August 13, Saturday

REPOST Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, first posted on August 23, 2015, is provided by Pastor Yohan Lee, a friend of AMI, who in the past has served as a staff at several AMI churches.  He is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BA) and Cairn University (MA).

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

Our Motives

2 Kings 10:28-31

Thus Jehu wiped out Baal from Israel. 29 But Jehu did not turn aside from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin—that is, the golden calves that were in Bethel and in Dan. 30 And the Lord said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in carrying out what is right in my eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in my heart, your sons of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.”31 But Jehu was not careful to walk in the law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He did not turn from the sins of Jeroboam, which he made Israel to sin.

I am ashamed of this reference on so many fronts, but if you are about my age, you’ll get it.  At the end of the 1990 classic Pretty Woman, Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) and Philip Stuckey (Jason Alexander) get into a fist fight.  After the fight, Edward fires Stuckey from his position as his lawyer and C.E.O. of gobbling up other businesses.  Stuckey, upon being fired and beaten up, begs, “What is wrong with you?  Come on, Edward!  I gave you ten years!  I devoted my whole life to you!”  And Edward responds (edited for language): “[That’s a lie!]  It’s the kill you love, not me!  I made you a very rich man doing exactly what you loved.”  The “kill” referred to acquiring and consuming other companies—which Stuckey seemed to have a thirst for.  

If you’ve been following our devotions over the last few days, you have probably come to the realization that Jehu is a complicated character.  True, he was God’s instrument of judgment on the house of Ahab, and he was very zealous in doing his work, which again was cutting off Ahab’s descendants.  Furthermore, Jehu was also credited with killing all the priests of Baal and eliminating Baal worship from Israel.  As a result of his work, God allows his family to rule Israel for four generations.  On the flip side, we read that Jehu continued in the sins of Jeroboam, worshipped golden calves in Bethel and Dan, and caused Israel to do the same.  My conclusion:  Jehu, much like Stuckey, “loved the kill,” but he never truly loved God.  The reason Jehu performed his tasks so admirably was that he was probably a violent man who literally loved the kill.  If God had asked him to do anything else, I think he would have failed.  

Why do you do ministry?  Why do you go to church or get involved in cell groups or community groups or serve in general?  Unfortunately, I’ve served with many people who got involved because something about ministry, other than the love of God, appealed to them.  Some liked the business of planning events, others liked the activities, or the friendships; some served simply to feel important, etc.  Ultimately, this is a reminder to check your hearts.  Do you serve and get involved because you love Jesus more than you love His work?  I hope this is the case for you and all of us.  

Lastly, here is the scary part: God genuinely used Jehu, though his heart was not devoted to Him.  I’ve seen God use many people with ulterior or impure motives—meaning just because God is using you or your ministry is not a sure tell that you are fully devoted to Him.  

Prayer: God, please give me a heart that is genuinely devoted to You.  Though it is good to enjoy ministry, help me to have pure motives in all that I say and do.  Thank you that I can love You because You first loved me.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today:  1 Kings 6-7

%d bloggers like this: