“We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
Today, I had the pleasure of being the substitute teacher in the grades 3-5 classroom of our church’s school. Since we are just days away from the end of the school year, the students have been a little wound up and not as focused as they usually are. In preparation for the day I did some brainstorming on what I could do to help the day go better for myself and for them. I talked to their teacher ahead of time and received her permission to make a deal with the class.
At the start of the day I placed one star at the top of the white board. I told them that this star represented 5 minutes of extra recess time at the end of the day. I let them know that I would be adding and or taking away stars based on their work and behavior throughout the day. We had a discussion about what type of behavior and work is expected from them and we started our day. Now, I did have to erase some stars as we went through the day, no one is perfect, but in the end we added more stars than we lost and got to have an extra 25 minute recess at the end of the day.
In the middle of the day, I stopped to thank the class for being so extra well behaved and working so hard. However, I also took the opportunity to have a little talk with them about the “because”. You see, just yesterday I led a Bible study for our Ladies Aid group from the LWML quarterly. The title of the Bible study was “The Reason ‘Because’” written by John Nunes and Gloria Edwards. The key point that I pulled from this study was about our motivation for what we do for others. What is the “because” of the things we do?
I shared with the class, that although I was very proud of them for doing so great, I wanted to know the “because” of their special behavior. Obviously the answer was that they love extra recess and would do whatever it took to earn a little extra. I used this as my chance to talk about why this kind of special good behavior is what we should be giving every day. I asked them who gave them the wonderful school they attend, and who brought them their wonderful Christian teacher, and who provided all of the resources that they use to learn. Of course they knew the answer to this. God! So, I asked them this question, then why should we give our best to ourselves, our classmates, and our teachers every day? Because!
Because…God loves us, we care for others.
Because…God provides for our needs, we use our resources wisely.
Because…God has placed special people in our lives to care for us and teach us, we show them respect and help make their jobs easier.
So, I ask you as fellow believers... Why do you give your best in raising your children? Why do you care for those that God has placed in your life path? Why do you share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with anyone you can? Why do you give your best in whatever job you have? Why do you support and pray for missionaries? Why do you volunteer in your church, community, and world?
Why? Because! “We love because HE first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
Prayer: God, thank you for loving us with a love that is stronger, deeper, and greater than we can ever comprehend. Help us with Your Holy Spirit to take Your love for us and share it with everyone that we can in all that we do and say. In Jesus name. Amen.