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As Charles Spurgeon stands in awe of how God’s Word lifts a veil and discloses our fallen motives of even holy things, so does God use his commentary to do the same for me. Don’t misunderstand, I never want to lift Spurgeon’s words, or even any of his famous sermons for that matter, to the level of divine inspiration. I only say that to illustrate the fact that I would probably never pick up on Exodus 28:38 to mean that which the Holy Spirit illuminated for Spurgeon many years ago. Maybe it is the Holy Spirit using Spurgeon’s thoughts to bring about the truth of wrong motivations for even the spiritual things that I do. Or, it could be that I have been thinking a lot lately about motives. Either way, today’s topic strikes a chord with me. I pray that God uses this morning’s devotion to turn your self-centered motives toward God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:13). Without the right motive, nothing is really achieved. Let me explain with a verse from Romans and then illustrate with a modern day example.
Paul exhorts us to “by the mercies of God, …present [our] bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is [our] reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1 NKJV) Other versions
translate reasonable service
as “spiritual act of worship.” Sacrifices should have just one outcome in mind, death, with one directive: to God. The dichotomy of a living sacrifice
becomes a contradiction in terms if the motive is self. Christian, if you aim to die daily, but not to your selfish intent, how can you bring glory to God? Be like what Paul intended for his Roman audience and make your reasonable service one that lives to bring glory to God because you worship him. He is Almighty God and we are sinful people who have transgressed his standard, yet we’re saved by grace through faith in Christ. In the words of the hymn writer Isaac Watts, that truth “demands my soul, my life, my all.”
I was watching the reality t.v. show, The Biggest Loser
the other night. The contestants on the show are obese men and women who desire to lose a lot of weight in order to get healthy and fit and of course to win $250,000. As they detail the lives of the people on the show their intentions for the six or so months while “in the house” (which means staying in the game and on the show) are described. Each and every one of them desire to lose weight for superficial reasons. Health is important, and for some, their life could be on the line unless they lose weight. I’m going to take a big mental leap and go ahead and guess that none of the contestants are trying to stop their addiction because addiction is sin. None of them (again assumably) desire to overcome addiction with the intent to honor God. But a God honoring contestant would desire glory to God then
a healthy lifestyle. Glory to God then
their own life.
Even when we are doing the right things our motivations must be the glory of God. That is a spiritual act of worship. That is a reasonable service. And that is the purity of the holy things.