Doing the Right Thing – Motivated by Loyalty

Motivation, Thoughts
Serving God out of loyalty is very similar to serving God out of duty.  Our allegiance to Christ is a great motivator for doing the right thing.  In II Timothy, the apostle Paul develops the idea of a "worthy soldier" who serves the Lord out of loyalty.  "The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful (or loyal) men, who will be able to teach others also.  Suffer hardship with me, as a worthy soldier of Christ Jesus.  No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier" (II Tim 2:2-4). Now Paul is not forbidding us from cooking our meals, paying our bills, going…
Read More

Doing the Right Thing – Motivated by Duty

Motivation, Thoughts
Jesus said, "Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep.  Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, 'Come along now and sit down to eat'?  Would he not rather say, 'Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink'?  Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do?  So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty' " (Luke 17:7-10). The concept of initiating or finishing a task out of a sense of duty is not very common in our self-actualization culture.  By self-actualization, I…
Read More

Doing the Right Thing – Motivated by Love for God

Motivation, Thoughts
Another motivation for doing the right thing is our desire to show our love for God.  Love is not always something easily explained or measured.  It is not always easy to measure how deep and unconditional our love can go.  But God has given us some clear guidelines in His Word for how our love for Him informs our actions.  Here are a few: "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments" (Jn 14:15).  There can't be a much clearer connection between our walk, our actions, and how they demonstrate our love for God.  "He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love Him, and disclose Myself to him"…
Read More

Doing the Right Thing – Motivated by Gratitude to God

Motivation, Thoughts
God has given new covenant believers many positive motivations for doing the right thing. One of these is obeying God out of a sense of gratitude, walking in a worthy manner out of thanksgiving to God.  Being thankful for God's love, mercy, salvation, blessing, guidance, and protection motivates us to want to please God by our actions. One of the attitudes that shines through in Paul's writings in the New Testament is his thanksgiving.  The apostle expresses his gratefulness for fellow believers (I Thess 1:2), for God's leading (II Cor 2:14), for our future victory over death (I Cor 15:57), for our present victory over sin's power (Rom 6:17), for the message being accepted (I Thess 2:13), and finally cries out, "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" (II…
Read More

Do the Right Thing

Motivation, Thoughts, Walking in the New Nature
What motivates new covenant believers to do the right thing?  That is, without the fear of the Law, what causes us to walk the straight and narrow?  What motivates us to fly right?  Can the same grace that secured our initial salvation also inform our actions?  Is grace just a theological concept or does it also empower us to righteous living? Grace and godly living go hand-in-hand.  "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless…
Read More

An Update from Fanning the Flames

Thoughts
Greetings from Jay and Rhonda, Just a quick update about some new features at jaylehman.com  We have been working for the last few weeks on a “topical archive” for the website.  This archive is now up and running and joins the monthly archive in the right-hand column of the home page.  It is an archive of our posts by subject matter and we trust it will be a useful launching point for finding posts about Faith, Family, The Kingdom of God, etc.  The subject “Walking in the New Nature” is the most extensive as it tries to capture all we have written on what the provisions of the new covenant look like in practice. We have also added a search query at the top of the right-hand column that allows…
Read More

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People? A Wrap-up

Evil and Suffering, Thoughts
(9 of 9 in a series on "Why do bad things happen to good people?") Over the past several weeks, we have explored three broad reasons that bad things happen to good people.  First, the law of consequence says that even good people make mistakes and bad outcomes often follow bad choices. Second, God has each of us on a training program that often includes some pain.  What I have tried to emphasize from Hebrews chapter 12 is the view that God's discipline is never random, capricious, or mean.  If God disciplines us as a good father would (an analogy used in Hebrews 12), then I think we can expect his discipline to be understandable and a clear path to "our good and His holiness".  If we carry Christ as our New Testament…
Read More