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“GET TO OR HAVE TO – THAT IS THE QUESTION” – May 16

May 16, 2013

“Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due.”  Romans 4:4

My attitude is often betrayed in the verbs that I select.

“I have to…”  or  “I get to …”

There are very distinct attitudes behind these two sentences.  I have to do the activities for which I am obligated.  Most everything that I have to do is a result of some transaction that I have entered into with the expectation that I will receive some sort of reciprocation. It may be money, a favor, acknowledgment, praise, the appreciation of my wife, or to keep up appearances.  There are many ways by which we are compensated for doing those activities that we feel obligated to do.

Consider what you have to do; would you do it if you did not receive your just due?

I would not.  For me, the use of the verb, have, speaks of an obligation that I feel; an obligation infers that a transaction has occurred where work has earned a payment.  As an adult, there are a lot of activities that I have to do.  There are also a lot of activities that I get to do.  These are activities where I am under no obligation to do them.  I want to do them.  I use vacation time to do them.  I don’t need compensation to do them.  I often pay to get the opportunity to do them.

What verb do you use in describing your service to God?

I have to go to Church.
I have to read my Bible.
I have to love my neighbor.
I have to pray.
I have to be obedient.
I have to love God.

Why do I have to do any of those things?  What am I working for?  Am I doing those things so that God will continue to love and bless me?  Am I trying to compel God to give me the wages of my work?

It is so easy for an attitude of obligation to creep into our mindset.  We are justified by faith.  Righteousness is counted to us by faith.  We did not work to earn it.  Righteousness is not due us based on anything that we have done.  It is a gift that “will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.” (Romans 4:24-25)

We get to respond to this free gift. 

If we have to respond to that gift then we are trying to earn something. Our justification cannot be earned.  Therefore, we get to live in grace and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:2)  Our attitude about serving God should be one of love and appreciation; I get to serve God.

I get to go to Church.
I get to read my Bible.
I get to love my neighbor.

I get to pray.

I get to suffer.

I get to walk in obedience.
I get to love God

I don’t have to earn eternal life – Praise God!

Therefore, I get to walk in the Spirit;

I get to glorify God with my life;

I get to produce the fruit of the Spirit;

I get to be poured out for His purposes;

I get to love God with all my heart, soul, and mind;

May we be watchful of the attitudes in our service and obedience to the Lord.

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for not requiring me to earn my salvation.  Thank you for showing your love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Father, help me to remember that You did all the work.  I have done nothing for there was nothing that I could do to be justified before You.  Lord, thank you for allowing me to live for You.  Thank you for the opportunity to get to serve You and sing your praises.  Keep me from viewing the joy of my salvation as an obligation.  I praise you Lord and pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ.   Amen.

10 comments

  1. If I’m saying I “have” to do this or that in service to God, it’s time for me to resign from that ministry. Besides, if my motive is anything other than love, it’s a complete waste of time; accruing no interest in my ERA (Eternal Retirement Account!).

    Thanks for this message!
    \o/


  2. Nice sorting of our motives behind our activities while on earth. The one that was an oucher for me was the, ‘I get to suffer.’ While I totally agree with you on this one, it is so very difficult to view this one as something we get to vs have to! Thanks, JD


  3. Reblogged this on COR13ministries and commented:
    It is time for us a Christian’s to count our blessings. This Friday reblog demonstrates that we dind’t automatically get Jesus when we were born. It was a gift. And thank God I GET to have it. You’ll know what I mean after you read this amazing post by the one and only A DEVOTED LIFE

    -LF


  4. A good reminder for us to realign our thinking with the Bible. We’ve been saved by grace. We must also live by grace.


  5. AMEN & AMEN!!


  6. Great post!


  7. Right on!


  8. I really get the message here. Good job.


  9. Thank you, JD. This hits the nail on the head…my head!


  10. Amen



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