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What’s Your Motivation? April 16, 2010

Posted by theronwatson in Uncategorized.
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1 Tim 6:11-16
I remember watching a great preacher on TV. His sermons were powerful. He had diagrams and images made to demonstrate his points. I wanted to be just like him. I lost track of his teachings for a while. Moved a couple of times; seminary and back, before I had opportunity to watch again. The passion seemed forced. The posters were more like advertisements. He mentioned his books a lot. I thought, “hmm, something has changed.” He seemed more interested in money and power than teaching the Word.
Here Paul is telling Timothy not to be like those around him who crave the things of the world. In verses three, four and five, Paul has harsh words for those who do ministry out of selfish ambition. They desire power and prestige more than a right relationship. He has harsh words for those who do not teach right doctrine. He warns against those who are so spiritually immature that they would rather discuss who said what to whom. When did we return to the drama of high school? Their actions have consequences and their desires have outcomes that are not always positive and seldom conducive to others learning. What they need to learn is contentment. They need to return to their original motivation of why they do ministry at all. Who called them? God did. We have but One to please. Did He call you as well? Are you doing what He called you to do? Are you avoiding? Denying? Have you sold out to the things of the world rather than to the One who loves?
Paul addresses Timothy in this in our verses for today. “Flee from all this,” he says, “and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.” Sounds easy enough, but hold on. These are character issues. This is spiritual stuff that is contrary to the world. The world won’t like it and Satan will buffet. He will anytime a person attempts to live for God. That’s why Paul refers to it as a fight.
“Take hold of the eternal life to which YOU were called…” You are not living out someone else’s salvation. This is yours. You can’t live out your grandmother’s salvation and expect it to work for you. Your auntie does not save you. Your parents are not enough to get you to heaven. You must work out your own salvation, “with fear and trembling.” You must fight the good fight. You are in a battle for your soul. All the time. And, all the time there is a battle waging around you in the spiritual realm over you. Distractions are put up in front of you. You face disappointments of all kinds. You could give in and no one would notice. You could sell out to the world and no one would care. Or would they…? There is One. He is Christ the Lord. He died for your soul. Now, you must be bold enough to live for Him. Can you do it without compromise? Totally sold out and devoted to Him? Without wavering? I can’t. I haven’t been able to. It is a fight and I must seek Him often for rest, encouragement and strength; for forgiveness, to go on another day.
There are plenty of people who will question your motivation for your beliefs. There are plenty of people who will give you all the answers the world offers. You don’t have to listen to them. You don’t have to sell out to the world. Paul’s final words in this passage offer a doxology to the One who is worthy. He is our motivation. He is the reason we do what we do. He is the only One that matters. So wants your motivation, what the world offers, or something far greater?

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