Love As A Motivator

When you are tempted to give up on your efforts to serve the Lord, which of the following three philosophies would motivate you best? 1) If I don't keep at it, I might lose my good feeling or the respect of my cheerleader at church. 2) I want to do what is pleasing to the Lord, in response to His love for me.

3) I have tried to understand the situation from the unsaved person's perspective. I have tried to empathize with his feelings: his undiscovered need for knowing the Lord. Jesus lived on earth and can empathize with our problems. I should try to do the same for the unsaved in the world today. If I don't keep at it, the unsaved person may never find hope, love, and forgiveness.

Of course, you could argue that many good things are accomplished by people with less than admirable motivation. This is true. God can use any situation to His glory. Sometimes, a person's motivating factor is not as important as the fact that he is making an effort. It is important to consider whether or not the person is trying to be obedient to God. His desire to serve the Lord is more important than trying to achieve perfect actions and results.

People grow and mature. By being obedient in small ways, in little steps, they learn to be obedient in bigger ways, in larger steps. An act of obedience, however misguided, can be a step toward better motivation. But great care must be taken to assure that misguided motivating factors are eventually restructured. We may be laying a poor foundation for our future and may be a poor example to others. We should not lay the foundations of our faith on anything but Jesus and the truth of God's Word.

We should try to encourage and motivate one another. But remember to ask yourself (and ask God) if your commitments are true to God's Word. Are you doing something because it seems like the right thing to do according to man's ideas? Or are you doing something because it is God's will?

Try allowing your response to God's love, compassion, and mercy to motivate you into action. Surely your driving force will be more stable and less susceptible to interference from worldly pressures. Surely your excitement in serving the Lord will be less likely to diminish.

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