Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.2 Timothy 2:15 New Living Translation
For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will.John 6:38 New Living Translation
What motivates you as a Christian? What motivates you to stay devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ? What motivates you to continue to follow God even in the midst of adversity?
We all need motivation at some point in time. We all need a desire to move forward; a desire to move forward which is present in the absence of strength; a desire to move forward which is present in the absence of encouragement. Motivation enables us to accomplish a task in spite of obstacles. Therefore, motivation is essential to living an overcoming life.
Motivation is essential to living an overcoming life!
Motivation was essential to the work of Christ in the earth. Jesus always had a reason for doing what He did:
- At 12 years old, He had a reason for being in the Temple even though His parents had left Jerusalem.
- At 30 years old he had a reason for going to John the Baptist to be baptised in water even though He had no sin.
What was Jesus’ Motivation?
Jesus was motivated by the Will of God. Jesus always wanted to do the will of God in every situation and in every season. When His parents asked Him why He had caused them to be searching all over Jerusalem for Him Jesus said:
“But why did you need to search?” he asked. “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?”Luke 2:49 New Living Translation
When John the Baptist asked Him why He was coming to him for baptism Jesus said:
“It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.”Matthew 3:15 New Living Translation
Jesus always focused on doing the will of God. Jesus always wanted the will of God to be done in His life. Doing the will of God was always His reason for living. Motivation caused Jesus to live an overcoming life. God wants us to live an overcoming life but we need motivation. We need a reason to live an overcoming life. We need a reason to overcome obstacles. We need a reason to resist temptation. Jesus knew His motivation. As followers of Jesus we need to answer the question:
What is my Motivation?
We cannot live on this earth without the necessary resources. We need water to drink and wash. We need land to plant fruits and vegetables and to build houses. We need sunlight for warmth and vitamin D. We need money to buy or obtain the benefit of other resources. There are resources which can be found in nature and are easily replaced by nature. These resources are renewable. This means that there is an inexhaustible supply of these resources. Our Heavenly Father, in His divine wisdom provided these inexhaustible resources for us so life on earth can be sustained. Do you know that He has also provided inexhaustible resources for believers in Jesus Christ?
Christianity is a new life. It is a new way of living. Jesus revealed to Nicodemus that “unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” (John 3:3 NLT). The Apostle Paul revealed to the Church at Corinth that:
…anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT)
In the same way God has provided natural resources to sustain our life on earth, God has provided spiritual resources to sustain our life in Christ. One of these spiritual resources is grace. It is through the grace of God that we receive this new life in Christ and it is through the grace of God that we receive the strength and motivation to live this new life in Christ. One man who knows the power of God’s grace is the Apostle Paul. Before he was the Apostle Paul this is what he did:
- Paul (also known as Saul) “agreed completely with the killing of Stephen” (Acts 8:1 NLT)
- Paul uttered “threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers” (Acts 9:1 NLT)
- Paul “blasphemed the name of Christ” and “persecuted his people” (1 Timothy 1:13 NLT)
Paul did those evil things but one day he had an extraordinary experience with the grace of God. He met Jesus and received a new life. Paul knew he did not deserve to be called an Apostle but this did not prevent him from living a fruitful life in Christ. Paul overcame the knowledge of his past sins through grace (God’s inexhaustible resource):
For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. (1 Corinthians 15:9-10 KJV)
Sometimes we carry guilt from our past sins. Sometimes we remember our past sins and start to believe we are not good enough to work for God in a particular capacity. In these moments we must remember God’s inexhaustible resource. The grace of God allowed us to receive forgiveness for our past sins. The grace of God allows us to work for God. The grace of God allows us to live for God. There is only one thing left for us to do:
Live in God’s Grace
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (Philippians 1:6 NLT)
I want to encourage all who work for the Lord in any capacity. I want to encourage those who are spending energy, money and time to ensure that the gospel of Jesus Christ is spread within their community, their nation and the world. The Bible reminds us that serving the Lord is “good work”, but sometimes that work can overwhelm us and feel more like a burden than a pleasure. However, there are three things we must remember as servants of the Lord:
- God started that “good work”
- God will continue that “good work”
- God will complete that “good work”
The Church at Philippi was always eager to support the Apostle Paul financially. While the Apostle Paul travelled from country to country, the Philippians would send supplies to him whenever they could:
As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help when I first brought you the Good News and then traveled on from Macedonia. No other church did this. Even when I was in Thessalonica you sent help more than once. (Philippians 4:15-16 NLT)
The Philippians were not financially rich but God started a “good work” within them. The Apostle Paul reminded them that the same God that started that “good work” will continue it until it is completed. Some serve the Lord through giving financial support. Some serve the Lord through public ministry. Some serve the Lord through private ministry. Some pray for others. Some encourage others. Some bear the burdens of others. Whatever you do to help spread the gospel of Jesus Christ is “good work”.
You may not be financially rich but God started that “good work” in you. You may not be physically strong but God started that “good work” in you. You may have made mistakes while working for God but God started that “good work” in you. God will continue that “good work” in you and He will complete it.
That “good work” that God has started in your life is like a puzzle with many pieces. Every step you take for God, every minute you spend with God, every cent you give to God, everything you do for God are just pieces of the puzzle. God will ensure that all of those pieces come together perfectly to produce a beautiful picture. Don’t give up but be encouraged:
God Always Finishes His “Good” Work