Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Godly Motives Are Birthed By The Good News

Our motives are more important to God than our actions/deeds.
"For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”~1 Samuel 16:7

We can take an inventory of motives that compel us to do things. If we are honest, many are derived of the things that we want. We may want to be famous, known, or accepted by men. We may crave power, money, sex, or just attention. Instead of trying to earn man's approval some do things to try and earn God's approval by their own goodness, holiness, deeds, Still others are driven by bitterness, hatred, unforgiveness, or revenge. All of these are ungodly motives; in other words they are carnal, or of the flesh.
{def. Carnal -1."pertaining to or characterized by the flesh or the body, its passions and appetites; sensual: carnal pleasures.2.not spiritual; merely human; temporal; worldly: a man of secular, rather carnal, leanings.} 

"For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace" Romans 8:6.

And while men rate these things in different ways, some being worse than others, and actually some being accepted and even expected in the society we live in and around the world... God sees them all as sin, and they all link back to the Garden of Eden. That's right, nothing new, they all fall into three categories; lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. It is the same stuff that caused Adam & Eve to fall, nothing new under the sun.
Want to know something else? All people know they are sinners. I know it is true because the Holy Spirit told Paul to write it down in the book of Romans. I will agree that some have not admitted it yet, maybe even to themselves, but their conscience tells them that there is a God and that they are not Him (read the first two chapters of the book of Romans). You don't have to tell people they are sinners, as a matter of fact, most of them will readily admit it, albeit this is usually where the sin of comparison comes in. They start trying to justify themselves by comparing themselves to other people who they deem to be worse sinners than themselves. God doesn’t see it that way.
“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” James 2:10
"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23. 

The point I want to make is that the knowledge of the fact that they are sinners does not surprise anyone. And condemning them and giving them a list of regulations, dos and don't s and putting them on a path to God that is shaped from the arrogance of men and is performance based, will not help them anymore than it did for the 1500 yrs. the Old Covenant of the Law was in effect.
What people need is the Gospel of Jesus Christ; the Good News. Actually, if you had a literal translation it would say the "almost too good to be true news", “great news”, the “you are not going to believe this but its true news”. People are not fixed by being told how broken they are. Sure in some cases, when people are in extreme pride & arrogance, the law can be useful to beat them with, as a club, until they admit what they really already know. But then, what they desperately need is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
"For I am not ashamed of the Gospel (good news) of Christ, for it is God’s power working unto salvation [for deliverance from eternal death] to everyone who believes with a personal trust and a confident surrender and firm reliance. Romans 1:16 amplified 

They need to know that there is a savior that loves them, that died for them, and that lives today and is waiting with open arms to receive them into the family of God. He is the one who will free them from this bondage to the sin that destroys lives. He is the only one who can change their selfish motives into selfless ones. Like Jesus' own motive, theirs can be one of love. Instead of doing things to try and earn God's approval, they can come to a place where their good deeds are done as a loving response to the good He has done on their behalf, and not as a means to earn it or deserve it.