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2 Motives of the Christian Life: 1. God’s will 2. God’s glory
(Motive: The reason why we do and don’t do things)
1 John 5:3; “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.”
Obedience has never been an easy thing to do. We tend to go through unstable commitments and even experience a lack of desire to obey. The bible teaches us that as Christians we ought to have the right motives as the foundation of our obedience. That is why a constant motive check is needed to be consistent in the Christian walk. Losing sight of the right motives are the primary suspect why we experience a lack of desire to obey and perceive reasons to not obey as more and more gratifying. It is then an imperative to have the right motive, but we will only develop biblical motives by understanding and remembering why we are called Christians in the first place. Scriptures especially in the Old Testament constantly command to remind ourselves of who God is and what He has done for us. Not only that, we are also commanded to know and become who we are now in Christ. Those realities are exactly the very motivations that we ought to have to persevere in faithfulness and obedience.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace-Ephesians 1:7
…for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light-Ephesians 5:8
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.-Joshua 1:8-9
1. God's will
Let’s then take a closer look at the two motives of the Christian life. Motives that should be behind our obedience to every command of our loving and good Father.
- God’s will
Forgiving one another is not a suggestion, it is a command. So does loving one another, preaching the gospel, praying, reading the bible, etc. Christians having professed faith in Jesus Christ should desire, however faint it may be, to do what God wants them to do. And to understand that the God of the bible is not an imperious tyrant. He is holy, just, loving, good, and faithful (John 17:3). His commandments are not burdensome because we know Him who gave it. So as saved saints, we do or not do things because God commanded it. We should not wait upon our emotions, circumstances nor anything else to fully cooperate before we consider obedience. Most of the time those things will be the last ones that will encourage faithfulness. We should then be the master over those things, and we can only master it if we allow God’s word to be master over us.
Consequently, God’s commandments are never cold and forbidding. John 14:15 says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Obeying God is never a mechanical “I have to do it because I’m a Christian” act. True obedience springs from a genuine gratitude and reverence to our holy God who has loved us (John 3:16, 1 John 4:19) with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3) and has blessed us with every spiritual blessings in Christ (Ephesians 1). It is never to get something, rather, it is an act of worship to the One who gave us everything.
This is why His commandments are not burdensome because the Bible teaches us, and God personally shows us that He is a faithful God. This is why we do and not do things, simply because our faithful and loving God says so. And we rejoice in humility for His will is for our good and for His glory. (Romans 8:28-29, 31-39)
“Obey God and leave the consequences to Him.”-Charles Stanley
2. God's glory
v.26; … For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”…
v.36-37; …Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”
v.45; Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied
v47; and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hand.”
-1 Samuel 17
Those are the words of David during his encounter with Goliath. I am honestly encouraged by his zeal for God’s glory. If you read the whole chapter you will see that the situation, the people (notably Eliab) and the physical aspects are all seemingly against David. He was small, the army of Israel were scared, and he was mocked and discouraged. But as we read on, the scriptures tells us how David remembered God’s faithfulness to him as a shepherd in the fields; David was then assured that God’s faithfulness extends even to the hostile ground of war. David also did not let discouragements and physical appearances deter him from fighting for God’s glory. He practically did not care about anything except God’s glory. He knew who his God was. He therefore sought not his own but God’s glory alone. He did not do it for esteem, fame nor any kind of reward. He simply did it to glorify God whom the Philistine’s army has blasphemed. God’s glory was an enough motivation for David to seemingly run towards his death (as both the Israel and Philistine armies thought). This is also the same zeal we ought to have for our God’s glory. Let the world step on our pride, let our ego deflate and die; if it is in the cause of righteousness, so be it! May we never choose our flesh to be satisfied! Let God’s name alone be glorified!
This is why we do and not do things---for God’s glory. Remember this verse? “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”-Matthew 16:24.
It’s also safe to add that “for God’s glory” is not merely a word we staple at the end of everything we do just to make it sound spiritual. God is glorified when we obey according to scriptures and out of a genuine and growing devotion to Him.
“For me I offer no defense, for God I’ll offer my life.”-Meekness
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.-Colossians 3:17
Soli Deo Gloria