What Motivates You?

Everyone is motivated by something. Even a lazy man can be motivated if you put enough fire under him. A story is told about a man falling into a freshly dug grave, in the late evening. It was too deep for him to climb out, so he decided to wait until morning for help. Later that night, an old drunk came staggering through the cemetery and fell in the same grave. He jumped and jumped but could not get out. Finally, the first man said, “Just wait until morning and we will get out together.” At that, the drunkard was able to jump out immediately. Everyone can be motivated! What is it that gets you out of bed and off to work? What is it that helps you press on when fatigue is setting in? Anyone with character has something driving them. What motivates you?

The apostle Paul was a motivated man. In Romans 1:14-17, he revealed what kept him going, even through disappointment. He first said, “I am a debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise…” People with good character can’t sleep well when they know they are in debt. They understand their personal obligation to pay off their debt rather than continue to incur more debt (How I wish the government would have good character). Paul was saying because of what Jesus Christ has done for me, I have an obligation to tell others. It would be like a cancer patient finding the cure for cancer and having it on hand to help others. If he had good character, he would want to use it to help others. His desire to give people a cure would be greater than his desire to make a profit. Paul knew the remedy for man’s sin was Jesus Christ: not the sacraments, not the rituals, and not religion, but a personal relationship with Jesus Christ! Paul said in verse 15, “So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you at Rome also.” He was moved by the need of sinful humanity! This is the behavior of compassionate people. They cannot be still if they can do something to help! They are moved by the needs of others! Are there people you care enough about to get you out of bed and off to work? Are there people you care enough about to motivate you to live right and honor God?

Paul was also moved by his love for the Lord Jesus Christ. Love is the greatest motivator! In verse 16 Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Paul’s loyalty to Christ was due to his understanding of the power of Christ. He knew change was possible to the most depraved person if they could just believe in Christ. He knew this by experience and it moved him to gratitude. The kind of gratitude that could not be still. Has anyone ever done a kind deed for you that made you want to express to them your gratitude? If so, that is how Paul felt. It motivated him to honor the Lord.

A man told a story of how he was saved from drowning when he was a boy by an older man. He told the stranger, “My father has money. Can I repay you?” The stranger told him, “Son, just make your life worth the saving.” That boy was Winston Churchill. What moves you says a lot about your heart!

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