“‘Go up to the mountains, bring wood, and rebuild the temple, that I may be pleased with it and be honored,’ says the LORD.”
When I was in seminary, I lived in a small four room house in the country that was heated by a wood-burning heater. That was my only source of heat. No problem, right? It doesn’t get too cold in North Carolina. Well…we had one of the coldest winters while I lived in that house. I was begging my neighbors for firewood. I was looking for any downed trees I could cut up. I need to cut some wood to stay warm. Cold is a great motivator.
The people of Israel needed to cut some wood, too. But they were not cutting it to burn. Cold was not their motivator. The Lord told them to cut some wood to rebuild the temple, to make repairs to its structure. They had allowed it to fall into disrepair. Obviously, some of the wood had either been damaged or had rotted. They needed to get out of their comfort and shed a little sweat to fix the temple. This, He said, would please Him.
What is your motivation for serving the Lord? He may not call you to build or rebuild a church. He may, however, call you to another purpose. It may require something of you – time, money, energy. What are you willing to do for Him? Just like the Israelites, our service for God pleases Him. Our works don’t get us any more grace, but it sure brings a smile to our Master’s face.
The book of James tells us that faith without works is dead. (James 2:20) That does not mean that our faith depends on our works, but it does mean that our faith is made evident through our works. I serve God, not to get Him to love me. I serve God because He loves me. I serve because I love Him. I need to cut some wood for Christ. How about you?
Your “wood cutting” may be in the form of serving in the Children’s ministry at your church. It may be witnessing through a street ministry. Yours may be by singing in the choir. Whatever “wood cutting” job the Lord has for you, do it knowing that it pleases the One Who called you to it. That should bring a smile to your face, as well.
I want to serve You, Lord, not grudgingly or under compulsion. I want to serve You simply because I love You.