STAYING MOTIVATED TO SERVE
How does a believer keep his motivation?
I understand the motivation of the new believer, but how does one stay motivate in day-to-day living, year after year?
Another way of putting that question, in biblical terms, is, “How do we keep from losing our first love?” Revelation 2:4. When we come to know Christ and put our faith in Him, Jesus changes our life. You’re excited about Him, and everything in life is a contrast to what it was before. But over the long haul, how do we keep that motivation going? How do we sustain a Christ-centered life? How do we sustain the time commitment in our relationship with God?
So how do we spend time with God? By opening His Word and spending regular time there. (II Timothy 2:15). For a many years people focused and dedicated time daily to devotional study but that seems to be a thing in the past. When, where, and how are people defining that regular time with God in our technological and social media age? Daily and deliberate devotional time is highly important in sustaining a relationship with Our God but of course that’s not all it takes. But I would argue that it is a significant part of sustaining our relationship with the Lord, because I need to spend time in God’s Word every day. During the days when I don’t, I really see a difference in my eternal perspective (and my lack of perspective).
Time in prayer should be integrated into your time in the Word. If you set aside time in prayer without reference to God’s Word you can get sort of lost. So, it’s good to pray along with the Scripture.
Another way to stay motivated is to believe with all your heart that God has orchestrated your day and has divine appointments for you that you don’t yet know about. God has your day planned out and that’s what makes the Christian life exciting—trusting that God knows what is going to happen today and that is going to give you opportunities to represent Him.
All these things help us stay passionate about the Lord so that we don’t live a Christian life of drudgery where we wearily put one foot in front of another,
Our relationship with Christ needs to be a love relationship, and although we certainly want to be obedient and need to obey Him even when we don’t feel like it, we’re nonetheless daily asking God to be present in our lives. We can trust He’ll answer that prayer because He has promised us, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” Matthew 28:20.
Jesus was an ambassador of the Father’s love. The most quoted verse in the Bible is about God’s love. ‘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’. John3:16
This tells us that God loved the world so much that He acted (He did something), and that something involved a great sacrifice. God’s love resulted in action and sacrifice.
The teaching and example of Jesus and the bright thread of compassion for others that runs through all of Scripture underscores God’s desire that followers of Jesus will be recognized by their tangible expression of love for all people
If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.1 John 3:17-18
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:14-17
In other words, love always requires tangible expression. It needs hands and feet. As followers of Christ we can too easily become overwhelmed by the complexity and depth of our Christian faith, and we can become confused by doctrine and theology. So, staying motivated to serve can be summed up by saying let your love motivate you to serve.
Dr. LaRonda Y Ashford