A few Sundays back we came aground on one of the ways God means to shape our life with him. In a word it’s motivation. In 1 Samuel 12:22 says, “For the LORD will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself.” Being made for the Lord, belonging to the Lord is a powerful motivation for the Christian life. It is not the only way God intends to spur us on to know him and live for him, but it is a significant way.
Centuries ago Jonathan Edwards tackled this issue of Christian motivation from Scripture. And several years ago Dane Ortlund made Edwards insights fresh again with his book, A New Inner Relish: Motivation in the Thought of Jonathan Edwards. Few books have shaped me more in why I get my head off of my pillow each morning and how I seek to spur others on towards Christ. Edwards identified three ways in Scripture in which God seeks to motivate his people:
– Past-Looking: The Motivation of Gratitude
– Present-Looking: The Motivation of Identity
– Future-Looking: The Motivation of Personal Benefit
I’ll devote a post to each one of these as we consider how God wants to motivate us.