Bella Vista Church of Christ



Charles Cash


People Need To Be Motivated – Part 2


  God’s Word furnishes us with “everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. (2 Peter 1:3) His revelation is God-breathed and complete, “so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:17) God then uses many different methods and approaches to motivate man to recognize Him, surrender to Him and serve Him in order to have an “abundant life.” First of all, God did not leave His teaching in the abstract, but reveals His great principles in the light of human conduct throughout the Bible. Secondly, God promises, appeals to our innate sense of right and goodness, pleads with us and even warns us. There are three powerfully motivating factors found in scripture which should lead one to God.



  The Christian fears God with a “Godly fear,” which is reverence, awe, and respect. This fear, Solomon says, “is the beginning of knowledge” and “the beginning of wisdom.” “Since we,” as Christians, “are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28-29)


  But there is a place for plain fear, fear of punishment. Being afraid!! To the Athenians Paul said, “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent. For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30-31) J. W. McGarvey wrote the following, “The terrors of that great day, and of the awful fate awaiting those who shall then be condemned constitute the heavy artillery of the gospel, by which the fortification that sin has constructed about the hearts of wicked men must be battered down, ere the tenderer motives of the gospel can be brought to bear.The wicked man must be made afraid to continue in sin, before the goodness of God can lead him to repentance.”


  In Acts 24 we read, “Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jewess. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus. As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid (trembled KJV) and said, ‘That’s enough for now.’” (verses 24-25) Felix, former slave, now governor and a very wicked man, was brought to his knees trembling. No doubt, it was Paul’s words on the judgment that touched Felix.


  John, the apostle of love, wrote, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” Why? “Because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”(I John 4:18) Though there is a place for plain old fear, or being afraid, a Christian cannot for long serve God simply out of a fear of punishment. The tenderer motives must move in to control the response to God.


  An anonymous author wrote, “They that worship God merely from fear, would worship the Devil too, if he appear.”


The Goodness of God.

  “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance. (Romans 2:4 NKJV) There you have it; the “goodness of God” should lead any person to “repentance.”


  The “goodness of God is new every morning.” Our days are literally filled with His goodness andlongsuffering. Every “good gift” comes down from the Father.


“I see the wrong that around me lies, I feel the guilt within,

I hear, with groan and travail cries, The world confess its sin.

Yet, in the maddening maze of things, And tossed by storm and flood,

To one fixed trust my spirit clings: I know that God is good!”


  What motivation the goodness of God providesfor all of us. “God is great, God is good.”


The Love of God.

  Love is the supreme virtue, the source of all other virtues. Sooner or later it must become, for the Christian, the supreme motivation in our service to God. “We love Him because He first loved us.” (I John 4:19) This is the greatest reciprocal relationship this world has ever known. “This is love for God: to obey His commands.” (I John 5:3) Without love, no matter what I do or sacrifice, “I gain nothing.” (I Corinthians 13:3) Paul gave this personal testimony, “Christ’s love compels me.” (2 Corinthians 5:14)


  At some point the goodness of God and our reciprocal love for God must become the prime motivation in living for the Lord, rather than just a matter of fear or necessity.


  We would all do well to take our temperature once in a while; do some introspection and check out our motivation.