Motives Are Everything
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Motives Are Everything

In Isaiah 55:8 God tells us that His thoughts are not ours.  He thinks differently than we do about things.  I was reminded of this in class this morning when I read 1 Corinthians 13 to my students.  Verse 3 says, “Though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profits me nothing.” It seems to me that degree of personal sacrifice should count.  But God says, “No. Not unless one’s motive is correct.”  If we did it for love it counts.  If we did it to earn a place in heaven, it doesn’t.”  The basic premise being that one can do nothing to earn heaven.  We either accept it as a gift or we don’t make it.  No amount of pain, no amount of sacrifice, no amount of money, no amount of public or private contrition counts.  This just seems so different than what I would think should count.  God says, “I think differently than you do.  These things do not count.”

It is difficult for us to accept something so wonderful as salvation without wanting to contribute.  It is part of our nature.  No wonder Paul says in I Corinthians that our nature will be changed when Jesus comes.  But the good news is we do not have to wait until that day for the change to begin.   As that change continues little by little we will more and more think as God thinks.  We will understand Him better and His will for us.   And what is His will for us?  It is to accept salvation as the gift that it is and be good people because we love.

Written by Roger Bothwell on November 6, 2008.

Photograph by Shifaaz Shamoon.

Spring of Life Ministry, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574