A touchstone is a small tablet of dark stone with a finely grained surface on which soft metals (like gold) leave a visible trace. Drawing a line with gold on a touchstone will leave a visible trace. Because different alloys of gold have different colours the unknown sample can be compared to samples of known purity.
On Friday we were talking a bit about motivation for streaming. I thought today would be a good time to share with you some verses that I return to over and over again when I think about why I am doing this. I actually have these verses written out on a special page in a notebook I keep nearby, and I refer to them from time to time – either when I am feeling insecure, or when I have decisions to make. These verses help to keep me centered – they are the “samples of known purity” with which I compare my own tracings.
Galatians 6:8For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Matthew 6:1Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
Those two verses are my “check your motivation” verses. Yes, there is a part of livestreaming and blogging and youtube that is a performance. But am I doing this, or talking about my own faith, “to be seen”? Or am I doing so to use the gifts that God has given me to bring others closer to Him? That’s the line I walk all the time.
Romans 10:14How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?] And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
I always say that I am not a preacher, and not hear to preach. Worship is a response to already knowing God. But I am aware that not everyone who I reach has heard about Jesus – or maybe they have heard the wrong things about Jesus.
Joshua 24:15And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
There are a lot of other things I could be doing with my time and energy. There are other things you could be doing. Choose this day whom you will serve.
Psalm 84:10For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
Some days, you feel like a door keeper. Like you’re doing a whole lot of standing around and nobody really sees you or appreciates you. Some days the grass looks greener elsewhere. That happens no matter what you’re doing. So, if you’re going to feel like a doorkeeper anyway, be a doorkeeper for God. (Also, doorkeeper reminds me of the word dork. If you’re going to be a dork anyway, be a dork for God.)
Galatians 6:4-54 But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor.5 For each will have to bear his own load.
Don’t compare your work to others, or your success to theirs, or even to where you want to be. Compare it to what God has asked you to do. Are you being faithful in what God has asked you to do this day with the talents and tools that you DO have? It doesn’t matter if it is big or small. It doesn’t matter if I do not see measurable results. It matters that I was obedient, and I have to trust that God is using that – perhaps out in the world, or perhaps simply within me.
1 Peter 4:8Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
Every moment that I share with you, I want to be sharing God’s love. I’ve said this a lot lately – but the world has enough hate in it. The world has enough misplaced love, too – the kind that has us chasing after things that, once we get them, still leave us feeling empty. So I want to put more of God’s love back out into the world. And if I do what I do imperfectly, well, let that love cover over my errors.
Each of those verses is not only helpful on it’s own, but I would encourage you to read the passage – the context – for each. There is really good stuff in there, and these are ones that you really will be able to understand if you’re seeking God’s guidance in what you do. I would love to hear the verses that guide, motivate, or encourage you as well!