Attitudes Matter to God
"If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." (Psalm 66:18)
Outwardly, Jenna was dusting the coffee table. But inwardly, she was stewing. She could think of at least fifty other things she would rather do than clean the house for company. A new family from the church was coming over for supper, and her mother had given each of the children a task to help prepare the house. Not only did Jenna dislike having extra work, but she also dreaded eating lasagna again, her mother's favorite dish to make whenever company came. Furthermore, the children in the new family were all under school age, and Jenna was not looking forward to babysitting them after dinner while the adults talked.
Nothing about the plans for the evening appealed to her. The more she thought about it, the more her resentment grew. Why didn't her mother consider what Jenna wanted? Why shouldn't her mother do all the cooking and cleaning, since she was the one who wanted to have company in the first place?
Stepping into the living room, Jenna's mother glanced around and smiled approvingly. "That looks much better, honey. Thanks for your help." Suddenly Jenna felt ashamed. She realized that her mother had no idea what she had been thinking. She had fooled her mother, but Jenna knew that her attitude was not right.
It is sometimes easy to hide from others what is going on in our hearts. We can act as though everything is okay and pretend to be sweet, obedient Christians. Still, the secret sins of our heart cause our fellowship with God to be broken. God does not want our service if our attitude is not right.
Psalm 19:12b says, "Cleanse thou me from secret faults." What kind of attitude do you have when it comes to serving God? A holy heart is much more valuable to God than busy hands.
God will accept our acts of service only if our hearts are right toward Him.
» Am I serving the Lord out of love for Him or for some other reason?
» Am I trying to fool others or myself, or am I genuinely trying to please God from my heart?
» If I need to change my attitude to one that will glorify God, how should I do that?
Truth In Real Life
“It is a mercy that our lives are not left for us to plan, but that our Father chooses for us.”
At the beginning of his ministry in the mid-1800s, most of London seemed to love 19-year-old Charles Spurgeon, but Susannah Thompson was not impressed. She thought he got too excited when he preached, and she said of his hair, “Why, he looks like a barber’s assistant!” But things would soon change for Susannah. She eventually trusted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior under Charles Spurgeon’s sermons and was later discipled by his preaching, and by her life together with him. On January 9, 1856, Charles and Susannah became Mr. and Mrs. Spurgeon.
Charles and Susannah Spurgeon loved each other, loved the Lord, and determined to give their entire lives in Christian ministry together. Their strong bond of marriage – one of the strongest marriages ever recorded in Christian history – carried them both through many struggles and heartaches. Both experienced illness, and it is said that Susannah was not even able to leave her house for a period of about fifteen years. She maintained her ministry as a wife and mother to the best of her ability.
Charles lovingly nicknamed her “wifey.” Although she was sick for much of her life, Susannah took care of her twin sons – both of whom God would choose to serve Him in ministry someday. She also began a book fund in which she raised money to give Bible books and commentaries to preachers who were too poor to buy them. During Susannah’s lifetime, she gave away nearly 200,000 books. Her last thoughts before her death were about this fund and the preachers who still needed books.
Susannah Spurgeon is remembered for encouraging and ministering to God’s men in full-time ministry. What can you do to be a blessing to your pastor? You can pray for him, write him notes of encouragement, heed his instruction, and let him know you appreciate him! Have you ever been sick for a long period of time like Susannah? Are you ever tempted to sit around and be angry at God for choosing certain circumstances for you, or do you try to think of ways you can encourage others from exactly where He has put you?
Romans 12:11 – Not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.