Motives Matter

Series: Follow. James Dewhurst October 13, 2019


Motives Matter!

Today, we are jumping back into an 8-week sermon series we started a few weeks ago, called – Follow! The majority of our Real Groups are also discussing our Sunday morning messages in their groups each week. Throughout this series, we are talking about being what it really means to be a disciple of Jesus. Does believing in Jesus make us a disciple, or is there actually more? Believing is not synonymous with the following!

Disciples of Jesus become students who follow, imitate and replicate what He does!

In the first two messages of our series together, we discovered that in order to be a disciple of Jesus, we not only need to follow him, but we also need to make disciples!

Someone once said – “Motives are invisible, but they are the truest test of character.”

Another person said – “The biggest gap in the world is the gap between the justice of a cause and the motives of the people pushing it.”

A wise person said – “We would often be ashamed of or best actions if the world only knew the motives behind them.”

God wants our motives to match our message!

Matthew 15:8-9

8 “ ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 9 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ” (ESV)

Proverbs 16:2

2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirit. (ESV)

1 Samuel 16:7

7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (ESV)

Since God wants us, He is always more interested in our motives than our actions!

Critical Question: What is the driving motivation behind you serving the Lord?

– Is it Guilt?

– Is it Fear?

– Is it Regret?

– Is it Religion?

– Is it Legalism?

– Is it Pride?

Christians who are driven by anything but love will end up burnt out, bitter and broken!

What separates Christianity from every other world religion is what motivates us!

> What motivates the Mormon is the need to make amends for past sins through merit!

> What motivates the Muslim is fear of punishment for failing to meet 5 Muslim tenets!

> What motivates the Buddhist is the need to create positive Karma for the afterlife!

> What motivates the Scientologist is the need for self-discovery by auditing past lives!

> What motivates the Christian is the love Jesus poured out when he died on the cross!

John 3:16-17

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (ESV)

It is our love for God that’s the driving force behind everything we do as disciples

John 14:15

15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (ESV)

Deuteronomy 6:5

5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (ESV)

Kyle Idleman – “We love others best when we love God most.”

1 Corinthians 13:1-3

1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. (ESV)

The Bible says if our actions are not motivated by love, they are worthless!

> In man’s kingdom, the right actions reap rewards!

> In God’s kingdom, right motives reap rewards!

1 Peter 5:2

2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; (ESV)

Loveless people see others as a means to their own end!

John 15:13

13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (ESV)

Being a disciple of Christ is about laying our life down for others like Jesus did for us!

The ancient Greeks used 4 different words in their language for Love:

> Storge’ love is a family love between siblings and households!

> Eros love is romantic love between a husband and wife!

> Philia love is a friendship or brotherly type of love!

> Agape love is a divine love between us and God!

The N.T. writers use Agape the most because they saw it in Jesus coming to be with us.

Many men have wanted to be God, but only one God was willing to become a man!

Disciples of Jesus live their lives motivated by 3 different types of love:

1. Unconditional Love! (The only way love can save a soul is if it’s unconditional!)

Hebrews 13:5 (NIV) God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

2 Timothy 2:13 (NKJV) “if we are faithless, he will remain faithful.”

God’s love is not “If” or “Because”. It is “Anyway”, “Even though” and “In spite of!”

Mother Theresa – “Love does not measure, it just gives.”

Love doesn’t become unconditional until the person receiving it is undeserving!

2. Unselfish Love! (Love is the unwavering promotion of another’s highest good!)

Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” (Love lays down our own life, and puts others first!)

John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

One of the most damaging things Christians can do is teach a love they aren’t applying!

3. Unfailing Love! (In a world of unending failures, God’s unfailing love is priceless!)

Psalm 36:7 (NIV) “How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.”

Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV) “The Lord appeared to us in the past,[a] saying: I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”

1 Corinthians 13:8 “Love never fails.”

People think discipleship is all about teaching people but it’s really about loving them!

> It’s about loving people enough to help them see a glimpse of God’s love for them!

> It’s about leading people to a Savior that can set them free from the power of sin!

> It’s about caring enough for the Christians around us to offer them an example!

Hebrews 13:7

7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. (ESV)

I have never heard of Christians being called a hypocrite for being too loving!

Pray for God to change whatever our motivation is to LOVE!

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