May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58
Full transparency: I've never been one to make my bed. As a teenager, my mom's mantra as she would shake her head and close my door was always, "his room, his mess." We won't speak of the college apartments and dorm room experiences. It's as sketchy cleaning wise as one would expect.
Growing up my unkempt bed wasn't that big of a deal. Then a funny thing happened: I got married. Opposites do indeed attract, but often those quirks that were once endearing become quickly annoying. At first, Jenn politely dropped hints, but my man brain didn't compute. She finally had enough and laid down the law: the last one out of bed (which is always me), makes it.
Often while rocking a bad case of bedhead, I fulfilled the request. I met the demand. The bed got made, but only half-heartedly. There was no care or attention paid to it, and looking at it one could tell.
I'm often guilty of treating my faith like my bed sheets. I can very quickly, and without thinking, go through the motions. I put parameters on my obedience and the risks I'm willing to take. I respond out of obligation and duty. The action takes place, but the deeper motives get ignored. I did what was right while missing the point.
In today's passage, Paul urges us to give ourselves FULLY to the work of the Lord. Not partial obedience. Not the bare minimum. Not what is merely convenient. Not just doing the things people will notice. We're tasked with putting our full effort and our whole selves into reflecting Christ in everything we do.
This involves inviting God into our daily routine and praying for eyes to see the needs all around us, which drastically alters how we view our circumstances. Our challenges and frustrations become opportunities to become more like Him.
A task like this will require all we have and then some. Relying solely on our strength and ability won't do. The only way to give ourselves fully to God's work comes from allowing God the access He needs to fully work within us.
Where does half-hearted devotion exist in your life?
What would it look like to give yourself fully to Christ in this area?
God, I want to step into opportunities where my character gets formed and my heart get shaped by You. Expose places that I have kept off-limits from You. I desire for everything I say and do to reflect the grace and love You extend to me. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.