Behold Your God — Week Nine, Day Three

26 Jul

Motivation is such an important part of life. It is essential to our life having any energy about it at all. I have seen people literally die from lack of motivation. When a loved one dies, when our hopes are dashed, when things just don’t work out, when relationships fade, we are likely to give up, give in and drop out.

Unless . . . what if there is a motivation that is greater than any challenges it meets? What if there is a motivation that is high and noble and eternal and unshakable? I could give myself to that kind of motivation. And because that motivation has such a sure foundation of hope, I could live a life both full of outward activity and inward rest.

The passage in the Bible that best describes this motivation is 2 Corinthians 5. There we read . . .

14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 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.

16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

What is our motivation? The love of Christ. Our love for Him or His love for us? I think verses 14 and 15 tell us it is His love for us which is the motivating factor. His love changes us though, as we see that we no longer live for ourselves but for Him. This causes us to no longer regard anyone, not even Christ, “according to the flesh.” Now this phrase is a bit difficult, but I think what it is getting at is that when we walk in the motivation of Christ’s love, we rest secure in that love. Therefore we no longer regard anyone according to the flesh, how they can satisfy us, meet our needs, fulfill our longings. In other words we don’t live toward others from a stance of selfishness but from a position of service. Why? Because we are secure in the love God has for us in Christ. We have already been loved better than we will ever be loved so while we can enjoy the love of relationships we are not rising and falling with their every up and down. While we can enjoy the good gifts God has given us, we are not resting the weight of our souls on these things. We’re not looking mainly for what we can get but what we can give. And because it is more blessed to give than receive, as a by-product we get more blessing in our lives than we would have gotten had we tried to pursue satisfying our own needs.

The new creation then, more than anything, is the making of a self-centered person into a God-centered person. The old modes of living have passed away and new world of possibilities has opened up.

This is all from God, by His grace and through His love He is calling prodigal sons and daughters from all over the world home to His house of security and joy. But He brings us home only to send us out. Thankfully, God goes with us through His indwelling Spirit. Now we are ambassadors, sent with the message of reconciliation. When Adam and Eve fell, their relationship with God was broken and their relationship with each other was broken. And the response to this brokenness was to hide. They hid from God in the trees of the garden and they sewed fig leaves together to hide from each other. When we trust Christ, we come out of hiding and actually become His open representatives to the world with a great message and an urgent plea: be reconciled to God.

This reconciliation is only possible because God has shown us His love by sending Christ to deal with our sin and to bring us to God. So it is good news because God has made a way for us to come to Him. But our message is a challenge. Be reconciled to God. There is an urgency there. This urgency exists because this reconciliation is not only about eternity but it is also about time. In my next post, I am going to try to connect some dots in the things we have been studying as I point to what I think is the greatest missing element in the life of most American churches today.

One Response to “Behold Your God — Week Nine, Day Three”

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