Tuesday: Motivated to Serve
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What would you think of someone who constantly and loudly declared that they were motivated and yet attempted nothing? What about someone who claimed to be dedicated yet never revealed to what, or to whom, they were dedicated? As we have seen, love is a most powerful motivator; but to only declare our love, even our love for God, means nothing unless we act on that love. In other words, we expect love to be revealed through actions. In this sense love is an active word as it reveals itself through loving actions.

Read John 15:13 and Romans 5:6–8. What do these verses reveal to us about Jesus’ love as manifested in His actions? How are we to take the principles revealed here and manifest them in our own lives?

Image © Sally Weimer from GoodSalt.com

What a wonderful Savior is He who deliberately and willingly gave His life because of His great love for us. Here is the ultimate example of where the one who loves is compelled to act for those who are loved. What if Jesus had pledged His love for us and remained in heaven? What if He had declared His love but made no promises to us or provisions for us?

Read John 14:21. What does this verse tell us about love in action, both on the part of Jesus and us?  

We are not just talking about love here; we are talking about a loving relationship. In any loving relationship our motivation is to please the one who is the object of our love. Jesus’ decisive saving act on our behalf was motivated only by His love for a race that had broken their connectedness to God. Anything that we do for God that does not come from a similar motive suggests that we do not really understand what it is to have a love relationship with God. God doesn’t want us to be involved in witnessing and evangelism because we think we owe Him. Rather, He desires our connectedness to Him be such that it compels us to do the things that please Him and to be in tune with things that matter to Him. God wants us to love Him so much that we will reach out to the people whom He loves.

How can we be sure that we do things for God with the right motivation? Can we be a blessing to others even if we are wrongly motivated in our action? If so, how so? Are right actions for the wrong reason good actions anyway? Whatever your answer, bring it to class on Sabbath and discuss.

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Tuesday: Motivated to Serve — 8 Comments

  1. Hi. What can I do, I have continually sinned against God. I think I am fooling God because each time I confess the sin and am so determined to leave all behind me and live an honest life somehow I end up doing the same thing over and over again with a higher magnitude. I'am now confused that am I still forgivable because what I have done is too deep. But honestly deep down in me I still feel the need to do good, actual to honestly follow Christ and to do anything for him but somehow whenever I try to reach out to God I end up in deep sin.

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    • Alex, just my personal observation, did you count the number of times in your comment where you used the word "I." That may indicate where you are focusing your attention. At the transfiguration the disciples were all focusing on three people and then the scripture says:

      Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah "-- because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid. And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!" Suddenly, when they had looked around, they saw no one anymore, but only Jesus with themselves. (Mk 9:5-8 NKJV)

      The point is that they were supposed to focus on Jesus not everything else. The same can be said of Peter walking on the water, "So He said, 'Come.' And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, 'Lord, save me!'" (Mat 14:29-30 NKJV). He only begain to sink when he started to focus on the environment around him instead of his Lord.

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    • Hey Alex, I too have been where you are...and felt hopeless. I began to pray that God would show me how much He loves me and as I saw that love revealed through the forgiveness of others, specifically my husband, it began to foster a hatred for the sin that I so much cherished. Taking my eyes off of my self and my failures, I began to look to Jesus. It was a struggle, to be sure! But God is a re-warder of those that diligently seek him. Hang in there!!

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  2. "If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing" (1 Corinthians 13:1-3 TNIV).

    That answers if actions without love are blessings to others, or blessed by God.

    Blessing someone requires true motivation of God's love in us; in turn, we share it with others because God turns our heart to love them.

    "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Cor 13:4-7 TNIV

    This is what love looks like if we are wondering if someone is genuinely loving.

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  3. Hi i've got a question. We've been studying about motives and frankly it's been a serious problem for me because recently I now try to examine every single act I take to detect any impure motives in them and it's exasperating because I've to think twice before I do anything and human motives are too complicated. I've got to thank this week's lesson because it says I only need to put the whole complexities of my human motives at Jesus feet. However another question surfaces, is it really wrong to do something that is wrong but with a good motive. For example Rahab lied to save the israeli spies? Can't I out of love for my fellow lie to save him? Can't I out of love for my neighbour use psychology and every means not minding if it's good or bad on him just to save him?

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  4. Maybe this can help you Nelson; Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not on your on understanding. IN all YOUR WAYS acknowledge Him and he shall direct thy paths. all have sinned and come short. Ask for forgiveness and move on. I do it daily. I try not to practice lying or doing wrong. The truth will set you free. Jesus already knows.

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  5. Alex its not you who is sining but its the devil, look here your senses tells you are doing wrong but later you found yourself in the act, curse the devil who is using you and take the root of Christ.

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