We are drawn by the cords of love. We don’t run this race of faith because of guilt, fear, or shame. Our past is gone, we have the Spirit here and now, and there is day of reward coming for us. But God has moved our hearts with His love to bring Him glory. (1 Corinthians 9:24-26; 1 Corinthians 3:10)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11736
7:00 PM on 8/21/2019
Before we finish, we want to say a few things about motivation. Our sermon will be on the subject of motivation. Before you sit down, I want you to think about what moves you. Not on the surface. On the surface a paycheck, finding favor with someone, manipulation or maybe guilt.
The greatest motivation in life is love. When God said I love you, I love you first. I love you. This is life changing. Now we find response to love. We respond to love. We’re not negatively motivated by guilt. We are positively responding to love. God says love. The first commandment is love. Love God with all our heart. We can’t but in our new birth we can. We feed the mind of the new man and the mind of the believer because we have capacity for love. I want to hear about love, think about love, respond to love. It’s the greatest motivation in life, love. Would you take a moment while you’re standing and have a word of encouragement with your neighbor. I want to learn about godly motivation because love changes things. Love helps us. Love changes our life. Love is powerful. Have a moment of fellowship.
Thanks, Zoe. I like her name. It’s Greek for life. Fine young lady. Living, life. What’s the Greek word for biological life? Bios, biology. Zoe. In the Spirit, we have new life, zoe life. When I was born the first time, biological life and now zoe life and biological life too.
In my mind, I have this word “motivation” and wrote out a couple outlines for the sermon. It never ends the material and what we can say about motivation and how important it is.
I want you to start with our thought tonight from 1 Cor. 9. Clear portion how Paul was stating he was a highly motivated person. 1 Cor. 9:24-25. I’m always amazed at these athletes. One of the cyclists that does the tour de France, which is 2,000 miles, he trained riding his bicycle 22,000-miles in one year. Highly dedicated person. I wonder what motivates him but a crown. Winning the tour de France I would imagine. There are people in business motivated for money, success, fame, reputation and so on. But what motivated Paul. He talks about running a race and was very motivated to win. Some people would have a problem with that, too. That sounds egotistical. He not only wants to be in the race, he wants to be first. This is an immature thought. You should realize when you think that thought this is different. This is not ego. Ego cannot gain an award from God seeing how he crucified our ego. My first reaction to my rewards in heaven – some people say there are not rewards. That contradicts the whole nature of it. Your thoughts are wrong. You need to go deeper. They glorify God. They glorify Jesus Christ. They are the evidence of his grace given to us, his deep work in our life. It’s not about our ego but God’s glory. Jn 15 you bear fruit and more fruit and much fruit thereby glorifying my heavenly Father.
1 Cor. 9:26, I’m not hesitating. I’m not confused about it. I’m running certainly with a definite purpose in my heart. That’s what we are going to speak about in a few minutes. Where does our motivation come from? How does it work? What happens in our new life through our new birth? How is it we have the desire to move in our hearts and minds in faith? It’s awesome. Vs. 26. Not hesitation or unsure about it or is this meaningful. Vs. 26. Shadow boxing. No, my punches will land with definite purposes. I’m in a fight and know what I’m doing.
Vs. 27. That word means unapproved. ADOKIMAZO, to be unapproved. Doesn’t mean I don’t go to heaven. It means loss at the bema seat though I preach to others the truth, I myself was living in a contrary way. That makes us teachers and preachers to pause in a moment of silence to have us pray for the teachers and pastors doing the work. 1 Cor. 3. We are building on a foundation. Vs. 10. He’s talking about church planting and the finished work and building on the right foundation, not the fallen nature of man. The fallen nature of man is motivated by many negatives. Let me list a few. We’re motivated by fear. Many times people do things out of fear. I went to school being afraid of failing, being ashamed in front of other people, being different and not being accepted in the group. We are motivated by guilt. Many times in the Christian life, people are motivated by guilt. They pay their way by their behavior ad action but not deep in their heart. Our movation. This is an amazing thought. Motivated by good things, by money, by success, by beauty, by people we love and respect. Our heroes. Abraham Lincoln said he had a desire to be respected by his fellow man for the right reason and he did it remarkably. What we want to say is on the deepest level we could imagine. It’s what makes our ministry, Greater Grace, unique and any other churches that teach what we are going to say now in a few minutes. In a diagrammatical way, we could say there is man and we could put these three words: fear, guilt and shame. These are motivating elements in our psychological makeup. We don’t deny that. But none of those things could produce in us what God is looking for. The achievements of a guilty person or fearful or ashamed are very small. They heard (?) us in the predictable behaviors of life. What God is looking for is deeper, not what motivates us from guilt.
What motivates us from God is himself. It’s God. In Isaiah 40, there is a great portion. Because of time, I don’t want to get too sidetracked in it. I’m teaching in the prophets this semester in Bible school. I’ve been reading them. The book of Isaiah is one of my favorites. God is saying for 8 chapters he’s in a contest with the idols. He’s talking about who he is and how he can hold the universe between his thumb and little finger. The nations are a drop in a bucket. He has a pastor’s heart and cares for the broken and weak people, and he loves. He says to the idols, show me something. Show me your stuff. Twelve times he says show me your stuff. Can you tell me about the past? Can you tell me about the future? He says you are idiots, wind, confusion and nothing. This is so refreshing because when we find God, our lives go to an unpredictable life of faith, unpredictable. You cannot tell what it will do when love motivates you. He says in S.S. 1:4, draw me. We will run after you.
Hosea 11:4, draw me with the cords of a man. I want to write that down. Cords of a man. The picture is an idol with a cart, a wagon and they have these ropes and the people would be pulling the wagon. Maybe even the idol would fall over and they would have to stop and pick up the idol. Bel has fallen and…has slumped over. What cords does God draw a man? What are the cords that draw us? I was thinking of these soldiers shot on the Normandy beaches and would cry out for their mother. Why mother when I’m dying? It seems mother is one of the basest words, most fundamental, most core words in our lives. Father. Pray to God the Father in heaven. Someone you love and respect has a lot of authority in your life. My mother, my father, my brother. And my God. Who is our God? We could say it this way. Most people live in a negative motivation out of the fear and guilt and emptiness. How about loneliness. They are motivated but it’s so small, so limited. How can I find comfort. They find it in a relationship but there is not love in the relationship. There may be but what I’m saying is people come and go. Jobs come and go. Bottles of beer come and go. Drugs come and go. What is the cord of a man that draws us? It’s love.
A certain kind of love. It’s grace. It’s forgiveness. I’m going to speak about past, present and future motivations. When I see in my past that God loves me, forgives me, forgives me of my sin that is past. Really God? You forgive me of my sin? I’m a sinner. Yes, I know you are. I remember your sin no more. How can you do that? Because I pull you with the cords of a man. I know what forgiveness means to you. It is washed away. It is gone forever. I cannot remember it when I look at you. When a man is saying I messed up my life, God. My motivation. I’m so discouraged. That cannot motivate me. I’m so guilty it can’t help me. Who can help me? The living God who says I forgive you. Ps 32. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin, who has washed us from iniquity and doesn’t charge us with transgression. This is God pulling us, drawing us. We know it happened with the disciples when they followed Jesus. Thomas said let us go. We will die with him. This kind of motivation is this narrow one here. Thomas, after Jesus has died and all have died, what is there? There is nothing here. Let us go. We will die with him. What happened? It was extraordinary different that that. It was grace and love in the present. We are motivated by Heb 12. We are running a race and laying aside the sin that easily besets us. Why do I lay it aside? Because of guilt. Yes, I’m guilty because of my sin but it prevents me from running. I have set the Lord looking unto Jesus the author of what? Something unpredictable here. He’s the author and finisher of our faith. What do I mean unpredictable? Love says you can live your life, love a hundred enemies, a thousand, ten thousand enemies. You can build something, and others quit, but love doesn’t fail. You can be married two or three times. I want to say this in the right context. Sorry about that but what is needed is knowing God. A motivation leading us in love that is extraordinarily unique. It produces unpredictable living.
If you were to say to me years ago, you’ll go to church 3 times a week all your life. I would go woe! If you were to tell me based on guilt as a condition, it would never happen. But if you show me who God is not only does that happen, but other things happen. God becomes manifest in us and we live a unique life wanting to run a race in the present. There is another thing about the present. It’s a negative thing. Past, present, the good race and I want to say the bad stuff of Heb. 12. The chastisement. Chastisement is also part of our motivation. What has motivated you? God showed me something. It hurt but it did the job. I’m back. I’m humble, broken and needy. He spanked me, paddled me a bit and I said yes, God and I received what he had to say to me. Chastisement is part of our motivation. Some are chastised by God but don’t stop and humble themselves by God. God help me, forgive me and lead me. I’m not one to look at bad circumstances and interpret as chastisement. Bad stuff happens to everyone. In the world you shall have tribulation. Man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward, but sometimes you know God is speaking to you and it’s a little bit of a chastisement and maybe even a scourging. And 1 Cor 11:30 there is the early going home. Ananias and Saphira went home early. That can happen to a believer. Motivation. You say pastor, are you ever motivated by chastisement? Yes. Are you also motivated by the good things? Yes, the grace that comes. Are you motivated by the past? Yes, he forgave me. I’m a child of God. What is motivating us now is the nature of God and the leading of God in the present. What is the element about the future? It’s the bema seat that motivates us. What is it? I think of it like we are in a dark room and we can talk and see a little bit. We are in a dark room together and someone comes and turns the light on. Now we see a lot better. That’s the bema seat. When we go to heaven.
In your life, God turns the light on, and I see I was motivated by my ego than by God’s grace and faith and Spirit. That’s a confession for me and all of us. Who knows. 1 Cor 4:5 I cannot judge myself before the day. I don’t sit around analyzing myself and my motivation. I know I’m here with you drinking the Spirit. I know the word of God is our food. I know I can’t find a group of people like you who will talk and hear and talk often one to another about the things in this book. I can find a lot of people who talk about the news and weather and CNN. But I can’t find people like Peter said, to Jesus would you go too. Where will we go? You have the words of eternal life. That’s why we think about it. There is a beautiful day coming. And God will turn the light on like we’ve never seen before. We’ll say, I knew. I understood. I understood that God was doing this. I saw it in my heart through a glass darkly. In a morning mirror in the bathroom, on the steam on the mirror is how I was looking at life. Now we can see a hope, that day is coming, and we will be right on. Some where there was a motivation where we were able to forgive people a lot every day for the same thing. We found another kind of motivation.
There are believers living in the dumps. Look at your neighbor and say are you one of them? This is a negative. You know what they are doing? They are wondering if they are saved. I’m guilty and I need to pay for the guilt. I sinned and need to pay for it. So they live here. It’s worse. There are believers they believe they lose their salvation and if they repent and make a sincere effort, they may get saved again. Also, they might be saying I’m saved but I’m not sure if I’m elected. I am living a life like I’m a Christian and if I’m not elected, I am lost and go to hell because God is sovereign, and he makes that decision. All that way of thinking is in the cellar, trying to get up, trying to make it out. Here is the unique message of the gospel. When you believe in Jesus, you are on the other side of this issue and he wants you to know you are. These things are written so you may know you have eternal life. This ministry and you’ve been here long enough to realize this is how we think and where we are coming from. Not maybe you are saved, but you are, and our heavenly Father has a yearning and desire to be known as the God of all grace, the God of all grace who has called you in 1 Peter 5:10. You have not chosen me. I have chosen you. How do I know if I’m chosen? If you are believing in Christ, you are chosen. He wants you to know that. Leave it at that. Why would he say it if it was all to be a question? The whole life is a question. Why would he say it? No body can pluck you out of my hand or the Father’s hand. I can’t take the Holy Spirit away from you. I will never leave you or forsake you. Why did he say those things if they don’t mean anything? They’re coming from our God that draws you with cords of a man.
I know how I can make a man more valuable than the gold of Ophir, part of Arabia where they had the best gold, Is 13:12. How can you do it, God? By loving them. By loving them freely. Loving them in their past, present, and I’ll show my love to them at the bema. What I have started, I will also accomplish. These are my jewels in Mal. 3:17. This is my treasure. You are the apple of my eye. Before you were born, I called you. I have created, made, saved. I am God. I’m not like these idols that fall over and stoop and slump…when you know me, you will find a new motivation. I’ve left other brothers who had the same testimony.
I wasn’t a reader as a kid in school. I could read and read one book maybe. I have to do my assignments. I didn’t care about it. When I got saved, I became an A student for one semester and then got out of there and went to Bible school. I got an amazing education with a new motivation. Now I am so interested in reading good things, reading men of God and reading theology. Reading the thoughts that come from God. Reading the Bible. Where did the motivation come from? It must be God. The same for your life. If you put God in front of you – I’m not saying it as a rabbit foot hanging from the mirror of your car. I don’t think they use them anymore because it’s dated but there is nothing he will withhold from you when you walk uprightly with him. God is the greatest thing going on in this world. Our country is starving for God. Many situations are taking God away from people and ridiculing people like you and I. Once you have tasted the Lord is good and the Holy Spirit has touched you and filled you and you get hungry and it leads you and guides you, put your seatbelt on. You’ll end up living a life and the devil will say, where did he come from? You’ll be saying, what’s going on?
You’ll live a unique life and at the end of the game…anybody that banks on me and trusts me I will show them who I am. Most deeply for our yearning hearts, we will find a motivation that never dries up, never leaves us high and dry but leads us in a life all the days of our life.
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