Have you ever wondered why often it seems difficult to motivate people to long-term commitments in church projects? Perhaps the answer can be found as we think of some other situations where a very high degree of motivation and commitment are evident. What is it that motivates a parent to donate one of their kidneys to save the life of his or her child? Why do moms and dads spend a small fortune to provide the best possible education for their children? Are these things done because the parents would feel guilty if they didn’t? Do they think that they owe their children these things? Of course not.
While parents do have a sense of responsibility for the welfare of their children, love is surely the major motivating force. They do what they do because they love. We cannot spell this out enough times: we do things for God because we love Him and because we know He loves us.
Read 1 John 4:18-19. What do these texts mean? Write out their meaning in your own words.
Our love for God must be rooted in His love for us. God existed before we did and He has loved us supremely from the creation of humankind. Love can come only as a result of, and in response to, love. Obedience to the great gospel commission for any other reason than that we love is all but fruitless. This is why spiritual preparation is vital as we seek to become involved in witnessing and evangelism.
Our love for God, and our willingness to work with Him in the saving of souls, is dependent upon our knowing Him. It is not usual that we love people whom we don’t know. Therefore, it is vital that to obey God out of love, we must know Him personally.
Love and obedience are inseparable as long as they occur in that order. True love for God will always result in obedience to His revealed will, but obedience will not necessarily lead to love (although it can). If we want people to work for Jesus, we must help them create a loving connection with Him.
How much does your love for God motivate what you do? Does it motivate you at all? What does your answer say about your relationship with Him and what needs to change?