Now that we have a better understanding of the work that pleases God, I’d like us to return to our original question, “What does praise from God look like?”
If I can be honest, while working on this devotional, I found myself stumped with this question because my human nature wanted a tangible definition of what this looked like. Gifts, awards, applause. Something that would indicate to my brain that ‘this’ means good job!
After several days of trying to find it, I decided to phone some friends. All of their responses helped me to dig deeper and unpack Romans 2:29 more. But it wasn’t until I thought of the story of the Good Samaritan that I began to truly understand.
When we read the story of the Good Samaritan, we see three men, two of which were headed off to do good work but only one was doing God’s work. The priest and Levite were both doing good work by maintaining the Jewish laws, customs, and temple duties, yet they were missing the mark in doing God’s work.
The Samaritan, an unlikely model because of his Gentile (non-Jewish) religious practices and beliefs that labeled him as “ungodly,” modeled the HEART of God through both good work and godly work. It was this work that Jesus expresses as the work that is worthy of imitation
In the story written in Luke, the Good Samaritan not only took notice of the injured man, he cared for him and paid for the innkeeper to watch over him while the other man walked right past him. This story is shared as an example of work that matters to God. It was both the Good Samaritans good deeds, heart of compassion and mercy toward others that Jesus wants us to model (Luke 10:37).
This leads me back to the scripture in from Part 1
“…And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.” (Romans 2:29)
What is a changed heart? I believe it is a heart that is shaped more like God’s hand.
When our heart is shaped like God’s hand, we can experience the deepest parts of His nature as a reward. A few ways are through:
- The internal “well done” that we feel as we choose to trust God with every unknown of our life. (see Matthew 25:21).
- The increase in provision and resources through His hand so that we can experience His goodness on earth (see Mathew 25:14-30).
- Greater influence and impact so that others can experience Him through us (see Genesis 26:4).
- Divine direction and wisdom as he leads us into new assignments and leaps (see psalms 32:8)
These beautiful rewards are all indicators of God being pleased with our work here on earth. These serve as a reminders to us that in order to experience praise from God, which is the praise we should desire, we simply need to consider what pleases Him and do just that.
Tune into the latest Taking the Leap podcast episode. In this episode, serial entrepreneur and national bestselling author of Called to Create, Master of One, and Redeeming Your Time Jordan Raynor talks about:
- How constraint can be a blessing and not a burden when pursuing your calling.
- How the lack of detail in God’s direction actually helps strengthen our faith.
- Sharing an encouraging word about how Discipline can be learned.
- And more
Hope you enjoy!
Rachel G. Scott
Writer | Speaker | Podcast Host
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