What is the real motivation behind our service? It should just be to serve others, to see someone’s life changed as a result of some action we took. But we would be lying if we said that we don’t get discouraged when those we help the most don’t return the favor by at least acknowledging our efforts. And it really hurts when they turn on us. I know, because I’ve experienced it first-hand many times.

This was the case with Jesus and the lepers. He healed ten, but only one came back in gratitude. It may be that you see returns on only one-tenth of the lives you invest in. That’s not a great percentage by any means. If ministry were a business model, the experts would label it a failure and advise you to quit.

But ministry is not a business. Nor are we in it to be acknowledged. That’s why we have to remind ourselves Who we are serving and where our investment lies when we don’t see tangible results. See, God knows and sees all we do here on this earth, and one day we’ll be rewarded. The greatest motivation, however, is the knowledge that God smiles each and every time we help a soul in need.

Perhaps you’re getting a little discouraged in your ministry. That’s to be expected. Keep your focus on the prize and remember Who you are really serving.

Service can never become slavery to one who loves. — J.L. Masse

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder