Wednesday, May 19, 2010

2010 – May 19 – Of Hidden Motives

Study from God’s Word Many Proverbs listed in The Daily Bible in Chronological Order from Proverbs 6, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29, ordered by topics by the Editor, including Self motivation, False Worship, Duplicity, Love and Concern, Faithfulness, Hatred and Compassion, Kindness and Mercy, Welcome, Pride and Humility, Selfishness, Jealousy, Envy and GreedPassage for Reflection: Proverbs 16: 2 … NIV All a man's ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD.

My Journal for Today: If you read and meditate on today’s highlight verse, letting it be a self analysis of our own motives for doing what we do, one could become convicted pretty quickly. I sure am!

For example, why are you here, reading along with Bill Berry in this devotional? Is it to grow in Christ or so that you can check off – honestly – on Facebook that you liked what I had to say? Or another one; … why did you put your tithe in the offering plate last Sunday? Is it because you gladly want to give the first fruits of God’s providence back to the Lord for Him to use it for His glory; or is it because you wanted that person sitting next to you in church to see you putting the envelope in the plate? … I know, I’m meddling; but let me ask you one more. … You exercised five days last week [okay, I’m being optimistic], doing aerobic and toning exercises. Did you do it to maintain God’s temple, the body, as we’re charged in 1st Cor. 6: 19-20; or did you do it so that you can look good in a mirror and be able to wear a bathing suit with pride this summer?

Yes, motive is important, isn’t it? It’s certainly important in a murder trial; but it’s even more important when it comes why we do what we do daily – for God’s glory or for selfish pride. As Dr. Smith points out with such brutal honesty today, ”… in God’s eyes it’s not just WHAT we do that counts, but WHY!” And he goes on, prodding me to ask myself (or you, yourself), ”When was the last time I double-checked my motives for doing even the good things I do?”

OUCH!!! Well, Dr. Smith, … that one hurt!! I guess I need to ask myself, why I’m sitting here writing this today. Am I doing it to get to know my God more deeply and intimately and to share what I learn with others? Or am I doing it so that I can imagine you saying, “Look how disciplined that Bill Berry is!” I’d like to think that my motive is the former; but sometimes, I have to admit, especially when someone makes an affirming comment about my discipline, I revel in gleeful pride that my brother/sister in Christ has noticed and is affirming my work.

Like it says in 2nd Cor. 13: 5 [linked] we all need to examine ourselves in the faith periodically to determine our motives and to get ourselves back into surrender mode to the Holy Spirit’s work of reshaping our attitudes and actions into those which mirror our Savior, Jesus. And to that end I pray today. >>>

My Prayer for Today: Lord, keep me open to Your enlightening and enabling grace, convicting me and directing my motives to glorify You in all I think, say, and do. Amen

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