Some are motivated by money. Some are motivated by praise. Some are motivated by fear. A few are motivated by appreciation for benefits already received. Fewer still are motivated by a strong commitment to doing what is right. What motivates us? I hope that it is not money. That is one motivator that God does not seem to approve (1 Timothy 6:10). But the rest have their place. Fear is not to be our primary motivator, but it has its place. Why tell us about the fire that will not be quenched (Mark 9:47-48) if avoiding that fire is not supposed to motivate us? We should not seek the praise of men, but certainly legitimate praise is not a bad thing (Romans 2:29). Of course, we should do what is right simply because it is right, but we may need additional motivation. The highest motive is the love already shown to us. “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19, ESV). It is “the love of Christ” that “urges” or “compels” us (2 Corinthians 5:14, RSV, KJV). This is why we should remember what God has done for us. This is why we need to “count our blessings.” This is why the Israelites were constantly told to remember their deliverance from Egypt (Deuteronomy 5:15). It is why we are to constantly remember Jesus and especially his death and resurrection (2 Timothy 2:8). Some think it is too much to worship three times per week. Actually it is far too little. The Bereans are commended because they searched the scriptures “daily” (Acts 17:11). We are to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We are to be “abounding in thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:7), and to be “watchful” in both thanksgiving and prayer (Colossians 4:2). If we feel unmotivated, very likely it is because of the poverty of our worship. Those who constantly remember what the Lord has done will grow in motivation. Those who lack appreciation for his forgiveness will lack motivation to serve (see Luke 7:36-47).

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