Nothing will motivate us more than becoming better at what we do. As we dedicate ourselves to having Jesus at the center of our thoughts, our actions, and our words, we will begin to be motivated by “Christ being formed in us” (Gal. 4:19). This does not happen by accident but it has EVERYTHING to do with the doing of daily following Jesus. The more we follow, the more we are motivated to follow more closely. The more we follow closely, the more we love the Lord and are motivated to follow Him. The reason why so many people find a joyless Christianity is because they might be dedicated to hearing, but not doing (James 1:22).
What becomes joy is when you and I have followed Jesus for so long, that we have His mind and His heart (Gal. 5:16-26). We long for His grace and we long to show His grace to others. We clearly identify sin and choose what will glorify God most. We choose what is best based upon the word of our Savior. There is great peace and great surrender in having a daily attitude of, “what does my Lord want me to do?” So it’s not a matter of having to remember the “rules” all the time, but rather, so closely following Jesus that what is right becomes a necessary consequence of that. It comes through the doing (cf. 1 John 3:18; 1:4). Two keys to remember about motivating us in faithfully following Jesus:
Express in your words and actions that you understand the difference Jesus makes to you (Luke 5:5). For example: Instead of getting in the fight with husband or wife (or mom or dad or kids or coworker, etc), say, “My Jesus wants me to honor Him by how I respond to you, therefore, I need to cool off before I say something. I love Him and I love you.” There is joyful liberation in Christ-honoring speech that can help us in motivating more Christlikeness in our life.
Even when you fail in your words and actions, demonstrate the grace of Jesus extended to you by learning from the experience and seeking forgiveness (Matt. 18:21-35). The worst thing might be forgetting the grace God has shown to the point where we become unmerciful to others. You’ll never find, nor will you ever be, a person full of joy like that. The Lord wants you to be fully, and lovingly motivated to follow Him. Get motivated in the doing it!
Graeber Road church of Christ