Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

The Only Sustaining Motivator

2 CORINTHIANS 5:11-15 – Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 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.”


THEME OF THE DAY:  THE ONLY SUSTAINING MOTIVATOR.  Motivation.  The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as “incentive, drive, a force” pointing to a pursuit of a goal, achievement or personal desire.  Motivation matters in life and that applies to the Christian life and service to the Lord.


So, here is the question . . . “What are some of the motivators for living the Christian life and serving the Lord?”  Please add to the following from my list; to glorify God, to please God, to love God, to obey God, to prepare for Judgment Day, and to have fellowship with God. All these are good, and I am sure what you would add are good as well, but they fall short.


As we read my list of motivators, what is common?  My actions.  My activity.  My doing.  Granted the Christian life is the knowing AND doing Christian life.  We are called to action. Obedience in its simplest understanding means “actively putting into practice God’s commands”  Yet, even in the best of Christians, the strength of self will not sustain the fruitful Christian life.  We grow weary.  The devil discourages us.  The world distracts us. Our flesh attacks our motivation.  Combined, all our spiritual foes seek to erode our motivation for living the Christian life and serving the Lord, and should we look inside ourselves for any sustained motivation, we will find none. But God has not left us to ourselves.  He has given us the only true sustaining motivator to faithfully run the race, fight the good fight and finish the course.  It is love, but not our love to God.  This truth is found in today’s scripture and the following story . . .


Hudson Taylor was examining some young people who had volunteered for the mission field.  He wanted to ascertain their qualifications for the arduous life toward which they were looking.  “And why do you wish to go as a foreign missionary?” he asked one.  “I want to go because Christ has commanded us to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature,” was the reply.  Another said, “I want to go because millions are perishing without Christ, not having even heard of the One Name whereby the lost may be saved.”  Others gave various answers.  Then Hudson Taylor said, “All of these motives, howsoever good, will fail you in times of testing, trials, tribulations, and possibly death.  There is but One Motive which will sustain you in trial and testing, namely, “For the love of Christ controls us.” (2 Corinthians 5:14).


Friends, there it is – the only sustaining motivator to live the Christian life and serve the Lord; pursuing, knowing, and experiencing the love of Christ which becomes the incentive, power, and force for a faithful and sustained life pleasing to Him.  Seek it earnestly and walk in it consistently.


PRAYER: “Lord, deepen my desire to experience more of Your love that I might walk in life controlled by Yours, Lord.”


QUOTE: “Love, not ours, but Christ’s love, is the only power to sustain a life of self-denying service for others.”


In the affection of Christ Jesus,


Pastor Jim