Daily Devotional

March 15, 2017

Elbow Grease

For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. – 2 Corinthians 8:12

Within almost every home, you will find a number of products which are advertised to do wonders. And in no field is this more evident than in the area of house cleaning. Practically all of us own one of those fancy-name products, guaranteed to eliminate hard work.

Having been employed in the business of cleaning homes and offices for many years, it was my privilege to use a variety of these types of products. I was always happy to find one that would do the job with a minimal amount of effort, but in all of my years of experience, I never saw a product that was advertised as “elbow grease.” That was something that had to be supplied by the user, and without it, most cleaning products would be useless against tough stains.

Our focus verse tells us that if we have a willing mind, God will accept what we have instead of considering what we lack. This is such a great offer—a simple way to be accepted by God! Yet, people often fail to see the importance of supplying that all-important ingredient of a willing mind. The willing mind is like “elbow grease” in our relationship with God. It is attained through the hard work of making consecrations and seeking God, and it is irreplaceable. God cannot give it to us; only we can choose to be willing.

A young man once approached an older minister with a prayer request: he wanted special prayer that he would be able to get up in the morning to attend an early prayer meeting. The older minister replied to the young man, “If you will get your right foot out of the bed and onto the floor, I will pray that God will help you get the left foot out of bed and on the floor!” The minister understood that God will not do what we can do for ourselves, and that is to supply a willing mind. God will never violate our free will.

Remember, we have a promise that if we are willing and obedient, we “shall eat the good of the land” (Isaiah 1:19). And His promises are not gimmicks—they have been proven true!

Father in Heaven, Help me to see that I must supply a willing mind—a mind that wants to please You in all that I say and do. Amen.