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Confronting Our Motives - Rev. Kola Ewuosho
Our motives and focus will either undermine or under gird our activities of faith and the divine results we expect. Our experience and activities as Christians are usually as real or as meaningless spiritually as much as our motives and focus permit them to be. Some things are simply not acceptable to God, i.e. will not fulfil God"s requirement, simply because the motive of the doer is not the right one.
Both Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, expressed some concern about the feasibility of the angelic utterance they had received and it is amazing the different type of results they experienced.
Ananias and Saphira felt they were doing what was expected of them or rather what would please God but their motives were not right. Wrong motives usually lead to wrong actions, which lead to wrong results. Giving was right but the motive undermined their giving and it led to their death. Read Acts 5. An activity in itself may be right but your motives will make it wrong before GOD. He sees the motives of your heart and rewards accordingly. What is the right motive for everything we do in God?
LOVE IS THE RIGHT MOTIVE
The first and second commandments of God are to LOVE the Lord our God with our all our heart and to love others too! Jesus says “If you love me, keep My commandments.” He also says in John 15:10, "if you keep my commands, you will abide in My love as I have kept my Father"s commands and abide in His love”. So the whole goal is to abide in the love of God. If you love Him, you will keep His commands and if you do, you will abide in His love. His command is that you love Him and one another.
Any attempt at loving others without first loving God will amount to selfish love. The love for God should be your true motive to love others. You can only truly love God when you have a relationship with Him. See 1 Cor. 13:1-8. Without love everything loses its benefit and validity before God and His Kingdom. Others may seem to benefit from it but God"s Word declares it is nothing. No impact spiritually and no rewards from Heaven will rest on such activities even if others celebrate you for doing them. It is lacking in the essential ingredient of Love for God. Love is the basis for our God connection.
God"s love motivates our giving. For God so loved that He gave... John 3:16.
Our love for God is the right motivation for holiness and the accompanying suffering in the flesh that follows bringing the body under subjection. To deal with pride and strongholds in our lives, some degree of suffering is involved. The right motivation for such is our love for God. What Paul called light affliction was only so because He was consumed in his love for God and correctness of his focus that whatever he went through looked light.
JESUS AND HIS CROSS SHOULD BE OUR FOCUS
Hebrews 12:1-3 says “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our Faith. Who for the joy set before Him he endured the cross and despised the shame.” As we look to Him we receive strength as we take on His attributes, motives and focus. It was His love for the Father that kept Him on the cross. His focus was pleasing the Father and not Himself. Go and do likewise. The Lord grant us all understanding. He esteemed his love for God above the shame he faced and his desire to please God above the pain He went through. What do we estimate today as valuable? Our motives and focus will determine our values today. If you are selfish your values will reflect it. The reason why many suffer failure is attributable to wrong or selfish motives and wrong focus in their Christian service. Let your motives be love for God and then His people. Let your focus be Christ and his pattern of the Cross. You will not fail but be fulfilled in life.