Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.” (John 6:26-27, NLT)
Multitudes followed Jesus wherever He went. Curiosity seekers, children, the blind, the desperate, sincere seekers, skeptics, and religious. Of the thousands who gathered to hear Him, no doubt some of each were in the crowd. I’d like to think most were sincere seekers; but according to the passage in John 6, some were there for the freebies. They were more interested in a free lunch than to understand what Jesus had to say.
Before becoming too critical of the crowd’s motives, I realized that many of us also like freebies. I’m disappointed when the warehouse club sample ladies aren’t passing out bites of new food items. I also love earning points toward free meals, mileage for airline tickets, and coupons for BOGOs (buy one/get one). Who doesn’t like free! But I cannot treat the Lord like the sample lady—hanging around for what He can do for me rather than wanting to be with Him for Who He is.
Yes, God blesses us abundantly. Psalm 68:19 says that He “daily loads us with benefits” while Psalm 103 lists a number of those benefits we receive.
- He forgives our iniquities
- He heals our diseases.
- He redeems us from destruction.
- He crowns us with loving kindness and tender mercies.
- He satisfies us with good things.
- He renews our strength.
- He gives justice to the oppressed.
God willingly provides us with these many blessings, but is that the only reason we serve Him? Are we motivated by what we receive, or do we serve Him out of pure love? If God never gave us another blessing or answered another prayer, would we still serve Him? Would the fact that He died for our sins that we might have eternal life be sufficient reason to live for Him? Do we feel He “owes us something”—or do we owe Him everything?
The people in Malachi’s day did not appreciate the Lord’s love and kindness toward them. “I have always loved you,” says the LORD. But you retort, “Really? How have you loved us?” (Malachi 1:2, NLT). I pray we never display such an attitude to God.
God blessed King David with wealth, possessions, and prestige. Yet, what David valued most were not the physical blessings from the Lord but the relationship they enjoyed together. He appreciated the Lord for who He was, not for what He gave. David delighted in just being in the Lord’s presence.
The one thing I ask of the LORD—the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.” (Psalm 27:4, NLT)
I never want to treat God like a sample lady at the warehouse club. He loves me with a love so deep my human mind cannot comprehend. I serve Him because I love Him.
Thank You, Lord, for Your amazing love and compassion. Forgive me if I have ever treated You with indifference, only interested in the blessings I can receive. I delight in Your presence and thank You for Your salvation.