Finding Our Motivation

Jesus said, “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master.  It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master” (Matthew 10:24-25, NASB).  Our goal is simply to be like Jesus.  The Apostle Paul put it this way, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma” (Ephesians 5:1-2, NASB).

As the children of God, we have new goals, new values, and new priorities for our lives.  No longer do we live for the gratification of the flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind,” (Ephesians 2:3, NASB).  Rather, we seek to take “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5, NASB).

While we continue to treasure our earthly relationships with the people we love—family, friends, and loved ones in the Lord—we no longer live for them or depend on them to supply our spiritual and emotional needs.  In fact, Jesus said, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:37-38, NASB).  The scripture goes on to say, “But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive” (Verse 39).

I don’t know what it might take to motivate any person to want to be like Jesus and to pursue “the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14, NASB). But I firmly believe it’s a matter of the heart. Jesus said, “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart” (Luke 6:45, NASB).

As this passage indicates, what are our deeds, what are our words, but the pouring forth of the content of our heart?  This is why it is impossible to separate love from obedience or faith from works. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” and “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me” (John 14:15&21, NASB).

So, where my heart leads me, there I will follow. But I can only trust my heart in so far as it reveals itself in godly decisions and actions. The prophet Jeremiah warned, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” To which God replies, “I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds(Jeremiah 17:9-10, NASB).  There is a definite heart-body connection.  Whatever is filling our mind will translate into behavior, words, and actions.  This is why God can, and will, justly judge the content of our hearts by examining our deeds.

James reminds us, “For we all stumble in many ways,” (James 3:2, NASB).  But though we all stumble, a heart that is truly in love with God is always prepared to acknowledge weakness, repent, and attempt to do better; rather than excusing, justifying, or continuing to embrace sin.  I can’t help but think about the woman who had been caught in the very act of adultery to whom Jesus said, “‘Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more’ (John 8:10-11, NKJV).

Finding our motivation to turn away from sin and do the right thing can sometimes be difficult.  But when it comes to making decisions and choosing how we will conduct our life on earth, for the authentic disciple of Christ whose heart is simply enraptured with the presence of our Lord Jesus, there can be no higher motivation than that set forth by the Apostle Paul in His admonition to the children of God at Corinth when he said:

For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.  (2 Corinthians 5:14-15, NASB)

May Jesus and His love get all over our hearts today,

~ Philip ~

Luke 17:10

One thought on “Finding Our Motivation

  1. Hi Philip,

    I was surprised a how much the NASB changed the Word of God in that quote from Jeremiah. The Holy Bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jer. 17:9) I dont believe sick and wicked are synonyms. If they were, we would be wicked every time we were sick!

    Jamie

    Like

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