1 Samuel 12:24 – “Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.”
In the context of this verse, the nation of Israel was afraid the Lord would destroy them because of their disobedience to Him. However the Lord encouraged the people through the prophet Samuel and pointed them back in the right direction. They were not to go after empty things, but to follow the Lord, to “fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth will all your heart.” What was their motivation to serve the Lord rather than to gain alliances “prosperity” from the people already in the land? Why should they serve Him with all their heart? Simply because of what the Lord had done for them. He had created their nation, delivered them from Egypt, brought them through the desert, given them victory over their enemies, and had shown mercy to the people despite their sin. He had been faithful in the lives of their forefathers and would be faithful forever. Because of this, the least these people could do was to follow the Lord.
But what about me? What about you? Most likely, we have never wandered through a country without stopping at a place we call “home”; have never been made a slave, forced to work in the mud pits and make bricks; have never spent 40 years wandering in a desert, fed daily by miracle bread that dropped from the sky each morning. But maybe, some seasons in your life have felt like that. You don’t know what you’re doing with your life; you seem to be surrounded by impossibilities on every side; you’re stuck in a place where it seems easier to give up and go back to the life you knew before Christ, or worse yet, you only display your faith around other Christians but hide your light when you’re with everyone else at work or school or the stores.
Here, we are given the answer. How can we go on in the face of such difficult circumstances? We look to Jesus and what He did for us…”for consider what great things He has done for you.” When you look, truly look, at all that Jesus went through for us in His life on earth and the intense pain and suffering He experienced on the cross, and you realize that HIS motivation was His love for YOU, how can you do anything else but serve Him with all of your heart? When this Christian life becomes a “bore” or seemingly too difficult to carry on, look back at what Jesus did for you. You will be humbled by His great love and sacrifice, and that will be your motivation. May we all remember what great things He has done for us.