The motivation of my heart must be the Love of God, the agape love that God says He is.

 

The direction in which I begin to place my feet and move in must be influenced and directed by the knowledge of God's will for me. God's will for me is for good and not for evil, to build me up, not to destroy me (Jer. 29:11). The only things God wants to destroy in me are not me (Rom. 7:17, "...it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me."), and God's expertise in destroying these things without damaging me is perfect.

 

Consider that His Word is sharper than any two edged sword (Heb 4:12). What's sharper than that? A scalpel. A laser. Surgical stuff. A scalpel is so sharp that, should you have the misfortune of cutting yourself with one, depending perhaps on where the incision is made, you probably won't feel it for a few moments. Point being, God will remove from me whatever is sinful by the washing of the water of the Word which, when used properly, makes the incisions that help you make your decisions (submit, resist, and it will leave you, (Js. 4:7) without damaging you in any way. Perhaps we've all struggled with the fear that God is full of burning wrath towards us, that He's mad and He wants to hit us, and that we have to make sure He doesn't lose His temper and end our story. Perhaps it's just been me. But Paul drives it home that God is good and we're gross and should be squished, but God loved us anyway (Rom. 5:6-10) and gave Himself a human life and gave it all over to the Father (He did the most difficult thing that anyone could ever do, something that no one else actually could have ever done) so that we could still have the eternal life that He originally intended to give us before Satan threw a wrench in the gears. It's all too good to be true, which is basically what the word Gospel means, and the thing that really makes it too good to be true is that we get to get rid of all that stuff that God's spirit in us makes us hate, and it gets to be fulfilling and refreshing and full of life! Note, it doesn't get to be entirely easy, but compared to laboring under the weight of your sin while you're under the law or something, it gets to be relatively so.

By all this, we see that God's motivation in all of his dealings with us has its source completely and solely in love, that love which we instinctually know and recognize even as infants, when we are held 
and supported by the strong and caring arms of a mature adult. We all, believers and nonbelievers alike, are able to instinctually recognize when something is done out of love. It touches us in the deepest core of our being. This is why having love as my motivation is so perfect; not only is it commanded by God, but it works for whatever purpose God intends it. Just like His Word, which cannot return void (have no effect when it is invoked - see Is. 55:11), so an act of love cannot turn a thing or a person or a situation in a direction that it is not God's will for it or them to be headed in (Remember, Jesus is the Word and the Word is God, and God is love, and Jesus is God - see Jn. 1-5, 1 Jn. 4:8).

The Bible says in Proverbs 9:10, and elsewhere, that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The beginning is the first part of a journey or a story of some kind. The reference I've given here actually says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding," which indicates to me that the knowledge of the holy is an understanding that we come into as believers once we have walked with the Lord for awhile in the fear of Him that is reverence, as the reverence a child with a healthy parental situation has for their father. I believe that the fear of the Lord in scripture is not the same fear that drives many to perform lest they fall short and go to Hell since this fear is for such people not merely the beginning, but the main focal point. This is not acting in faith, and the Bible also says that whatsoever is not of faith is sin (Rom. 14:23b). God's not going to make something that's a sin be the beginning of wisdom.

The fear of the Lord is the inability to tolerate the grieving of the Spirit, and the terror of my conscience being upset. I am not worried that God is going to spit me out. He has promised never to leave or forsake me, and Jesus personally said that He wouldn't cast out any who came to Him (Heb. 13:5, Jn. 6?:37).

What I should be thinking about is that something that God wants to make happen through me won't happen because I goofed, and I believe that the sorrow and remorse we shall experience, and perhaps the chastening we shall receive (Lk. 12:47) when we give account for every idle word in the day of judgment (Mtt. 12:36) will be something that we honestly cannot conceive of here and now in this body of mortal flesh we were born with, unless maybe God shows us in some kind of dream or something. Scripture does make it clear that we will be subject to some kind of scenario like that when we die, so that's what I'm shooting to avoid when I'm receiving correction and straightening my walk and stretching myself to get more done for the kingdom. And throughout all of it, I'm fully basking in the serenity of really knowing the wonderful fact that God's love for me something that I can call tender and merciful and kind, really knowing the awesomeness of what those words mean to me.

I mean, I have to meditate on the safety that I have in His love or I would never be able to function. We all need to really feel love before we can really love our neighbor, which is also something Christ commands us to do. He commands us even though he specifically pointed out that we are His friends, not His servants, making that distinction very precise (John 15:15). Somehow I receive the impression that, with our western-trained thinking, we see friendship as something a lot shallower than it really is in Middle Eastern tradition. Friendship is a covenant to the Middle Easterner. It is really mostly acquaintanceship to the vast majority of westerners. For Jesus to call us friends indicates that He's kind of got our back in a major way. He is my Advocate, my Friend, and my good Shepherd who gives it all up and lays it all down for my pitiful sake. These things inspire confidence. They inspire us to return His love (we love him because he first loved us) and serve him humbly, as one of the traditions in which he (Christ) was born and raised would serve a friend.

This command to love our neighbor as we love ourselves must be looked at from both angles; I am only capable of loving my neighbor when I love myself. If I am allowing the enemy to drive me into depression and self-loathing, I will not really be able to love others in the kind of way that God wants. If I am in it for the acceptance and merely as a people pleaser because I am not feeling sufficient and need to be "loving" to others merely to fuel our own sense of self-worth, I will not really be loving them with God's love. I have to be conscious that I am loved, I am accepted in the beloved, and have that sense of acceptance and fulfillment achieved in the way God intended (God created us with needs so that He could fulfill them because it is His nature to love), I have to have this before I can really act in love towards others. This, too, is essential for us to be in tune with in order for the love of God to be the motivation of my heart.

When I as a Christian speak to someone else, it is my responsibility to do so with the full conscious knowledge of the pure and simple fact that God is not only on my side, but on theirs as well, because he gave His Son for both of us and has the same desire for each of us to recognize this and act accordingly. Others can recognize this. A person can tell, when I witness to him about the things of God, whether I'm really trying to help him out as an equal, a brother, or whether I'm doing it out of a kind of mechanized discipline and with an air of condescension, which he quite frankly sees as kind of creepy. People, whatever their state, are always conscious of some spiritual things. The presence of love in another's actions towards them is one of these things. This is why the love of God, the love that Jesus loved us while enduring his Passion and indeed, throughout His entire life on earth, and the love that he loves us with now in extending the benefits of all that He accomplished to us while we are yet sinners, this perfect love that is not easily offended, takes no account of wrongs and always believes the best of people, must be the motivation of my heart.

The Motivation of Your Heart

The motivation of my heart must be the Love of God, the agape love that God says He is.

The direction in which I begin to place my feet and move in must be influenced and directed by the knowledge of God's will for me. God's will for me is for good and not for evil, to build me up, not to destroy me (Jer. 29:11). The only things God wants to destroy in me are not me (Rom. 7:17, "...it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me."), and God's expertise in destroying these things without damaging me is perfect.

Consider that His Word is sharper than any two edged sword (Heb 4:12). What's sharper than that? A scalpel. A laser. Surgical stuff. A scalpel is so sharp that, should you have the misfortune of cutting yourself with one, depending perhaps on where the incision is made, you probably won't feel it for a few moments. Point being, God will remove from me whatever is sinful by the washing of the water of the Word which, when used properly, makes the incisions that help you make your decisions (submit, resist, and it will leave you, (Js. 4:7) without damaging you in any way. Perhaps we've all struggled with the fear that God is full of burning wrath towards us, that He's mad and He wants to hit us, and that we have to make sure He doesn't lose His temper and end our story. Perhaps it's just been me. But Paul drives it home that God is good and we're gross and should be squished, but God loved us anyway (Rom. 5:6-10) and gave Himself a human life and gave it all over to the Father (He did the most difficult thing that anyone could ever do, something that no one else actually could have ever done) so that we could still have the eternal life that He originally intended to give us before Satan threw a wrench in the gears. It's all too good to be true, which is basically what the word Gospel means, and the thing that really makes it too good to be true is that we get to get rid of all that stuff that God's spirit in us makes us hate, and it gets to be fulfilling and refreshing and full of life! Note, it doesn't get to be entirely easy, but compared to laboring under the weight of your sin while you're under the law or something, it gets to be relatively so.

By all this, we see that God's motivation in all of his dealings with us has its source completely and solely in love, that love which we instinctually know and recognize even as infants, when we are held 
and supported by the strong and caring arms of a mature adult. We all, believers and nonbelievers alike, are able to instinctually recognize when something is done out of love. It touches us in the deepest core of our being. This is why having love as my motivation is so perfect; not only is it commanded by God, but it works for whatever purpose God intends it. Just like His Word, which cannot return void (have no effect when it is invoked - see Is. 55:11), so an act of love cannot turn a thing or a person or a situation in a direction that it is not God's will for it or them to be headed in (Remember, Jesus is the Word and the Word is God, and God is love, and Jesus is God - see Jn. 1-5, 1 Jn. 4:8).

The Bible says in Proverbs 9:10, and elsewhere, that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The beginning is the first part of a journey or a story of some kind. The reference I've given here actually says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding," which indicates to me that the knowledge of the holy is an understanding that we come into as believers once we have walked with the Lord for awhile in the fear of Him that is reverence, as the reverence a child with a healthy parental situation has for their father. I believe that the fear of the Lord in scripture is not the same fear that drives many to perform lest they fall short and go to Hell since this fear is for such people not merely the beginning, but the main focal point. This is not acting in faith, and the Bible also says that whatsoever is not of faith is sin (Rom. 14:23b). God's not going to make something that's a sin be the beginning of wisdom.

The fear of the Lord is the inability to tolerate the grieving of the Spirit, and the terror of my conscience being upset. I am not worried that God is going to spit me out. He has promised never to leave or forsake me, and Jesus personally said that He wouldn't cast out any who came to Him (Heb. 13:5, Jn. 6?:37).

What I should be thinking about is that something that God wants to make happen through me won't happen because I goofed, and I believe that the sorrow and remorse we shall experience, and perhaps the chastening we shall receive (Lk. 12:47) when we give account for every idle word in the day of judgment (Mtt. 12:36) will be something that we honestly cannot conceive of here and now in this body of mortal flesh we were born with, unless maybe God shows us in some kind of dream or something. Scripture does make it clear that we will be subject to some kind of scenario like that when we die, so that's what I'm shooting to avoid when I'm receiving correction and straightening my walk and stretching myself to get more done for the kingdom. And throughout all of it, I'm fully basking in the serenity of really knowing the wonderful fact that God's love for me something that I can call tender and merciful and kind, really knowing the awesomeness of what those words mean to me.

I mean, I have to meditate on the safety that I have in His love or I would never be able to function. We all need to really feel love before we can really love our neighbor, which is also something Christ commands us to do. He commands us even though he specifically pointed out that we are His friends, not His servants, making that distinction very precise (John 15:15). Somehow I receive the impression that, with our western-trained thinking, we see friendship as something a lot shallower than it really is in Middle Eastern tradition. Friendship is a covenant to the Middle Easterner. It is really mostly acquaintanceship to the vast majority of westerners. For Jesus to call us friends indicates that He's kind of got our back in a major way. He is my Advocate, my Friend, and my good Shepherd who gives it all up and lays it all down for my pitiful sake. These things inspire confidence. They inspire us to return His love (we love him because he first loved us) and serve him humbly, as one of the traditions in which he (Christ) was born and raised would serve a friend.

This command to love our neighbor as we love ourselves must be looked at from both angles; I am only capable of loving my neighbor when I love myself. If I am allowing the enemy to drive me into depression and self-loathing, I will not really be able to love others in the kind of way that God wants. If I am in it for the acceptance and merely as a people pleaser because I am not feeling sufficient and need to be "loving" to others merely to fuel our own sense of self-worth, I will not really be loving them with God's love. I have to be conscious that I am loved, I am accepted in the beloved, and have that sense of acceptance and fulfillment achieved in the way God intended (God created us with needs so that He could fulfill them because it is His nature to love), I have to have this before I can really act in love towards others. This, too, is essential for us to be in tune with in order for the love of God to be the motivation of my heart.

When I as a Christian speak to someone else, it is my responsibility to do so with the full conscious knowledge of the pure and simple fact that God is not only on my side, but on theirs as well, because he gave His Son for both of us and has the same desire for each of us to recognize this and act accordingly. Others can recognize this. A person can tell, when I witness to him about the things of God, whether I'm really trying to help him out as an equal, a brother, or whether I'm doing it out of a kind of mechanized discipline and with an air of condescension, which he quite frankly sees as kind of creepy. People, whatever their state, are always conscious of some spiritual things. The presence of love in another's actions towards them is one of these things. This is why the love of God, the love that Jesus loved us while enduring his Passion and indeed, throughout His entire life on earth, and the love that he loves us with now in extending the benefits of all that He accomplished to us while we are yet sinners, this perfect love that is not easily offended, takes no account of wrongs and always believes the best of people, must be the motivation of my heart.

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