The just and the wicked.  Where do I fall?  Most days I think I fall on the side of “the just.”  But honestly, most days I don’t really think about it.  I just go about life.  I obey most of the laws of man, other than perhaps a traffic violation here or there.  So I think I fall on the side of the just…  but what about God’s law?

Today the Bible opened to Malachi:

You have said, “It is useless to serve God; what do we gain by observing God’s requirements, And by going about as mourners before the LORD of hosts?  But we call the arrogant blessed; for evildoers not only prosper but even test God and escape.”

Then those who fear the LORD spoke with one another, and the LORD listened attentively; A record book was written before him of those who fear the LORD and esteem his name.  They shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, my own special possession, on the day when I take action.  And I will have compassion on them, as a man has compassion on his son who serves him.

Then you will again distinguish between the just and the wicked,  Between the person who serves God, and the one who does not.

Malachi 3:14-18

The just and the wicked.  Those who serve God and those who do not.  Hmmm.  Not as confident anymore as to where I fall.  It is certainly easier to serve myself, or even to serve the human master, than to serve God.  God is more challenging.  Why?  Why is it more challenging to serve God?

I think, in part, it is because we don’t get the immediate gratification that we might get when we serve ourselves or follow the rules that man has set.  Like in Malachi, it may seem that we can prosper without ever serving God.  Serving God is harder because we don’t get a trophy or a sticker or a “good job” or any of the material or visible rewards that the world offers.  We may not even know for sure if we are doing the right thing.  Unlike all of the things on earth that may result in visible reward, serving God requires us to have faith.

I don’t think serving God is supposed to be about a reward or prospering.  If it is — then aren’t we just serving ourselves?  Isn’t love about being selfless?  God wants us to choose to love Him, to choose to serve Him — not because we gain some reward, but because we want to be with Him.  We choose Him.  We place Him first.  We know that we cannot earn our way into heaven, it is only through God’s grace and mercy that we can enter His kingdom.  Serving God, showing our love, is how we show we want to be there. God calls us to have faith.  He calls us to do more.  He challenges us to be the best we can be.

Lord,

I want to serve you.  Thank you for challenging me to be better.

 

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