Motives for Godly Living

Motives for Godly Living

Are there things in life that you need motivation to accomplish? Going to the gym? Cleaning the house? Homework? It is natural to need motivation. You can read books about how to become motivated, listen to motivational music, etc. In fact, some people make a living at being “motivational speakers.” When it comes to motivation, some people are self-motivating and others require an outside source. Even when we turn our attention to Christianity, the same is true – we need motivation! Christ never promised that following Him would be easy, but He did say that it would be worth it. Even Jesus said that following Him required walking on the “strait and narrow” (Matt. 7:13-14) path indicating that it would be a difficult journey. What will help us to be like Paul and be able to proclaim “I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally there is laid up for me the crown of life…” (2 Tim. 4:7-8)? We need some motivation! There are several places within scriptural that we can find motivation, but let us consider the words of Paul in Philippians 2:12-16.

Personal responsibility (vs. 12a). First, Paul says to, “work out your own salvation.” You will not make it to heaven on someone else coattail. Not your parents, your spouse, your children, your neighbor, your preacher, or anyone else that you know. Every person will stand before Christ and give an account of their actions (2 Cor. 5:10). When one considers that they are personally responsible for going to heaven, it should motivate that person to live godly.

Eagerness not to fail (vs. 12b). Second, one who is “working out their own salvation” needs to do so with “fear and trembling.” It is a fearful thing to consider not making it to heaven. To think about hearing those words, “depart from me I never knew you” (Matt. 7:23). How every person should tremble to think about hearing the words, “depart from me you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41). How terrible would it be to find yourself separated from God for all of eternity? To find yourself next to the rich man in torment instead of in Abraham’s bosom with Lazarus? Live your life like your soul depends on it!…because it does.

God’s concern for you (vs. 13). Third, Paul then reminds the brethren that God is working in them. God is not overriding their freedom of choice or free moral agency, but He is simply using them to accomplish His will. When we consider not just what God is doing, but also include what He has done, we see God’s great concern for the salvation of mankind. God planned the church before the world was ever spoken into existence. When the time was right God sent His only begotten Son (John 3:16). God does not desire that any person should perish (2 Peter 3:9). God has done everything within His power to save you and me, and the only thing He cannot do is force you to follow Him. God’s concern is obvious. He loves you and this should motivate us.

Example of good that one can be (vs. 14-15). Fourth, think about all the good that you can do when you live godly. Think about the difference that you can make in the world. A lot of people complain about the world in which we live, but the only thing that can truly change it is the gospel (Rom. 1:16). We are the salt of the earth (Matt. 5:13), the light of the world (vs. 14), a city set upon a hill (vs. 14). We live “in the midst of a crooked” and perverse generation,” but we are different and stand out as “lights.” Just to comprehend the thought of doing such good in the world should motivate us to live godly.

The day of Christ (vs. 16). Finally, the day of Christ should motivate us. He will return. It is not a possibility, it is a certainty. His return is not a theory, it is a fact. Jesus will return as a thief in the night (2 Peter 3:10), the heavens will pass away (vs. 10), and the elements will melt with fervent heat (vs. 10). Even Peter goes on to say in verse eleven that this day should motivate us to live “godly” and “holy” (2 Peter 3:11). Will you be ready when He returns? Let His second coming motivate you to live godly.


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *