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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

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Everyone's a critic. If anyone knew that, it was Paul. Oftentimes, he found himself defending his ministry--although always for the sake of the gospel, not for himself. He could have cared less what people thought, for he knew he was judged by God, not humans.

What motivates us as we try to live out our faith? I had to ask myself the good, but hard question, "Do I want to write these God Pause devotions because I want to please God, or because I want to see my name at the bottom of this screen?" Do we worship, minister or serve because we are looking for recognition, kudos or like being needed? It is our human nature to be obsessed with external things like acquisitions, accomplishments and "atta-boys" (and girls).

Paul reminds us that none of these things matter. In our work for the Lord, it is good to remember: If it is not about Christ, it is not about anything.

Gracious God, keep our eyes on you. Help us to seek you and your kingdom first and work for your glory, not our own. Amen.

Laurie Neill, '12
Discipleship Pastor, First Lutheran Church, Fargo, ND

2 Corinthians 5:6-17 (NRSV)

6 So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord--
7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.
8 Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.
10 For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.
11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others; but we ourselves are well known to God, and I hope that we are also well known to your consciences.
12 We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast in outward appearance and not in the heart.
13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.
14 For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died.
15 And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way.
17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.