Why do we serve? Is it a principal objective to attain an all access pass to heaven? Could it be part of the salvation process? It might feel like an obligation for the exchange of your life for His death. I’m not a judge.
By no means am I condemning anyone. However, I am pointing out the significant; God knows the true heart of His people (Jeremiah 17:9). He sees past the false smiles and sweet cynicism. As you read the scriptures, God is constantly reminding us that He does not count the action; He measures the intention.
When Jesus speaks of adultery, He mentions that having an impure thought of another person is just as bad as the very act itself (Matthew 5:27-30). When He speaks of murder, He equates it to holding a grudge (Matthew 5:21-26).
Also, in the Old Testament, God kills Judah’s second son because he refused to impregnate his dead brothers wife (a Middle Eastern cultural obligation). Yes, God knows the good, but He also sees when the act of good is to satisfy a personal feeling of righteousness.
Beloved, our righteousness is a filthy rag compared to His (Isaiah 64:6). Stop trying to earn brownie points. Stop thinking that your crown is something you earn when you get to heaven. The crown is something that is given from living out the way, the truth, and the life.
Yes, the more you serve, the more brilliant the crown. But, if it’s for the crown and not the kingdom, then all you’ve earned is a counterfeit sense of accomplishment. Feel the need to serve? Do it for Him and not for yourself. After all, He knows what others cannot always see; your intention.