Tag Archives: Motivation

How does a Christian grow?

People who are truly saved have a desire to learn more about God.  They are drawn to anything that will teach them about the wonderful savior who died for them.  They have a desire to grow as a Christian, but how do they do that when they are surrounded by a world of sin?  How do they find light when they are engulfed in a world of darkness?

I have thought about this many times. It doesn’t seem as though any one will grow if they are not related to or surrounded by the Lord Jesus Christ. The light of Christ dwells in every true Christian, but every Christian does not know this.  Or, they know it, but do not reckon it to be true.  They live like Christ is only present when they are in church, reading their Bible, praying or when they are talking to the preacher.  To navigate this world of darkness, we need the light of Christ.  Since Christ lives in us, we all possess the light of Christ, but how do we make it work for us?

I know that it is a very big step to take but the short answer is you must surround yourself, you must saturate yourself with God’s people, God’s music, God’s television shows, God’s books, God’s paintings and God’s word. Douse yourself, emerge yourself in God. If you do it will have an effect on you life. You will grow as a Christian.  When you go out into the world, you will know how to invoke the light that lives in you.

As a pastor I am often asked, “How do I live as a Christian?  I keep failing. I don’t know how to take the things I learned and use them successfully. How do I keep my mind on Christ?”  I too had this question when I was just a new Christian.

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Learn to surround yourself with Christian things.  Get rid of all things you know Christ would not like.[/pullquote]

I learned to surround myself with Christian things.  This first involved taking down all NON-Christian things.  I got rid of all things that I had that I knew Christ would not like.  For me, this involved cleaning out my liquor cabinet, flushing all of the recreational drugs and throwing away all related paraphernalia.  I burned all my bad magazines, broke all 300 of my records and threw away all clothing that had disrespectful messages and pictures. it was like a spring cleaning.  I rid myself of any worldly distractions.  It was like cleaning the slate of  my life so there was room to add the new things I so desperately needed.

After this I started reading my Bible every day. I didn’t always understand it, but I read it anyway. Then I began going to church. Here I didn’t understand everything either, but I always asked questions.  The pastor was always happy to give me an answer.  I bought Christian music, posters and books.  I put them all over my apartment.  Everywhere you turned you could see God.  I hung out with the people I met at church and it didn’t take long to see that they were not prudes like I initially thought them to be.  If it had God in it, I was involved.

This filled my mind with thoughts about God which effectively pushed out thoughts of the world.  It was “out with the old and in with the new.”  If you are going to get rid of the old man, you must replace it with the new man.  The Bible refers to this as a purging process (1 Cor. 5:7; 2 Tim. 2:21; 2 Pet. 1:9).  People don’t get this though.  They think that when they become a Christian, they can just start leading a new life.  So, they neglect the old life.  As hard as they try to live the new Christian life, the old life keeps showing through.  They have neglected to purge out the old ways to make room for the new ways.  This is essential if they are going to be successful at leading a victorious Christian life.

Christians can never grow if they do not address getting some of their old ways removed from their life.  There will never be room for the new life to take hold if they are not willing to allow the old to be “pushed out” (purged).

In summary, the way to grow as a Christian is to allow the old to be pushed out by the new.  Get rid of the things that draw you away, or distract you from God.  Then surround yourself with the things that you want in your life.  Then the purging process will successfully accomplish what it is intended to do.

 

Motivational Speakers

Contemporary motivational speakers are those who give comments that will motivate a person to do something.  They don’t motivate a person to do something that person didn’t originally want to do, but something they already felt like doing.  In other words, motivational speech doesn’t have any effect on a person unless they were in agreement in the first place.  Adolph Hitler was a great motivational speaker, as was Mao Tsi Dong, Joseph Stalin and Barak Obama.  They were (and are) masters at finding things that people want and presenting it in a way to motivate and inspire people.  On the whole, contemporary motivational speakers are “martial arts encouragers.”  They use a persons strengths and weaknesses against them, in order to get them to do what they want them to do–usually to buy a product or financially support a cause.  In order to accomplish their unseen agenda, they must be sure to stay away from anything negative, else their victims, like the rabbit who is almost caught in the snare, comes to the sudden realization that they are to be trapped, and hop away breathing a sigh of relief.

 The truth is, there are two kinds of motivational speakers: Those who tell you what you want to hear (like cheer leaders) and those who tell you what you don’t want to hear (like preaching about sin and death); Jesus was the latter.  In fact, all of the prophets and preachers of God in the Bible were of the latter sort.  They had a message of hope that was coupled with a message of doom and destruction.  It is the message of doom and destruction, coupled with the anger of God displayed in His wrath that was the motivational injection that lethargic people needed.  When Jesus said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19), the Pharisees were shocked into doing something.  Noah said, “God’s gonna make it rain and flood the earth killing every living thing.  That’s why I’m building this here boat.”  He was scoffed at until God’s wrath was coupled with the message this preacher of righteousness had (2 Peter 2:5).  They were motivated when they were suddenly caught in the snare of the Devil.  With their negative message of destruction came a message of hope; they were coupled together.

 The negative message first identifies a need in a persons life.  It is a message of judgment and sentence.  It is meant to be a warning of some bad or sinful action.  It is designed to “wake people up” (1 Cor. 15:34; Rom. 13:11) from a dangerous activity, thought or influence.  Then there is hope.  Until then, a message of hope cannot be given because the people will not take it seriously.  There is nothing to motivate them; nothing to move them or provoke them to do something about their evil ways.  A fitting example of this is seen in the preaching of the prophet Zephaniah.  He brought the message that the Lord was determined to pour His indignation upon the nations.  The message further said that God was going to devour all the earth with the fire of His jealousy (Zeph. 3:8).  A negative message to be sure.  Why?  Why such a message from the Lord?  Because God wanted to motivate people to call upon Him (Zeph. 3:9).  First the negative, then the positive.  This is Biblical and true motivational speaking, and it comes with a price.

John the Baptist had a very motivational message that he preached in the wilderness.  It so motivated people that King Herod wanted to hear it for himself.  But when John came into his presence, Herod did not like what he heard.  He did not hear a sickening sweet motivational speech doting on all of Herod’s achievements.  He heard John talk to him about his brother Philip’s wife, to whom he was not wed.  John said, “…It is not lawful for thee to have her.” (Matt. 14:4).  How did this motivate Herod?  It certainly didn’t make him leave the encounter feeling good about himself.  In fact, Herod wanted to “…put him to death…” (Matt. 14:5).  After some time of imprisonment, this is exactly what happened (Matt. 14:9-10).

So it is no secret that people don’t like to hear negative preaching, and sometimes it cost the preacher, but people need it.  They need it to motivate them to do right.  Without the negative message, coupled with the wrath of God, people are left to their own devices.  And what parent would leave their children to their own with no discipline?  Only those who don’t love them.  Positive reinforcement never did anything for anybody other than to give the parent a way of escape from disciplining their children.  It provides a good way to pass the responsibility on to others.

Preachers who are not regularly preaching against sin, are doing their congregations a huge disservice.  They are taking the easy way out; trying to be their friends and be hugely popular.  It is always easier to let someone else discipline the members of your church, but God will not hold such preachers unaccountable.  Weak-kneed preaching on sin equals popularity, but is comes with a price–skin deep Christians who are looking to have a good time on this earth and enjoy it until Jesus gets back.  That is a foolish surmise.

We have a job to do.  We are to tell people about Jesus and the gospel.  Jesus never told us to have a good time of fellowship until he came back.  That is the equivalent of taking your talent and burying it in the sand.  That will make Jesus mad.  Has any preacher ever told you that if you are not doing something to win souls to Jesus, you are inviting trouble into your life?  That God will be mad about that?  Why not?  That wouldn’t be very motivational by today’s standards, but it sure goes a long way with God.  Would you hate your preacher for telling you that truth?  Would you leave the church?  Or, would you try to do something about it?  After all, you do know the Lord is coming back, don’t you?

Many Christians know this.  But they just want to have a good time and get by until He comes.  After all, is it a sin to enjoy life?  Of course not, but it will only be enjoyable up until you see the scowl on the face of the Saviour when He turns His eyes upon you and asks, “What did you do about what I asked you to do?”

There are two kinds of motivational speakers:  One that tells you what you want to hear, and one that tells you what you need to hear.  Both are motivational.  The main difference between the two is your attitude in the way you take their message.

Some Motivation for not having sex before marriage

Some motivations for not having sex before marriage are wrong. They can be just as wrong as having sex before marriage. One such wrong motivation is fear: fear of being found out, fear of pregnancy, fear of a disease, fear of the opinions of others.

One proper motivation for doing God’s will is love of our neighbor. The neighbor we are to love as ourselves can be our neighbor’s daughter. Also, your neighbor can be one who will be your wife. And your neighbor is your parents or your future wife’s parents, both of whom would be hurt terribly when your sin is discovered.

But the main motivation is the love of God. Love God for the salvation He has so freely given. Love God for all things, including the sexual desires He has given. Submit your sexuality, along with everything else you are and have, to Him. Let your love for Him drive you to strive to please Him in all of your conduct, including your conduct on a date.