As I thought about this article, I realized I could have entitled it, “What motivates you.” Either way, the fact of the matter is this, something causes us to move forward, to become engaged, or simply remain stagnant and apathetic in life. For the bulk of this year, the attention from the pulpit has been that of spiritual growth. The verses that speak to this need are plentiful and here are a couple. 2nd Timothy 2:15 begins with “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God…” 1st Peter 1:5 exhorts us, saying “giving all diligence, add to your faith…” Jesus Himself would exhort His disciples to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). God yearns for, and yes, expects us, to grow spiritually, for we “are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works” (Ephesians 2:10). But I am again drawn back to the question, “What drives or motivates you…us?”
For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all,
then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for
themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
2nd Corinthians 5:14-15
In a world of expectations, goals to achieve and objectives to accomplish, we wrestle, at times, with the reason behind it all, and so it is with our Christian walk. As much as God yearns for us to grow in Christ, He doesn’t want us to lose sight of the reason for that growth. One could say the reason for spiritual growth is that they desire to be like Christ. True, but that is more like a goal than a reason…right? Paul says that his awareness of Christ’s love for him, compels or drives him in life. You can have all the goals you want, work efficiently and diligently towards them, systematically accomplishing one after another, only to find out that with each accomplishment there is a void, an emptiness. The goal was never intended to be the reason for joy and contentment; that is, to fill the void. Rather, the love of Christ is what is intended to fill it. Christ is the reason for all the things we do; and more importantly, for all that we are right now! So, what are you right now?
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed
on us, that we should be called children of God!
1st John 3:1
Here is a challenging question, “When you look in the mirror, what do you think of first and foremost?” Is it the flaws in your life? The imperfections that so often rise to the top? Is it the objectives of the day and the things you need to accomplish? Such reflection is needed, I know, especially if growth is to take place. Still, when was the last time you meditated on how much the Father loves YOU! Flaws and all! That regardless of those very things, He graciously sought after you because he loves YOU just as you are. If you are in Christ, He wants you to know you’re his child completely and absolutely.
We work hard to earn our boss’s approval. We strive to make our parents proud and receive their love. This is often the way of the world around us. What if we instead, thought about the incredible love the Father has for mankind…for me. What if, before I pick up my cross each day, that I first look to His cross? What if that was the driving force behind the things I do: Being part of His church, reaching out to serve those around me, growing in Christ. What if I daily took hold of the Father’s love for me through Christ? What drives YOU?