If you grew up in a traditional American church, you may remember the boxes of printed offering envelopes that were distributed to church members. I remember the envelope had spaces to write how much your contribution was and whether it would be designated for general tithes and offerings, or for missions or the building fund, or whatever. But one of the things that I remember as a child, that was a source of great pride to me, were the boxes where you could check off your performance for that Sunday:
1. Attended Sunday school … check.
2. On time … check, but no thanks to my sister
3. Attended worship … check, looking good so far.
4. Bible brought … YES, check, and God knows I did.
5. Offering brought … YES, YES, YES, God must be happy, check!
Man, no matter what I had done the week before, it was all erased if I could honestly check off those boxes on Sunday morning! It meant I was in good standing in the God Club!
That sounds pretty ridiculous doesn’t it? But sometimes we still approach our relationship with God the same way. We spend the week, Monday through Saturday, wrapped up in work and in our activities with little or no time for God. There are just so many hours in a day, and it’s just too much trouble to spend time with God. But, we give him an hour or two on Sunday when we go to church, we sing some worship songs, put some money in the offering, and fulfill our duties in the God Club. As long as we keep our membership in the club in good standing, we feel pretty good about ourselves.
But there is so much more to a relationship with God, and it’s not all about “doing”. It’s about loving Him, and accepting His love. Think about those times that you’ve spent reading and meditating on God’s word. Have you ever experienced a sense of peace and acceptance when you’ve spent time praying, pouring out your heart to God, and then just listening? God did create us to do good works, and He expects us to do them. But He doesn’t want us to do them so we can “check off the boxes”, and maintain our standing in the club. He wants us to do them because we love Him, and He loves us.
I encourage you to make time for God. There are no specific requirements to have “devotions” at a set time each morning or to spend fifteen or thirty minutes each day in prayer. But make time to let Him love you so you can share His love with others. Not just on Sunday, but everyday!