Some Small Return

We don’t work in order to gain salvation.

Salvation is a gift.  But when Christ saves us, out of love and gratitude for all he has done for us, we desire to please him.  Works don’t produce salvation, but are a fruit of salvation.  God has created good works for all of us to walk in once he has saved us.

If God performs all things for you, see how obliged you are to perform all duties and services for God….Shall God do all things for you, and will you do nothing for God? Is Providence every moment at work for you, and will you be idle? To what purpose then is all that God has done for you? Is it not the aim and design of all, to make you a fruitful people? ….O that in return for all the benefits of Providence, you would say to God, as ….David, “What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits towards me?” (Psalm 116. 12). He is ever doing you good; be you always abounding in his work. …O be active for that God who every moment is active for you. — John Flavel, The Mystery of Providence

Lord Jesus, give us grace to be always abounding in your work, in whatever place in life you have us right now.  We love you, and desire to give you some small return, not as a burdensome duty, but in joy and love for you who never ceases to do good to us.

  • Elaine

    Great reminder, Mark! Thanks!
    I have to be careful that I don't slip back into wrong thinking, a thinking I was taught years ago that my service was a way of "paying Jesus back" for all He has accomplished for me. I know now how foolish that thinking was. Now instead of serving the Lord because of a sense of payback, the Lord has brought me to a place where I am learning to serve Him because of love and gratefulness, but not as any type of payback. It certainly has helped restore joy in my life, whether my service is public, like teaching in Children's ministry, or private, like cleaning toilets or doing laundry. Colossians 3:23: Whatever you do, do heartily as for the Lord and not for men has been a great encouragement. Looking at all the laundry that needs to be done, I'll need this verse today.

    • MarkAltrogge

      Excellent point, Elaine! We can never pay the Lord back, nor should we try. I hope no one takes that away from this post. And as you said, all we do should be done out of love and gratefulness. Totally agree! Thanks for adding these thoughts.

  • barbara

    THe more we see Him as He is, the more we fall in love with Him, and the more we want to do things that please Him!

    • MarkAltrogge

      Amen Barbara! Like Elaine said, love for Jesus and gratitude is our motivation!