Tag Archives: motivation

Growing in Christ; From Flower Girl to Bride

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  1 Corinthians 13:11

Many of us became Christians for childish reasons. We just wanted to go to heaven. That is okay. Jesus tells us to come as children, but He does not tell us to stay like children. “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we [henceforth] be no more children…” Ephesians 4:13-14 In 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter, Paul tells us, when it came to love he used to think like a child. Children obey when there is a reward involved. But as Paul grew and became a man, be put those childish motivations away, and his love developed into a mature, agape love.  An immature Christian may offer their body to burned or martyred if there is a reward involved, but a mature agape Christian will do it purely out of love. A mature agape Christian loves and obeys because Christ first loved us.

“ It is not the fear of punishment, or the hope of everlasting reward, that leads the disciples of Christ to follow Him. They behold the Saviour’s matchless love, revealed throughout His pilgrimage on earth, from the manger of Bethlehem to Calvary’s cross, and the sight of Him attracts, it softens and subdues the soul. Love awakens in the heart of the beholders. They hear His voice, and they follow Him.” –Ellen White, Desire of Ages, p. 480

In the church today, we often hear the phrase, “salvation issue.” Some people will say they are not worried about a certain standard because it is not a salvation issue. That may be so, but wouldn’t we be selfish and un Christian to only concern ourselves with things that only relate to our own personal salvation? What about  concerning ourselves with glorifying God issues, rather than just salvation issues?

In Exodus 32, the children of Israel, worship a golden calf, and God threatens to wipe them out, and raise up a race named after Moses. However, it is Moses who intercedes and tells God if He does this, His reputation will be at stake. “Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth?” Exodus 32:12 Moses even goes so far as to say, “Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.” Exodus 32:32 Moses is more interested in honoring God’s reputation than he is in his own salvation! Moses has grown up from “salvation issues” to “glorifying God issues.”

Revelation 15 speaks of an entire multitude in the last days who “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb.” Many songs are about stories or experiences. What experience do Moses and the Lamb have in common? Like Moses, Jesus the Lamb was willing to say goodbye to life forever if that’s what it took to honor the Father. “The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb.” –Ellen White, Desire of Ages, p. 753 In Revelation 15 an entire multitude have grown up from thinking only of their own personal salvation issues, to glorifying God issues. Glorifying God is more important to them than their own salvation.

A flower girl comes to a wedding all prepared and ready. She is prepared and ready for the cake and punch that comes after the service. The bride has made herself ready, not for the cake and punch, but for the groom. We may come to Jesus like a flower girl all excited about the cake and punch, golden streets and mansions, but let’s grow up into a bride who cares about the Groom. We love Jesus not for the cake and punch, golden streets and mansion. We love Him because He first loved us.

You may study this week’s SS lesson here.

Motives

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

This week’s SS lesson is on motives, and there is nothing more frustrating and isolating than having your motives misunderstood. However, it is not an isolating occurrence. It happens to everyone. It happened to David. When he saw Goliath making fun of Israel’s God, he wanted to stand up for God, but his own brother misconstrued his motives and said, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” 1 Samuel 17:28 NIV What hurts more than strangers misjudging us is family misjudging us. Hurt for David too, I am sure.

Question is, how can we know other people’s motives when we don’t even know our own hearts?

The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?

 “I the Lord search the heart
and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct,
according to what their deeds deserve.”  Jeremiah 17:9-10 NIV

“Humans are very seldom either totally sincere or totally hypocritical. Their moods change, their motives are mixed, and they are often themselves quite mistaken as to what their motives are.” –C.S. Lewis

I am glad David did not let his family get in his way of doing what needed to be done. Even though his motives were misconstrued he continued to do what was right, which just validated the fact even more, that he was doing right for the right reasons and not to get the praise of his family, because there was no praise from his family! Likewise when people misconstrue our motives, let that be a comfort instead of a curse. We can know that we are doing right because it is right, and not for our egos, when everyone accuses us of having bad motives, but we do the right thing anyway.

Everyone loves an inside joke. When nobody else gets the joke, but you and your friend, it makes your friendship more intimate, having something between you two that nobody else understands. When you are doing right because it is right, and nobody else understands that, just consider it an inside joke between you and Jesus, and it will make your relationship with Him just that more intimate. The two of you are the only ones who need to know your motives. Its nobody else’s business!