Why do you do what you do? There is a motive, a driving force, behind everything you do. Motives have compelled mankind to do the greatest of things in this world…and the worst of things. (And the worst began with the motive to "be like God" when Adam and Eve ate of the tree that God commanded them not to eat from.) It is a good thing to examine why you do what you do. So let me ask this: What is your motive to love your fellow man? God tells us, "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ." (Philippians 1:27) Can we admit that we need to hear that? Our lives often reflect love of self more than love of others; selfishness is mankind’s default motive. Now some think that 'the church' preaches this to guilt, shape, and control people. And wherever that’s been the case, that’s a shame. But God comes to us with "the Gospel of Christ." The Gospel preaches, "I have loved you with an everlasting love." The Gospel preaches, "I have forgiven all of your sins through the life, death, and resurrection of my Son."
So the Gospel of Christ establishes a completely different motive. The life of love that God calls us to is not rooted in the guilt of trying to measure up and gain something with God, but in the grace of what Christ has done for us in atoning for our guilt and the privilege of reflecting that in the world. The life of love that God calls us to is not effected by a threat, 'do this or else,' but by a promise, "that whoever believes in the Son will not perish but have everlasting life." The Gospel preaches, "I am your God, you are my people, and heaven is your home." So let us believe the Gospel and live as citizens of heaven who reflect the good news about Christ our Savior. THE GOSPEL GIVES US THE GREATEST MOTIVE TO LIVE IN LOVE.
Come visit us at CHRIST OUR REDEEMER for more of this message of God's grace!
Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
Daniel is the Staff Minister at Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, El Paso TX.