1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I recently read a story of a woman who for years was married to a harsh husband. Each day he would leave her a list of chores to complete before he returned at the end of the day. "Clean the yard. Stack the firewood. Wash the windows. . . ."
If she didn't complete the tasks, she would be greeted with his explosive anger. But even if she did complete the list, he was never satisfied; he would always find inadequacies in her work.
After several years, the husband passed away. Sometime later she remarried, this time to a man who lavished her with tenderness and adoration.
One day, while going through a box of old papers, the wife discovered one of her first husband's lists. And as she read the sheet, a realization caused a tear of joy to splash on the paper.
"I'm still doing all these things, and no one has to tell me. I do it because I love him."
That is how it should be with our relationship with God. We work not to get to heaven; but because we love God. As we serve Him do it with joy because we love Him.
Dear Lord, thanks for all You do for us. We pray that Your love would shine through us in everything we do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.