Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Best Motivation

What motivates you to live a Christian life?

Is your motivation guilt? Guilt is that feeling we get when we have done something wrong. When left unchecked guilt convinces us that we are bad people. This belief tells us that we are not worthy of God's love and that we have to work to earn our forgiveness.

Thus, guilt motivates us to live a moral life, not necessarily a life of faith. Our goal is to clean up our lives on our own rather than trusting God to cleanse us.

Maybe your motivation is fear. You fear the consequences of sin which leads you to be constantly worried about your performance. You wonder: “Am I going to church enough?” or “Am I praying long enough?”  As you judge your performance you begin to see every negative thing that happens in your life as God punishing you. The unexpected bill, the car accident, the sickness, or the job loss all are interpreted as punishment for sin.

Thus, fear motivates us to be strict and disciplined, but we fear God more than we love Him.

What should our motivation be?
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God—for God is love.
God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. ~ 1 John 4:7-10; NLT

The greatest motivation we can have to live a Christian life is love.

Not our love for God, but God’s love for us.

The reason we should go to worship each week, the reason we should pray, the reason we should study the Bible, the reason we should extend a helping hand, and the reason we should give generously is out of response to God’s love.

No other motivation will be strong enough to sustain us through life.

How do we live a life in response to God's love?

First, we need to continually think about God's blessings. When we lose sight of God's blessings the reality that God loves us slowly fades from our minds.

Second, we daily pray and ask God to reveal His love to us. The more we pray the more we will be aware of the big and small ways God shows His love to us.

Third, we serve people. I believe that one of the reasons we fail to experience God's love is because we are inwardly focused. As we begin to help and serve those around us we begin to experience God at work.

The reality is that if we are to be motivated by God's love to live a life of faith, we need to be constantly be reminded of that love. This is why being part of a local church is essential.

There are numerous motivations for living the Christian life, but the only one that will sustain us through the long haul is God's love for us.

The Spiritually Mature Life: Having the Fruit

On Sunday, April 7, 2024, I started a new sermon series at Bethlehem Church called A Spiritually Mature Life. This sermon series is focused ...