Love or Labour?

by Rev Lai Kai Ming

Readings: Revelation 1; Psalm 69:19-36

READ (verse/s chosen for meditation)
Psalm 69:30-31 (NIV)
30 I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. 31 This will please the Lord more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hooves.

I sometimes wonder, isn’t it so easy to praise God and thank Him, as compared to sacrificing ox and bull? The former are acts of the mouth, the latter requires considerable financial resources. Then why does the Psalmist says that songs and praises please God more? Don’t we sometimes see people who are worshipful on Sundays, but who don’t seem to live out their faith practically after that? Well, I think that the Lord is seeking for our love, rather than our labour.

I must admit that for me, it’s easier to labour than to love. I would rather spend time working for God (like Martha), than having a chat with Him (like Mary). Sometimes, I wonder if my songs-singing in church is really praising and glorying God. Or is it just enjoying the songs for its music and meaningful words. The difference is subtle, but it’s real. The test comes when I have to sing a song that I don’t really like, or if the worship leader leads badly. Can I still give thanks and praise, if I don’t enjoy the singing?

Lord, help me to keep learning what it means to worship You in spirit and in truth. Help me to love You with my whole being, as You love me with Yours. Stop me, when I confuse my love for labour, with my labour of love.

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