have served your God.

To whom do you look for a reward? Whose smile is it that gladdens you? Whose frown would depress you? Whose honor do you seek in all that you are doing? For remember that which is uppermost in thy heart is thy master. If thy deepest motive be to seem to be active, to appear to be diligent and to win commendation for taking thy share in the church’s work, thou hast not served God, thou hast sacrificed unto others. O beloved, this is a point; which, though it be very simple to speak of, is very searching indeed if it be brought home to heart and conscience, for then much of that which glitters will be found not to be gold, and the glory of much apparently excellent serving will dissolve in smoke. The Lord must be the sole object of thy labor; the pursuit of his glory must, like a clear crystal stream, run through the whole of thy life, or thou art not yet his servant. Sinister motives and selfish aims are the death of true godliness; search and look, lest these betray thee unawares.

From a sermon entitled "Serving the Lord," delivered August 15, 1869. Image by Justin Donnelly under Creative Commons License.

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