Tuesday, March 13, 2012
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I remember not long ago, this hot summer day when my oldest son and I were out working in the yard. I was doing the mowing; he was doing some clipping around the rocks; working just a little bit behind me where I had just mown. And I noticed that he was working pretty hard, and I glanced at him. I was pretty pleased with how he was doing, and I just kind of gave him a quick smile and went back to work.
About ten minutes later he walked up to me and I noticed his lips moving, but I could not understand what he was saying because of the lawn mower was so loud. So, I turned the mower down and I said, "What did you say, son?" And he said, "Dad, would you do that again?" And I said, "Do what again?" He said, "Would you give me another smile like you did a few minutes ago?" And then this is what I never forgot. He said, "Dad, you know, it's your smile that keeps me going." Talk about melted Dad! "It's your smile that keeps me going." He had decided that a father's approval was worth working for.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Whose Smile You're Working For."
In our word for today from the Word of God the Apostle Paul tells us whose smile he was working for. Galatians 1:10 - Paul says, "Am I now trying to win the approval of men or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." Wow! Paul said in essence, "I've decided who my audience is. I've decided whose applause I'm interested in. I've decided whose smile I want." And frankly he's saying, "It just doesn't matter to me what men think of what I've done, but I want to know that my Lord Jesus is smiling when the day is over and saying, 'Good day. Good job, faithful servant.'"
Now, when you work, and sweat, and minister, and sacrifice; when you do all those things that you do for your family, who are you doing it for? Even the simple things of household chores, homework, tasks you have to accomplish at work. Who are you doing it for? The answer to that question makes all the difference in the fulfillment factor and the meaning of what you're doing.
Years ago, author Keith Miller told in one of his books about getting close to the Oklahoma college football team at a time when they had the longest winning streak in college history. For years they had not been defeated. And he went to a practice at the invitation of the now immortal Coach Bud Wilkinson, and he said after a couple of days there that he found out what their secret was. They lived for Monday. Yeah, that's when they watched the movies of the game with Coach Wilkinson, because as it turned out it really didn't matter to them what the sports writers said. And even though there were say 50,000 people in the stadium, it really didn't matter ultimately whether they cheered or jeered. And it didn't really matter even what the rest of the team said. They waited for one thing. They waited for the coach's verdict on how they had played that day. And Keith Miller said, "The secret of that football team's winning was that they played only for the coach." How about you and me?
Are you playing for the stands, you playing for the other people on the team, playing for the writers, the publicity? I'll tell you this; ultimately every other audience will prove disappointing and unappreciative. You do it for your family, sometime they'll disappoint you. For your church, for some Christian leader, for your employer, for your teachers? Count on it, sometime they're going to let you down.
But the Bible says, "We serve the Lord Christ." And the thrill is taking today's activity and saying, "Lord, I'm doing it all for You."