Monday, October 26, 2009

Heart vs. Hands

"For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, and in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings..." Hosea 6:6

It's Monday morning and if you're like me, you are either grabbing the "To-Do" list from last week and adding to it, or making a new one. I've already formed the list in my head of everything I need to accomplish this week and when the week is over, the plan is to have crossed off everything on the list.

Because I am a list-maker.

It's how I remember what's expected of me.

But now I've got a problem. This weekend we spent hours listening to and discussing the importance of lists in God's eyes. The Word is full of lists - do this, don't do that, take off this, put on easily it is for a list-maker to grab her pen and paper, and make a spiritual list, so that at the end of the week (or her life), she can see that most things, if not all, are crossed off. But is that what the Christian life is all about?

Lists have their place, but in the shadow of the cross they are much harder to read. Adam and Eve had a perfect, sinless, unencumbered relationship with the Lord. They saw Him for how wonderful He is - they saw the work of His hands and they basked in His holiness. Did they need a list to know how to live with grateful hearts and honorable hands?

Through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ we have had the blinders removed from our eyes and we have a restored relationship with the Lord. Though we still have the effects of sin to battle with, we are given the gift of faith and sight, so that we can see Him for how wonderful He is - within the context of our own sin, we can see the works of His nail-pierced hands and we can dwell in His holy presence.

So, here's my question for you today: How much easier is life when we keep our eyes on the Savior? Lists are good and lists are biblical, but without looking at the cross first, lists simply become penance (as Elyse would say) - they become sacrifices without love, they become burnt offerings without context. But God desires loyalty and knowledge above sacrifice and burnt offerings, because He knows that loyalty only comes through true love, and knowledge comes only from placing our eyes on Him.

Go ahead and work on that "To-Do" list this week, but before you accomplish good works with your hands, do a heart check. Ask yourself, why am I doing this? Is it to get through my list? Or is it because I love my Savior with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, and more than anything I long to offer Him my love as a humble response to His great gift of salvation?

Now there's motivation...

See you all in the morning!


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