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Why Did I Do That?

Sometimes in our desperate ache to please God, we are like a young child seeking his teacher’s favor, but breaking the procedures of the classroom. The child, believing he is being helpful, takes it upon himself to throw out papers he thought were trash. He didn’t know those papers were the lesson plans for the day. The motivation of the child's heart was good, but his actions weren’t in line with his teacher’s expectations. The boy’s teacher overlooked his offense, and our God does the same for us by caring about the motivation of our hearts, not just what we do.

In 2 Chronicles 30, we find Israel in a similar situation. Israel dropped the ball in the Passover celebration during a time when the law was to be sacredly upheld. When it was time to celebrate, Hezekiah allowed two deviations from the law so all of Israel could observe Passover together. He delayed it by one month, and some people did not purify themselves.  

“But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, "May the Lord, who is good, pardon everyone who sets their heart on seeking God” (2 Chronicles 30:18).

The Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people. In God’s eyes, faith and obedience always come before ritual. "For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

How’s your heart? Is your motivation to please God, yourself, or someone else? Our hearts are deceitful above all things (Jeremiah 17:9), but we can guard them by growing in our relationship with Jesus. We grow by reading our Bible, praying, coming to church, serving, and doing life with other believers. In guarding our hearts, we can protect the motivations that drive us to do what we do, and honor God with all our heart, soul and mind.


  • What is one practical step you can take today to grow closer to Jesus?
  • How often are you setting aside time to read your Bible?
  • What is one change you can make in your schedule to set aside time to read your Bible daily?

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