Include pure expressions of love for Jesus along with your requests and needs.
Jesus replied, “The truth of the matter is that you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you believe in me.” John 6:26 (TLB)
The older I get, the more I notice that many people fall into one of two categories: givers and takers. We all probably know at least one person who seems interested only in what he or she can get out of a relationship. In many ways, our culture promotes this self-centered behavior, especially with couples. If one side feels as though the relationship no longer meets their needs, they’re often encouraged to move on and find a new partner.
Jesus felt the sting of being used after He miraculously fed a crowd of thousands with a few loaves and two fish. Some of the people followed after Him the next day. Jesus knew what was in their hearts. They sought Him because of the free food they’d received, not because they hungered for the truth. I can’t imagine how sad Jesus must have felt at this response, after working so hard to open people’s eyes to the gift of forgiveness and salvation He offered. All while knowing that He would soon lay down His life to pay for their sins.
Brother Lawrence, a seventeenth-century lay brother in a French monastery, learned to make the love of God his motivation for all of his actions. He found joy while performing even the most mundane chore, “seeking Him only and nothing else, not even His gifts” (from The Practice of the Presence of God). Those words made me evaluate my own attitudes: Am I motivated to follow and serve Jesus for the blessings He can give me, or do I love Him simply for Who He is? Like Brother Lawrence, I want to offer Jesus a love with no strings attached.
Faith Step: Evaluate your prayer life to make sure you include pure expressions of love for Jesus along with your requests and needs.