Motives are important, the why behind our actions, the reason behind our lives and the purpose of our behavior are more important than the actions themselves. Why do we do the work we do? Why do we pray? Why do we minister? Is it for the praises of the people around us and/or for the confirmation of our importance? The motive of our service is more important to God than the service itself. The love of God in us and His love shared with others through our actions should be our motivation. This is for God’s glory and for His name namesake.
Most of us have loved someone or experienced someone expressing their love toward us. In that experience, in a very small way, we have seen a glimpse of the love God has for us. In fact, it is God who is the very essence of love, who has given us the ability to love and to be loved. God loved us so much He gave Jesus to bring us, His most important creation, back into fellowship with Him. God displayed His love for us when we were at enmity and hostile toward God, He sent Jesus to save us.
This fallen world has tried to distort the meaning of love and the purpose of love into some narcissistic, self-centered practice. It has taken the thought of love, acts of love and expressions of love and misconstrued these into being perceived as something distasteful, unmentionable and frowned upon by God. This is not so, it is God Himself who has given us the capacity to love, to express love and to receive love because God is love.
If our motive is God’s kind of love, then we will give our best so others may know Him. God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son so those He loves may not perish but have eternal life. God’s love does not want to condemn the lost, but God wants to seek and to save the lost. God is still sending His sons and daughters to live a life so others may see Him through their lives.
John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. NIV
Love is something so deep and so strong that it can entangle a person’s mind, soul and body. This is why God gives us an example of what love is in the life and person of Jesus. God’s love is why He sent Jesus to save us from our depravity. It is the love God has for us that would not allow Him to leave us in our destruction even after we rebelled against Him. God paid a very high price, the blood of His Son Jesus, to retrieve us and bring us back into our created purpose and to be an expression His love on the earth.
Matthew 22: 37-39 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ NKJV
When we love God with all that we are, our soul, our minds and our bodies, then we have the ability to love others as we love ourselves. This is why God gave us a commandment to first love Him and then we will love others. It is only through a love for God that we can love others the way we should. If we do not love God, we cannot love others as we love ourselves. The fallen state of mankind and his self-focus will not allow him to think of anyone above himself.
Without the love of God in us we would not have a capacity to truly love others well. Many people have passion, likes, and strong desires for those they hold dear but only God’s love will humble self so another may live even at the cost of ones ego and pride. After the fall, self-preservation became mankind’s first priority. The love for others is motivated by the love of God. When we love God we want to bring glory to His name on the earth and live a life that is pleasing to Him. There is no greater love than the love that gives oneself for another.
2 Corinthians 5:14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we be are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. NIV
The motive behind our actions, as Christ followers, is the love of Christ in us. The love of God in us, makes us want to constrain, restrict and limit our actions so we may love others well. We understand we are dead to our old life, habits and prejudices and we no longer live to satisfy selfish ambitions. We are now alive in Jesus, the One who raised us from the dead, so we may live for Him. We should live is such a way, that the love of God will be seen in and through our lives so others may come to know and love Him.