Friday, November 27, 2009

Why do you do it?

Good morning friends.

We all need motivation in order to complete the tasks we have been given. Some motivation is nothing more than the obligation we feel toward people dependent on us, such as all the things we do for our family. Another source of motivation comes from the sense of good citizenship, such as when you volunteer at the local food bank. There is also the motivation of reward, such as your pay cheque twice a month. There are many others sources of motivation but there is nothing like the motivation of love.

Love can motivate people to do many things. For example, it can be the motivation of great feats of bravery. It is the reason a father will set aside fear for his life and run into a burning building to save his child. As well, it is the reason why a sibling will set aside fear and donate half a kidney to save his brother's life. Another example is the motivation some people have for getting involved in politics. These people have a love for their city, province or country and believe they can make a difference. However, the greatest example is when a person gives up their life for the sake of another person. Jesus said, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." It was love that nailed Jesus to the cross.

For me, the Apostle Paul is a great example of one who was propelled into greatness because of love. He wrote to the Colossians:

We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me. vs. 28-29

Paul did not work hard for a pay cheque or for any immediate reward. It does not even appear that Paul worked hard for the final reward. He said in Romans that if giving up his eternity would bring his nation, Israel, to Jesus then he would gladly do it. In this letter to the Colossians he writes that he labours hard in order that he can present everyone perfect in Jesus. His love for his brothers are sisters was so great that he set aside all personal concern for himself and laboured with an energy beyond his own, so that they could come to a complete understanding of Jesus. This included preaching, correcting and teaching all the time. I doubt Paul was caught up in the local gossip or doing administration or whatever else distracts us teachers. He was completely sold out to his calling.

Motivation is an important and powerful thing in our lives. There are many different motivators in the world but there should only be one for us followers of Jesus. Our motivation should be the same as Jesus', Peter's, John's, Paul's, Barnabas', Timothy's, Silas' and all the other heroes of the faith. We should do what we do because of Jesus' love for us, our love for him, and our love for those for whom Jesus died. If that is not our motivation, if instead we work for a pay cheque and benefits, we need to ask our Father to re-orientate our hearts so that they line up with his. Rewards at the end of our life will be great but our motivation for the here and now must be love. It will propel us on to greatness.

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