It’s important for the church (individuals) to understand the place of MOTIVE inspired by love to their service to God.
According to the English dictionary, motive is an incentive to act in a particular way, a reason or emotion that makes one want to do something..
It may interest you to know that God is more interested in your motive (reason) why you do things than your action itself.
Some people might get stuck because of that statement because religion has laid emphasis more on “just bring the offerings,” “sow the seeds,” whether the individual is motivated by love they don’t care.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3, verse 3 in particular “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not LOVE it profiteth me nothing.”
Obviously love is the motive for the believer, so it’s not enough to say you give, what’s important to is why do you do those things you do. Do you go to church because you are afraid if you don’t go God will be angry with you? To put God’s house (church as an institution) in order is good, but what’s your motive for doing that? Is your motive trying to get God to bless you? If Yes, then you have the wrong motives, your good works should be motivated by Love, nothing else.
Prayer is good, but it can be done outside the right motive. Mathew 6:1-7. In the sixth verse Jesus talked about praying in the secret. He says, when you pray, shut your door. This verse has been misunderstood by some folks, using it to condemn people praying in the open. Jesus prayed in the open, definitely Jesus wouldn’t have been contradicting himself.
What Jesus was pointing at in the sixth verse was the MOTIVE behind the religious prayers. Reading Mathew 6 from the first verse, Jesus condemned the acts of giving with the wrong motives, same thing applies to prayers. He condemned those praying with the wrong motives, so Jesus wasn’t condemning open or secret prayer, he was only pointing out their motives, that’s why they are called “hypocrites”.
If you are living right in order to become righteous as a believer, then it’s a wrong motive. You become righteous the moment you receive the gift of salvation. Romans 5:17b “much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness.”.
Clearly you don’t live right to become righteous (right standing with God), it’s a gift you receive. More so you don’t live holy for God to accept you. You are already accepted in the beloved of God (Ephesians 1:6).
The motive for the believers to live righteous and holy should be because of the love of Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:14 “For the love of Christ constraineth us”...Not the “judgement of Christ.”
Many believers live right today because they are afriad if they don’t God is going to judge them. That shouldn’t be your motive, God has no judgement reserved for you. God exhausted all the judgements for our sins on Jesus on the cross.
Our good works as Christians should be motivated by the love of God and nothing else. Live holy because you know God loves you, give because you know God loves you and he wants to advance his kingdom here on earth.
written by: Moses I. Victor