Living LIGHT challenge focuses on DOING. We can learn Kingdom values by doing them. Today I need to share a deeper truth.
I could have taught this when I taught on busy-ness. We can have full schedules and lives when what we’re doing is motived by love. When it’s motived by “keeping up with the Jones” or looking good in front of others or avoiding shame…that’s when the feeling of busy-ness comes on us. Why? Motives Matter.
I’ve read time and time again that “the throughout the Bible motives matter.” I’ve decided I need to check it out myself. I was overwhelmed by what I found. Here are just some of the highlights.
Cain killed Able because his deeds were evil – Motives Matter.
We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. 1 John 3:12 ESV
David tell’s Solomon ““And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.” 1 Chronicles 28:9 – Motives Matter.
Wisdom Literature –
We justify our actions by appearances; God examines our motives. Proverbs 21:2 – Motives Matter.
But I, the Lord, search all hearts
and examine secret motives.
I give all people their due rewards,
according to what their actions deserve.” Jeremiah 17:10 – Motives Matter.
Jesus said, don’t give, pray or fast to win the approval of man, Matthew 6:1-8, 16-18 – Motives Matter.
Paul writes –
For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. 1 Thessalonians 2:3-4 – Motives Matter.
Early Church –
32. All the commandments of God, then, are embraced in love, of which the apostle says: “Now the end of the commandment is charity, out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.”9 Thus the end of every commandment is charity, that is, every commandment has love for its aim. But whatever is done either through fear of punishment or from some other carnal motive, and has not for its principle that love which the Spirit of God sheds abroad in the heart, is not done as it ought to be done, however it may appear to men. For this love embraces both the love of God and the love of our neighbor, and “on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets,”1 we may add the Gospel and the apostles. For it is from these that we hear this voice: The end of the commandment is charity, and God is love.2
9 1 Tim. 1:5.
1 Matt. 22:40; comp. Rom. 5:5.
2 1 Tim. 1:5; 1 John 4:16.
Augustine of Hippo. (1887). The Enchiridion. In P. Schaff (Ed.), J. F. Shaw (Trans.), St. Augustin: On the Holy Trinity, Doctrinal Treatises, Moral Treatises (Vol. 3, pp. 275–276). Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company.
What is it called, when we can see the seed of a truth in the law, see it lived out in history, see it extolled in Wisdom literature, see it active in the prophets, see it lived out in Jesus’ life, see it taught by the epistles and continued in the early church?
Good Theology. Motives Matter.
How are we to be motivated?
Short answer – love.
We have time, let’s look at how Paul was motivated.
1. I do what I do because of WHO I serve.
2 Corinthians 5:9-10
So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
When we stand before God it will be…
A place of revelation…
their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 1 Corinthians 3:13
A place of reward…
If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 1 Corinthians 3:14
A place of reckoning…
So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Romans 14:12
2. I do what I do because of What He has Done for me.
For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 2 Corinthians 5:14
“For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me Galatians 2:19-20
3. I do what I do because of What He has made me to be.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17
4. I do what I do because of what He has entrusted to me.
that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:19
5. I do what I do because of what He has Called me to be.
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:20
What motivates you do to the things you do?
Is it for the applause of others? Is it to please a Father you can never displease? Is appearance more important than why it’s right?
We often have mixed up motives so here’s 3 questions to help up unmix our motives…
3 Questions to Evaluate your Motives
1.Am I trying to compete or am I doing it because I think I deserve it?
Philippians 2:3 – Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but in humility consider others better than yourselves (NIV 1984).
2. Does this put me or others first?
Philippians 2:4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others (NIV 1984).
3. Is this a choice to be more or to be nothing?
Philippians 2:5-7 “Your attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus. Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (NIV 1984).
What’s a decision weighing on you right now? You may have already made it. You may need to unmake it.
Let God show you your heart
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24
Find out about the free course called the Living Light Challenge