Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What's My Motivation?

The truth is in
The proof is when
you hear your heart start asking,
"What´s my motivation?"
(Newsboys, "Shine")

I'm still amazed when things start to make sense gradually, as if I'm peeling layers from an onion.  I credit divine revelation when the same Bible verse or the same idea keeps coming up, over and over.

Last week, as I was reading Jesus Manifesto, I kept nodding in agreement with the premise of restoring the supremacy and sovereignty of Jesus Christ.  There is no "next thing."  But beyond that point, the authors spend some time observing and criticizing the emphasis on good works in churches.

It's not that God doesn't want us to serve Him through ministry, but it's not the primary thing.  This is one of my favorite Bible passages:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
That is, we can participate in every ministry, attend every Bible study, share the Gospel with everyone we meet, and give half of our income to charity ... but if we don't have Jesus in our hearts, none of the rest matters.  We can't earn our way into heaven.  (That's very good news for me, because I know how many times I mess up!  Thank God that I don't have to rely on my own merit for salvation!)  I've heard, in some churches, the attitude that so-and-so is a good Christian because she gives so-many dollars to the church, or because he taught Sunday school, or whatever.  But what God cares about is heart.  Faith.  Does Jesus live in me?  What's my motivation?

Here's a passage from Jesus Manifesto that stood out for me:
If Christ is in you, then the Christian life is not about striving to be something you are not. It is about becoming what you already are. ...

So why do we preach rules, regulations, and laws instead of Christ? And why such an emphasis on "works"? Good works are simply fruit falling off a tree. If you will sink your roots deep in Christ, who is your life, you will not be able to stop the fruit from coming forth.

Heaven has chosen this Jesus to be before all, through all, in all, and to all, until He is all in all.

Everything else is postscript.

The engine of being "missional," therefore, ought never to be religious duty. Neither should it be guilt, condemnation, or ambition. The engine should be blindly and singularly a revelation of Jesus Christ.
So, what's my motivation?  Anything other than "blindly and singularly a revelation of Jesus Christ"?

Here's another quotation that I heard recently:
God doesn’t want our service and activity apart from a relationship with Him, and in fact, He will not accept them without it. (John Franklin, A House of Prayer)
I found that very challenging.  What is my motivation?  What's your motivation?

Disclosure:  Book title links are affiliate links.
image credit: stock.xchng user ba1969


  1. I think that one of the hardest things about being a Christian is to let go and give God your heart and life and desire to be in alignment with His plans rather than struggle to make and achieve our own. I think that is why so many Christians even those who are in many respects wonderful people focus on the doing and forget to let God be in control - it is so much easier just to do.

    I read the biography of Oswald Chambers near the beginning of the year and his willingness to do God's will even when it looked like utter failure and foolishness in the eyes of the world has haunted me ever since. God sends me regular reminders that this is what He wants my heart and my devotion to His will.

    I love it when He does that or otherwise I would never learn a thing.

  2. The Bible also says to "take up your cross daily and follow Him". People in general are not willing to follow Christ daily let alone pick up their cross. Those are some heavy words but unfortunately the "church" has gotten soft and it is easier to "do good works" than it is to actually follow Christ and walk in His footsteps. (I'm preaching to myself here)

  3. What John Franklin said is very challenging.

  4. That first quote from "The Jesus Manifesto"!!!

  5. Oh man gave me chills reading this. You know my challenges. Hard to find that balance.


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