What is my motivation?  Webster’s defines motivation as “a motivating force, stimulus, or influence.”  (Wait, I thought we weren’t supposed to use the word we’re defining as part of the definition!?  Oh, well, you get the point).  My motivation is a force that drives me–a force that influences me.  I’m influenced by my friends, of course–everyone is.  I’m influenced by my family.  I’m influenced by the society in which I live, as well.  But more than any of those things or anything else I haven’t listed I’m influenced by–I’m motivated by–my King.  My King’s name is Jesus Christ and it is because of Him that I move and breathe and have life.

Before I really knew Him I was a mess.  I was angry and manipulative and I lied all the time.  I didn’t care about others–I only cared about what others thought of me and so I tried my hardest to be a good person.  It was pointless, though, because try as I might I could not be as good as I knew I was supposed to be.  I still got angry and manipulated others and lied to get my way.

One night a Christian friend of mine asked me about my faith.  I didn’t know what to tell him.  I knew that I believed that there was a God and I believed that his Son, Jesus, died on the cross for my sins, but I didn’t really know what that act had to do with me and I wasn’t really sure how it was supposed to affect my life.

Throughout the next few months I spent a lot of time reading about my faith.  I read books upon books and articles upon articles covering what I was supposed to believe and I used my Bible as a cross-reference hoping to find those beliefs proven as true in the pages of Scripture.  Much to my dismay I could find nothing in my Bible that upheld the doctrines I held so dear.  I was crushed.

But through this process the Lord showed me the real truths of the Bible.  He taught me that I am a sinner and have fallen short of the glory of God (Roman 3:23).  He taught me that no matter what I do–no matter how hard I try to be a good person I am still going to struggle with being angry and being manipulative and lying.  He taught me that the wages of those sins that I’ve committed is death (Romans 6:23)–no matter what I did to try and earn my way to Heaven, it would never be enough–I was headed to Hell because of my blatant disobedience.

BUT (don’t miss the second part of Romans 6:23!) the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord!!  He taught me that I couldn’t be the person I always knew I was supposed to be without Him.  Most importantly He taught me that there is only one way to God–that Jesus is the only mediator between God and myself (1 Timothy 2:5).  He showed me that Jesus is perfect–sinless–and so He was the only human who could sacrifice Himself for the disobedience of everyone else.  God demonstrated His love for us in that even while we were sinning against Him, He sent Christ to die as the punishment for our sin instead of us (Romans 5:8).  Jesus’ death on the cross satisfied the wrath that God was completely righteous in having against me because of my disobedience to Him. Furthermore, He taught me that because Jesus died all I had to do was confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised Him from the dead and I would be saved (Romans 10:9).  Jesus’ resurrection from the dead proved His deity and that He had truly conquered death.

This truth astonished me—why would a perfect Man die in my place?  Why would the Son of God sacrifice His closeness and His relationship with God and die for ME!?  I learned that it was because Jesus loved me that He died for me—so that I could enjoy a relationship with Him—with God.  Realizing this totally changed my life.  Nothing else mattered near as much as these new-found truths–only my relationship with Christ mattered.  I began filling my time with learning about Him, knowing him better, loving Him more, and in turn, loving others more.

God has completely changed me from a person running after what I thought was important and what I thought I needed to DO to get to Heaven to someone who knows that it’s only because Jesus (and not the good things I do) that I can be sure that I’ll go to Heaven when I die—and of that I am quite sure!

I still sin.  In fact sometimes I feel like I sin more now than I ever did before, but I have a peace and a love of Jesus that comforts me (Romans 5:1).  It’s hard to explain the love of Jesus.  It’s like nothing that I’d ever experienced before.  It’s unconditional and it’s perfect and it’s the one thing in my life that can never change: Jesus will always love me.  That is my motivation.

O the deep, deep love of Jesus!
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me,
Is the current of Your love
Leading onward, leading homeward
To Your glorious rest above!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus!
Spread His praise from shore to shore,
How He loveth, ever loveth,
Changeth never, nevermore;
How He watches o’er His loved ones,
Died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth,
Watcheth o’er them from the throne.

O the deep, deep love of Jesus!
Love of ev’ry love the best:
‘Tis an ocean vast of blessing,
‘Tis a haven sweet of rest.
O the deep, deep love of Jesus!
‘Tis a heav’n of heav’ns to me;
And it lifts me up to glory,
For it lifts me up to Thee.

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