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Wholeheartedly



Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.


Ephesians 6:7,8


If you think about commercials, they’re trying to convince you that everything’s not right. Things could be different. Things could be better. Something’s missing. And they have the answer. When you buy their product, drive their car, use their service, then you’ll have a fulfilled life. A wholehearted life.


Very few of us ever experience that kind of life, a wholehearted life. We’re so distracted. We have so many balls in the air, and people are throwing more balls at us all the time. And the idea of dropping even one of them is just too much to bear.


We think that some piece of technology can make sense of our lives. If we have that new app or calendaring software, then we’ll never miss or forget an appointment or birthday. If we have contact software, then we’ll never forget or lose a phone number or address. If we have a cell phone, we’ll never miss a message or call.


When it comes to serving people, we’re to do it like we’re serving God. Wholeheartedly. There’s nothing we can do to outgive God. Nothing’s too much trouble when it comes to God. Or is it?


Which brings up an interesting question, when it comes to God, how wholehearted are you? Do you worship and serve him with loving enthusiasm? Do you jump up and down with excitement? Does your heart skip a beat? Are your palms sweaty? Are you singing along with Carly Simon and Heinz Ketchup, “Anticipation![1]


And yet, this is exactly what we were made for. We only find joy, meaning, and purpose in loving worship and service to God. We were made to walk with God all the days of our life. We were made to look up to him as our Father, and for him to look at us as his child.


Or is your life with God something less than wholehearted? Has it become a heavy weight around your neck? Or is he a pair of concrete shoes that slow you down all the time? Is he a chain that’s holding you back? Have you ever wondered why it’s become like this?


The short answer is that you’re looking at God like a boss and not like a loving father. When you think of God as a boss, you’re living with a rulebook that says in order to get God’s attention, to earn his favor, you have to be a good person. For him to show up and answer prayer, you’ve got to earn it. You’ve got to save so many spiritual box tops or coupons. You’ve got to collect so many prayers to get him to move.


When you think of God as a boss, it's actually selfishness. It’s all about you trying to get God to do what you want him to do. It’s not about receiving his loving grace at all. To put it another way, you’re setting up an alter to yourself and you’re trying to get God to bow down to you. And that never even comes close to serving him wholeheartedly.


When we serve God wholeheartedly, it’s all about him. Serving is always, always, always all about the other person. It’s not about us. When we serve, we put our full focus on them. What they want. What they need. Nothing is too hard, too much trouble.


Most of serving God wholeheartedly comes when we help people. Especially when they don’t deserve it. When they can’t pay us back.


whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.


Matthew 25:40


This is a beautiful picture of how God acted and acts towards us. He reached down and brought us back through Jesus’ death on the cross. Each and every day he continues to pour his love out on us. Watching over us. Giving to us. Leading us.


So, if God’s really doing all this for us, what’s holding us back from wholeheartedly worshiping and serving him? It’s that selfish sin of making everything about us. We really haven’t bought into the truth of who God is and who we are. He’s God, and we’re not.


It’s finally time to let go of ourselves. To take ourselves off the throne and let God have his rightful place. This frees us up to worship and serve him wholeheartedly. We’ve got nothing to force him with. Nothing more to bribe him with.


True freedom only comes from the place where we admit that we have nothing that God needs. Nothing that God wants, except us. Nothing will make God any richer. That’s where true freedom is found. True freedom to worship and serve wholeheartedly.


Doesn’t that just about sound too good to be true? But it is true.


Noodling Questions


  • List some things that you have tried to bribe God with.

  • Why isn’t half-hearted serving good enough?

  • What’s holding you back from serving the Lord wholeheartedly?

[1] https://youtu.be/0IobpIKshr8?t=11

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