“About Our Motives” Part 2

Posted: April 30, 2014 in Christian Life, Christianity, Decision Making, God's Will, Salvation, Security

Has someone ever asked you, “Why did you do that?” Perhaps you replied, “I’m not really sure why I did what I did.” Or if you did something that you knew was wrong, maybe you tried to blame someone else as Adam and Eve did (Genesis 3:12, 13). It may surprise you to know that we don’t always know exactly why we do what we do (1 Corinthians 4:4, 5). Even the Apostle Paul admitted that he wasn’t always sure about his motivation but he knew Someone who knew everything about him (Isaiah 46:10; John 2:24, 25). Only the Lord fully and correctly knows the motivations behind our actions. But we should endeavor, with God’s help (John 15:5), to have the right motives for doing what we do. Consider these appropriate motives:

Love. There are different kinds of love. God’s love has some unique qualities to it (John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 13; 1 John 3:16, 17). Only God and Spirit filled Christians will have this kind of love to display to others (Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:22). Maturing Christians can but shouldn’t misdirect God’s love toward the devil’s wicked, world system that is passing away (1 John 2:15-17). What do you know about it? Everyone can have brotherly love and should extend it to others around them (Romans 12:10; Hebrews 13:1). All the “works of the flesh” are perversions of good things (Galatians 5:19-21).

Gratitude. Everyone should give thanks for his past, present, and future benefits that come from God (James 1:12). Consider what God does with those who don’t acknowledge Him or thank Him (Romans 1:18-32). Christians are commanded and enabled by God (Philippians 4:13) to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18), for all things (Ephesians 5:20), and for all kinds of men (1 Timothy 2:1). Is your life characterized by thanksgiving?

Eternal Significance. At the “Bema Seat Judgment” the Lord Jesus Christ will test by fire every Christian’s works (not the Christian himself) to determine if the good works he did on earth meet God’s standard for rewards, crowns, and praise (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). The Apostle Paul wrote, “For [the believer’s] light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more excellent and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17). Is he saying that some Christians will enjoy heaven more than others? Our ruling and reigning with Christ will be the privilege of every true Christian (Romans 8:17). Since every Christian will endure some suffering with Christ in this life, every Christian shall also reign with Him (2 Timothy 2:12). Not all Christians suffer for Christ to the same degree (Hebrews 11;36-39). God takes note of all these things.  He is not unjust to forget our work and labor of love that we have shown toward His name, in that we ministered to the saints (Hebrews 6:10). The sufferings of this present life are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us (Romans 8:18).

Rewards. Over and above all that we get in our salvation package that came at Christ’s expense, God earnestly desires that we work for and earn five victor’s crowns. The “Imperishable Crown” is given to believers who discipline and keep their bodies under the control of the Holy Spirit and their own spirit (1 Corinthians 9:25-27). The “Crown of Rejoicing” is given to believers who lead others to Christ for salvation (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20). Christians who love Christ’s imminent return in the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17) will receive the “Crown of Righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8). Overcoming the temptations that come from the devil (Ephesians 6:10-17), our own sin nature (Galatians 5:16-25), and the present world system (1 John 2:15-17) will earn for Christians the “Crown of Life” (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10). Pastor-teachers who faithfully feed, guide, guard, and take care of God’s flock will receive the “Crown of Glory” (1 Peter 5:4). Once Jesus gives these crowns to those who have earned them, we will be free to give them back to Him as a token of our love and appreciation to Him (Revelation 4:10). If you’re saved, will you work hard in God’s strength (Philippians 2:12, 13; 4:13) to earn these crowns? Salvation is freely offered to us but crowns and rewards must be earned (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Duty. It’s the reasonable thing for every Christian to serve God with gladness, not sadness (Psalm 100:2). It is God’s desirous will that we, as Christians, present our bodies to Him as a living sacrifice. We should not be conformed to this evil age but rather be transformed by the renewing of our minds so that we might test and then approve of God’s good, acceptable, and perfect will for our lives (Romans 12:1, 2). If you’re saved, have you dedicated your body to Him yet? If not, why not do it right now? Why not engage in the good works that God planned for you to do each day while you are here on earth (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10)? When you do them, you will have a part in magnifying the Lord (Psalm 34:3).

Fear. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. But he who fears has not be made perfect (mature) in love (1 John 4:18). When we’re doing what is right in God’s sight, we need not fear. “’The Lord will judge His people.’ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:30, 31). “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives” (Hebrews 12:5, 6).

Motivation. What or who motivates you? Do the temporal things such as fame, fortune, power, or pleasure drive you to do what you do? Is your primary purpose in life to glorify God whether you’re eating, drinking, or doing anything else (1 Corinthians 10:31)? Are other people learning some things about God by watching and listening to you? Are you aware that even the angels learn about God’s wisdom by observing how He deals with us as He brings us to spiritual maturity (Hebrews 1:14; Ephesians 3:10; 1 Peter 1:12; Romans 8:29)?

Caution. While we can/should judge actions (1 Corinthians 5:3-5; 6:1-6; 11:28), we must leave the judgment of motives to Jesus. God the Father made Him the Judge (John 5:22). He will administer perfect righteousness to everyone someday (2 Timothy 4:8). In which judgment will you participate: The “Bema Seat” judgment for Christians (2 Corinthians 5:10), or the judgment at the “Great White Throne” for all unbelievers (Revelation 20:11-15)?

Questions. Ask yourself: “Is the Lord well pleased? Is the work well done? Is the Word well applied?” – Dr. Howard Hendricks.

Help.  If you’re not absolutely sure that you’d go to heaven the moment you die but you’d like to know, contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website where we have “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” in 24 languages. http://www.kelseypeach.com.  If this article has helped you, let us and a friend know about it.  You could make a difference in someone’s life and be a source of blessing to others (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4).  Jesus laid down His life for us.  Shouldn’t we be willing to do the same for others  by living for their advantage (1 John 3:16, 17; 2 Timothy 2:10)?

Some material adapted from Charlie Bing, “The Christian’s Motivation For Serving God,” Grace Life Ministries

 

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