Skip to main content

What is the Motivation?

Let me ask you a question: What is your motivation for following Jesus? As I pondered this question I realized that often my motivation has been to live up to the expectations of those around me. In other words I have been seeking the approval of people rather than seeking the approval of God.

The apostle Paul opens his letter to the Colossians with an interesting thought, one that took me by surprise. This is what he wrote:
3 We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 because we have heard about your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you have for all the saints, 5 based on the hope laid up for you in heaven. Some time ago you heard about this hope in the word of truth, the gospel 6 that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and spreading all over the world, so it has been doing among you from the day you heard it and came to know the grace of God in truth. (Colossians 1:3-6; ISV)

I have to be honest, I have not been looking forward to the joys of heaven. I have been wanting a nice life right now. I have been wanting a nice life right now. Now wonder my motivation for following Jesus has been the approval of other people.

This motivation, seeking the approval of people, also comes with a cost. When I am unable to live up to expectations, when I am rejected by another person, my faith in Jesus takes a hit. I wonder how God could allow that to happen when I have been faithful. The reality is that it isn’t God’s fault that I am rejected, since it was I who had put my hope in the wrong thing.

What does it mean to hope for heaven. Here are a few ideas I have had since reading this passage.
  1. It means we have to realize that this world cannot meet our deepest longings and needs.
  2. It means that we value our relationship with God above everything else and make that relationship a priority in our lives.
  3. It means we long to live life the way it was meant to be lived instead of being satisfied with life here and now.

When I first read this passage I thought that the Colossians were awfully selfish in their motivation. As I continued to ponder these verses I realized that my has been selfish because it has been all about me. The Colossians seemed to be motivated by their love of God, their desire to be with Jesus, and the love for other people. The were motivated by heaven because the loved God and they loved people.


Popular posts from this blog

Prayer: Married Bedtime Prayer

My wife Jenny and I have been using the Bedtime Prayer that John Eldredge wrote for Walking with God as part of our bedtime routine.  As much as I have enjoyed the prayer I thought it was time for a prayer that was better suited to pray together.  Hopefully this will encourage you to implement prayer into your bedtime routine.

Our Father in Heaven, we pause at the end of this day to say thank You.  We give You thanks for the blessing of life, for the blessing of each other, for the blessing of family, and for the blessing of a home. You have richly blessed our lives. Restore us Father to Your Son Jesus.  He is the vine and we are the branches and He has become our source of life.  Open our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit's guidance, healing, and transformation.  May our lives and our marriage bear the fruit of the Spirit.  We surrender our lives and our marriage to You.  You have our bodies, possessions, and spirits; we give You our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.  We belon…

God Uses Unlikely People

One of the things that strike me about God is that the value society has given to people makes no difference to Him. In fact it seems that God would rather use the common, even the despised, people of the world to make a difference in this world. Consider Moses. God doesn’t use Moses when he is a prince of Egypt, but when he is a nomadic shepherd. Certainly God has used the rich and the powerful, but more often than not God has used the poor, sinful, and abused. God uses the unlikeliest people.

This reality comes our loud and clear at Christmas time. Think about the major characters of the Christmas story: Joseph who is a poor and scandalize carpenter, Mary who is a young and scandalized girl, Shepherds who are a bunch of untrustworthy characters. Only the Magi have credibility in society, but this diminishes in Jewish culture since these men were Gentiles. The most important event in the history of the world and God chooses people who are rejected and wouldn’t be believed by so…

Worship is a Lifestyle

"It's a lot easier to sing a song than it is to stop and touch the broken. It's a lot less taxing to go to church than to take 'church' to the world. But sharing with others is a sacrifice of worship that makes God smile." ~ Louie Giglio; The Air I Breathe

Worship isn't just about music. Worship isn't just an activity that is planned and programmed. Worship is about glorifying God with our lives. When we seek to honor God, we worship Him.

Worship happens anytime and anyplace. It happens Sunday mornings at church. It happens Wednesday night at Bible Study. It happens when we chat with our neighbor. It happens when we serve those in need. It happens when we show love to the lonely. Worship is what being a Christian is all about.

Worship is a life lived in response to God's gracious blessings. God has given us so much. We owe Him every breath we breathe. He is responsible for our talents we use. God has given us blessing after blessing. Only a life o…