Bella Vista Church of Christ



Randall Caselman


It's All About Motive


My God and I go in the field together,

We walk and talk as good friends should and do;

We clasp our hands, our voices ring with laughter,

My God and I walk thru the meadow’s hue.

This earth will pass, and with it common trifles,

But God and I will go unendingly.


 We all want it don't we: A walking, talking, hand-holding relationship with God? At the same time, we each must agree that such a relationship is impossible without proper motive. In fact, it's all about motive. For instance, we can be Biblically sound in our beliefs and practices, doctrinally correct, have the right answers to every religious question, but if our heart is not right, we can never have a close fellowship, an intimate relationship with God.


• Solomon said: "As a man thinks in his heart so is he." As we think, we are.

• Jesus said: "Out of the heart comes the issues of life."

• Paul concluded that faith is a heart issue: "With the heart man believes."

• In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God," walk with God.

• To the woman at the well, Jesus said: "God wants and walks with those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth." He was speaking of worship with proper motive, with integrity.


 I think we will agree that a walking, talking, hand-holding relationship with God has everything to do with motive and integrity.


 First, we must be willing to live changed lives. It's possible to come to church every Sunday and still not have our lives changed by the Word. We sing the songs, listen to the sermon, partake communion, give generously, pious in prayer, yet still go home to live as we want. Jesus and His teaching, the Word, never penetrates, never impacts our life. We go home to still abuse drugs and alcohol, still mistreat our spouse, ignore or abuse our children, cheat in business, gossip about our neighbors and the church. This happens every Sunday to thousands of church goers. Hearers who never becoming doers.


  We must become pure in heart. Religious integrity, heart honesty, is a must. During His personal ministry, the greatest enemies of Jesus were religionists, the Pharisees. They knew the rules, understood the Law, walked the walk, talked the talk, but had no intimate relationship with God because of a dishonest heart. Jesus addressed their problem in Matthew chapter twenty-three: "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices–mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law–justice, mercy and faithfulness." "You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean." “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Their heart was not pure, honest! They claimed to love God, but killed His Son.


 We must submit, surrender, both heart and behavior. Intimacy with God must begin with faith, a faith that leads to total commitment, absolute surrender. The Hebrews' Writer tells us that "Without faith it isimpossible to please God." It was Jesus who said: "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?" Jesus is saying that there can be religion without relationship. We can keep all the rules and still have no intimate relationship with the Rule Maker. James says, these are those who "Continue to look into the perfect law of freedom. Not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it." We must be among those who are willing to conform to the heart and ways of Jesus: "Having His mind, heart, His attitude, disposition and behavior." These are those who sing the song:


Have Thine own way Lord, have Thine own way

Thou art the potter, I am the clay.

Mold me and make me after Thy will.

While I am waiting yielded and still.


 So the question becomes: Do we have a walking, talking, hand-holding relationship with God and His Son, Jesus? Does knowing God and His Son make any real difference in our lives? Our prayer is that it does, Amen?


—Randall Caselman