… heart motives in my life as it applies from the sermon yesterday…
1 Peter 2:13 -17 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
… so, as I have been thinking throught the “free-fall” sermon from yesterday, my heart and mind went to motives. what’s my motive for what I do? Is it my own personal gain or God’s glory? do I love others simply because its God’s will? do I fear God and honor everyone simply because its the right thing to do? or is there more to the “why” of what I do?
in order to do this – in order to live my life with others for the will of God, I must have something deeper motivating my actions. Otherwise it turns into a legalistic, joy-deprived, meaningless ritual.
So, on to the idea of motives… why do I want to get out of debt? Is it simply to have freedom from those chains or one day bless my husband with the painfully learned spiritual discipline of discipline itself? or should there be more to it than that?
what should be my motivation to lose weight? so I can buy new clothes? so people will notice and compliment me? so I will be more attractive? so I can simply live a healthier life and enjoy more activities? is that all that motivates this or is there really something more behind this?
what makes me able / willing to say no to my fleshly desires? why do I love others? submit to authority? obey my leaders? why do I serve with gladness? how is it possible to love “the unloveable”?
2 Corinthians 5:14-15 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
I should be motivated to change / motivated to obey because of His love. Because its the work on the cross of Christ that controls me, my desires for prideful self-advancement and self-glorification is not up to me to control. Its power was crushed that day on that cross through the words “it is finished.” I am not ruled by those desires, though at times they seem overwhelmingly strong. What rules me is a freedom found in Christ as Ruler. What motivates me is the mercy I see through Jesus. The humility of my glorious risen Savior is what empowers me in humility and service to others.
Because Christ loved and died for me, I have been given the strength to love others and die to myself. Because of my union with Christ, the obvious conclusion would be that I have died to my old self and raised again to New Life. That new life means service. But its not a drudgery… its a service of joy and gladness to a God who has freed my chains. Its my little way of sharing with others the grace He’s shared so lavishly with me.
… I’m not there yet. Well, in some ways I guess I am… I already AM one with Christ. I already AM able to resist temptation through the power of the Cross. But daily, I fail in acting upon that ability. And without action, the ability is meaningless.
This truth, fully understood, must result in change, according to James. God doesn’t want me to simply show honor to everyone, love my brothers and sisters, and fear Him because its the right thing to do. He wants it done in light of the cross, through His strength, in view of His mercy.
Wow. I’m seeing yet again how needy I am. I am completely reliant upon His grace to act upon me. I am needy of His ever-sutstaining grace.