Today’s Scripture: Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. Matthew 22:37-38

What is the most foundational aspect of our fellowship with God? It’s not duty or obligation, but love. God wants us to love Him first and foremost. So what is love? It’s not a fleeting emotion that, once gone, can never be regained. Nor is it a Disney-esque magical connection that lasts forever. Love is much deeper than that. Love is a conscious decision to benefit another individual without – and this is key – expecting anything in return.

All too often, we fall short of really and truly loving God. We read our Bibles in the morning because we want God to give us a good day. We tithe and give offerings because it is expected of us and we want to look good. We serve around the church or in the ministry because it is our duty and our obligation.

God isn’t fooled by the outward show of our actions. He sees our hearts. He knows our motivations. When we engage in religious activities with selfish motives, God knows. He isn’t pleased and all of our works are for naught. Why? Because our selfish actions fail to pass the test of the first and greatest commandment: that we love God with all our hearts, souls, and minds. A failure to properly love God puts us in violation of God’s law and puts a barrier of offense between ourselves and God.

Christian, take a moment and examine your life. What’s your motivation for service? Is it love or selfishness? Are you reading your Bible because you want to spend time in loving fellowship with God? Are you tithing and giving offerings to show your love? Are you serving in church to be a blessing to Him? If not, then make the decision right now to change your motivation. When you operate out of love, then your entire Christian life will change in amazing ways – and your fellowship with God will be what it was always intended to be.
Devotional by Pastor C.J Armstrong