5:30pm at The CORE
Think of the countless ways we try to motivate ourselves and others. If you want to work out more, what do you do? Set goals? Invest money in a gym membership? Schedule it in your calendar? Get an accountability partner? Reward yourself with ____________? Or if you want your kid to do his chores, what do you do to motivate him? Threats? Punishment? Praise? Rewards? Encouragement? Counting to 3?
What about God? How does he motivate us to keep his commandments? A: In a variety of ways. God threatens the unrepentant. God praises the obedient. God promises blessings and rewards. But more than anything (and uniquely Christian!) is God’s way of motivating with unconditional love. It’s our awareness of his persistent, never-stopping, never-giving-up, always, and forever love, his grace, which melts our selfish hearts and makes us want to serve him. God’s love changes obedience from a have-to into a get-to. And, oddly enough, it’s that love that has the power to do what all the sticky notes, threats, rewards, and praise can’t do. In other words, God doesn’t make us work to get the carrot. He feeds it to us as a free gift, which energizes us to get up and work.
However, God is a good motivational speaker! Not only does he use unconditional love, but he also praises obedience, promises blessings and rewards, and much, much more. Christians have every reason to be excited about the good works that God has prepared in advance for us to do!