Much of the book challenged me to look at other things that I claim to love, and what I am willing (even eager) to do because of that love. It caused me to evaluate if my love for God has any of those attributes. Am I eager to get up early and spend time in prayer? Am I willing to forgive? Am I willing to sacrifice my own comfort so that others will have comfort?
Is it simply obedience? What is my motivation? Obedience is not a bad thing in itself, but my motivation should be love. God looks on my heart, not my outward actions and appearance. What good are all the things I do if I have not love? If I am lukewarm, and my works are done merely to make me look good, God will spit me out. Can you imagine? Getting to stand before the Creator and having Him look you in the eye and say, "I never knew you: depart from me..." (Matthew 7:23)
Psalm 51: 10- 12 says, "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit." This prayer of David's speaks to my heart as I desire to have the right spirit of love. That I would return to my first love, and remember from what God has saved me from. (Revelation 3: 2-5)
It is so easy to do and say the right things and have the praise of others be our motivation. We have such a hard time with delayed gratification. I pray that I can have the vision to look beyond this moment. As my favorite hymn, Be Thou My Vision, says:
Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art.