God asked his Son to give up everything so that he could rescue us. Imagine such love! God traded his Son, whom he adored, to save a rebellious people lost in sin. His great loss was our great gain. Through his obedience and sacrifice on the cross, Jesus shows us what love, service, and obedience truly are.
Jesus calls all of us to take on this same attitude and mind. He doesn’t want us to do good deeds just for the sake of doing good deeds. He wants us to become like him — conformed after the pattern of Christ. We need to serve God’s people, not because we want to be nice, but because we have begun to experience a share in Jesus’ love for the world. God is not looking for hard work, but for Christ-likeness. He doesn’t want us to weary ourselves with service in the hopes that we will earn a place in heaven. Are we willing to lose those things that we hold dear for the sake of sharing our love with others?
The chief priests and elders of Jesus’ time had done everything right outwardly, but they were lacking in love for God. Jesus was after their hearts, and they gave him “service” instead. In contrast, those who followed Jesus did so because they had let God capture their hearts. Their lives demonstrated a real conversion to Christ, and this is what pleased Jesus most of all.
If we prepare a fitting dwelling place for God in our heart, then everything we do and say will reflect the love of God which resides there.