Over the course of a day, or even an hour, we tend to do a lot of things. And every single one of those things has a motivation – whether we realize that or not. We like to say, “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” While that is true, every action also has a motivation that comes before. As believers, our actions must be holy. Our reactions must be holy. But we don’t often speak of our motives behind our actions. These, too, must be holy.
We are called to always act with a pure heart. We will never achieve perfection in life, and our motives will not always be pure. But the Christian life is about repentance, and taking steps to walk more and more in step with Christ and His Spirit in us. So, of course it won’t be perfect. The Christian life is a process. But we must, over time, get better. We are called to live holy lives, and that encompasses our motives. Whenever we act, we must act out of a pure motive, and that pure motive should always be the gospel of Jesus Christ.
When we reflect on what exactly God has done for us in offering grace and forgiveness of sins, we should desire to live in a way that honors Him. His salvation to us should draw us to worship Him, not just once or twice a week, but with our entire lives.
This is not easy. It will never be easy to check out our motivations for everything. But we must be careful to always have our motives in mind. Believers must ask themselves, “Why am I doing this?” or “What is my motivation for this particular thing?” This will keep us from sin, I believe. If our motivations are purely in the line with the message of Jesus and our spiritual convictions in Him, then we will not fall into sin as easily. Knowing that, I want to lay our 4 motivations for our actions that we should have as believers.
- A desire to further the kingdom. One of the main motives for actions should be an evangelistic desire to further the kingdom of God. Our actions should always be pointing others toward Jesus, so that they may see and learn and believe his gospel. Our actions should be motivated by the desire to see lost souls come into the grace and freedom found in the gospel. So, if our motivations are to further the kingdom of God, then our actions will be pure in that motive.
- A desire to glorify God. Every single one of us was created for good works that bring glory to God the Father (Eph 2:10). Our chief goal, or end, in life is to glorify God in everything. Every part of our life should seek to bring glory and honor to the One who has given us this life. All of our actions that we do should have the motivation of glorifying God. We fall too often into doing things that only bring ourselves glory, even in church. We go to church or serve someone for our own glory, rather than for the glory of God. Our actions should be completely selfless. It is hard to give up our own motivations and wills, because we think we have everything figured out. We must rid ourselves of that attitude, and give everything over to our Sovereign God.
- A desire to help build the church. As a believer, your actions should be motivated by helping to build up the church. The local church is God’s ministry on earth, and every believer should be playing an active role in the local church. Your actions should be helping further the ministries and mission of your local church, and the universal body of Christ, as well. The church does not need anymore hindrances or ill motivations. The church needs Christians who are purely devoted to helping build the church in their community. This can happen if we will examine our actions and the motives behind those actions.
- A desire to seek personal repentance. Our actions should push us toward being more like Christ, so our actions should be pushing us toward repentance. If the motivation for an action is personal repentance, and the action is performed dutifully, then the result will be, usually, more holiness and less ugliness created by sin. We should always seek to be more like God and less like our old selves.
Every of these motives is wrapped up in the gospel of Jesus Chris. They are all tied together with the gospel. That is one of the beautiful things about the Christian life: The gospel ties all of our good motivations together to further His kingdom, glorify Him, build His church, and help His people seek repentance.