I was out doing some Christmas shopping and noticed a person intently looking and exploring the aisles. This person had another with her who appeared not as excited to shop, looking a bit disinterested, with loud sighs and a few eye rolls. This reluctant companion at one point said, “Come on, just pick something, I’m sure your Nana will love whatever you get her.” The apparent gift-searching other stopped and looked her companion in the eyes and said with a great smile and wide eyes, “Yes Nana will love anything I get her and even say ‘I shouldn’t have’, but I LOVE HER and want to find something special that in just a small way will let her know how special she is to me.” “OK”, the companion said with a bit of smirk, “How about this,” and pulled out a funny looking hat. They both laughed and went on with their quest.
As I went about my own shopping-task, I, however, was a bit convicted. See, I was looking more to check off my gift purchase than letting love motivate. I was more interested in getting it done and getting on with my growing list of things to do than in letting my love for whom I was getting the gift motivate my purchase. Now sure, love means more than a gift or even the effort put into the gift, but when love motivates, a task becomes a quest, a job becomes a joy, a chore becomes an adventure.
The Bible challenges us to let love motivate.
Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
1 Peter 4:8-10 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.
‘Hospitality’ in this Bible verse means to show kindness to strangers. In other words, choose to love people and let that love motivate acts of kindness. Like one of the members of our church this past week was out buying her Christmas tree and let love motivate her to buy a Christmas tree for a stranger. That one act of love greatly encouraged that family, but even more the one who chose to let love motivate. Jesus expressed this truth that Apostle Paul revealed in Acts 20:35
Acts 20:35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
There is a great blessing when love motivates us to give.
Jesus has challenged us to love when He said in Matthew 22:39 that next to loving God, we are to love our neighbor.
John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one
Jesus let love motivate Him to squeeze Himself into the tininess of a human, to be born and live among us (see Philippians 2:3-8). Jesus also let love motivate Him to go to the cross to pay our sin debt, bringing us out of the shame of our iniquities.
1 John 4:10-11 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation
(atoning sacrifice) for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
So let’s let love motivate this Christmas time!
Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Sure there are a lot of extra tasks to complete this holiday season, but when we let love motivate, the task can be more of an adventure. Why not give it a try?
I know we at Cypress Church seek to let our love for God and love for the people in our area motivate us to do the ministry and programs we do. I’m sure other churches have a similar heart. Church is a great place to be encouraged to let love motivate. If you do not already have a church where you attend, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or any of our branch churches this Christmas season. Our website has all the information you would need www.cypresschurch.net. It would be great to connect with you.
Seeking to let love motivate more along with you,