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I was asked by a leadership coach, “Why do you do whatcha do?”
I answered with a lot of platitudes, thinking I was being very spiritual.
He was not content with the answer and probe deeper, “If I were to ask your team, ‘Why does he do what he does,’ what would they say?”
Uncomfortable questions, but really important questions, not only for those in ministry leadership, but for moms, dads, teachers, plumbers, coaches, grandparents, everyone.
Why do we do what we do?
What motivates us as Christians?
Obviously, there are those who do what they do for a paycheck; some for promotions and advancement; mostly because it’s what they have to do.
Is there a higher motivation?
What gets you out of bed every day?
Just a paycheck?
Drive for a better position and recognition?
Love for your work?
What Motivates You As a Christian?
One of the most powerful chapters in all literature describes the highest level of motivation.
That is not hyperbole.
It is truly the most powerful chapter written. It records Jesus describing why He got up every day.
“Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel… I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me” (John 5:19-20, 30 NKJV).
What got Jesus out of bed every day of His life was to do the will of the Father. He was totally motivated by love for His Father and His desire to please Him.
It was that love and desire to please the Father that filled His being with love for the human race and His desire to heal, reconcile and restore mankind to God’s original design.
His entire life was motivated by authentic self-sacrificing love.
It is challenging to imagine such a life.
Yet, that is to be the distinguishing mark of every true follower of Jesus Christ. “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35 NKJV).
Jesus gave an eleventh commandment, which was not really a new command but an extension of the commandment given in Deuteronomy 6:4-5, known as “The Shema.”
“Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”
When asked by a Pharisee, a lawyer, which is the greatest commandment, Jesus answered with “The Shema” then said, “This is the first and the great commandment. And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hand all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV).
Jesus new command to His disciples was simply an extension of these two commandments. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34 NKJV).
That is to be the motive of our life.
The enemy of your soul is ever challenging; seeking to misdirect, discourage and distort the motive of your life.
He will send offenses your way in an effort to discourage your heart of love through distrust.
He will bring difficult people around you who will question your motive and will seek to distort your motive.
The cares of life; traumatic experiences; or health issues can misdirect ones motives.
Holy Spirit will always be at work seeking to keep your heart focused upon the highest motive of life; loving God with all your heat and loving others as Jesus Christ loves you.
How do you maintain the highest motivation in everyday living; earning a pay check; changing diapers and cooking dinner; disciplining children; or keeping the car clean and the lawn mowed?
It all starts with the “first and great commandment.”
When you love God with all your heart, soul and strength, obeying His commandments is no longer legalism but a love motivation.
Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
The Apostle John wrote, “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. But this we know that we are in Him” (1John 2:3-5 NKJV my emphasis).
Out of that love and obedience to the Father comes the same motivation by which Jesus lived His life every day.
- When you go to work with that motive, you are seeking more than just a paycheck.
- You are praying for your employer and co-workers, concerned for their lives and their families.
- You are taking Kingdom authority to work and believing God for divine appointments.
Your pay check is earned and necessary, but not the main thing.
- Changing diapers and preparing dinner are expressions of love.
- Prayer for the little one as the bottom is cleaned and a new diaper is taped up.
- Love for the family and the guests are stirred into every pot as the meal is prepared.
- Blessings are spoken over each person as the table is set.
- Vision, life purpose, and godly character are the objectives of discipline – not punishment.
- Love for the child as you love yourself and as Jesus loves you is the motive.
Everyday actions have love has the core motive.
The lawn may need to be mowed and the car may need to vacuumed and washed, but the motive is love for your family and every person who comes to your house and rides in your car.
Wounds, offenses, disappointments, adversities, and tragic events will come your way and press you to not love so extreme; not be so open to others; just get through this.
That is only living halfway.
Full life comes from fully loving.
Live every day loving God with all your heart, all your soul, and your strength.
Live every day doing the will of the Father to the fullest measure.
Live every day loving others just as Jesus Christ loves you.
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