We're not here to serve Ive; we are here to serve God." (Mark McKenzie)
When I first heard that statement, I wondered, "Who is Ive?" Then I realized what the preacher was really saying was, "We are not here to survive; we are here to serve God." But, then, it might just be correct the first way if you change "Ive" to "I've."
Many people serve "I've." You hear it every day. "I've gotta make a living, don't I?" "I've gotta go to the grocery store." "I've gotta answer the phone." (Although that is what answering machines and voice mail are for.) "I've gotta … whatever." It seems that the "I've" that we serve is one of the busiest entities around. And so demanding. Whenever "I've" has gotta to do something, it seems that I am the one expected to do it for him. "I've" has got to do so much that "I" have almost no time to do what I need to do, including talk to God and read his word.
It is important to go to work. "I've" got to make a living and support my family. But, as Michael Medved put it, "Serving the Boss is more important than working for the boss." Of course, they aren't mutually exclusive; you can serve God while working for the boss. The problem is when "I've gotta" becomes the master, and God has to take second place-when making a living is more important than making an eternal life.
A lot of the other things the "I've gotta" do are also important. If one doesn't do the little things that sustain life or make it enjoyable, one finds it difficult to do the more important things. Again, though, "I've" can't be the master. There is only one, and he must not be it.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the other, and despise the one. Ye cannot serve God and [I've]. (Matt 6:19-24)
Of course, there is an alternative. Since "I've" is so much a part of us, maybe we could convert him. You see, those areas where "I've's" gottas take precedence are those places where we, ourselves, haven't turned our lives over to God. They are those little rooms in our lives that we keep locked, trying to keep God out of them lest he find something he wouldn't like. You know, like when you close the bedroom door so the guests won't see the room you didn't get to clean before they came. If we convert "I've" to God's will, then we don't have to worry about him trying to become the master. He will be serving the same master. "I've" will become one with us instead of working against us.
Once we convert "I've" then we will hear more of "I've gotta read my Bible;" "I've gotta do good to that neighbor I don't like;" "I've gotta do what God wants." Then when "I've" wants to do something, it will be a pleasure to help him. We might even find that God will lend a hand, too.