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Years ago I heard pastor Brian Harbour share this poem:
I’ve spent a fortune
On a trampoline,
A stationary bike
And a rowing machine
Complete with gadgets
To read my pulse
And gadgets to prove
My progress results,
And others to show
The miles I’ve charted—
But they left off the gadget
To get me started!
The gadget to get us started is a very important gadget. Even more important is the gadget to keep us going. It is important for a follower of Jesus to not only start well in our faith but to keep going and finish well in our walk with the Lord.
The question of motivation is important. Why do you do what you do for the Lord? Why should you keep serving the Lord and lovingly stand for the truth in the midst of opposition or indifference? What motivates us to keep on keeping on for Christ?
The apostle Paul faced unpleasant circumstances, critics inside and outside the church. He put his life on the line for the Gospel of Christ. What motivated Paul to remain faithful? Why did Paul have such a singular focus (Phil 3:1-14)? What was Paul’s motivation?
His motivation lies at the heart of the Gospel. It was the compassion of God and His love expressed through Christ’s death, burial and resurrection that motivated Paul. “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” II Corinthians 5: 14-15 (NIV)
Paul was motivated by the compassion of Christ. He said “Christ’s love compels us.” The KJV says “The love of Christ constraineth us.” The ESV says, “The Love of Christ controls us.” The NEB says, The Love of Christ leaves us no choice.” So when Paul thought about the love of Christ revealed in the Gospel, he has no choice but to serve Him because he was compelled, constrained and controlled by the love of Christ.
The love that Jesus demonstrated on the cross controlled and compelled Paul to live a life of service to others. It compelled him to risk his life in sharing the Gospel with others. He believed that Jesus not only died for all of mankind but that Christ’s death was for the purpose of giving life to all who believe. Christ’s death and resurrection was the ultimate demonstration of love. What a picture of love, the sinless Christ giving His life for sinful mankind. It is the demonstration of that kind of love that motivated Paul to give his life for the cause of Christ.
If the love of Christ could take hold of our lives like it did Paul what kind of difference would it make in our lives, marriages, families, churches and community.
So if you are thinking, “it takes a lot of effort to serve in my church every week.” Yes, that is true. But the love of Christ leaves us no choice.
“I might be misunderstood if I speak up for a Biblical worldview.” Yes, that is true. But the love of Christ leaves us no choice.
“It might be awkward sharing my faith with my friend.” Yes, that is true. But the love of Christ leaves us no choice.
“It’s inconvenient to live a life of service and generosity towards others.” Yes, that is true. But the love of Christ leaves us no choice.
So if you are struggling feeling motivated serving Christ and others. You don’t need to purchase a special gadget to get you going. Instead, remember the love of Christ and the question of motivation will be settled.
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