The hope of the resurrection
Paul’s motivation that ever-stirred him for his great ministry for God, in spite of the trials that attacked him (2 Corinthians 4:7–18), was the hope of the resurrection, or of translation without death, both for himself and for the believers. He said, “For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better” (Philippians 1:23).
Paul personally endeavored to be “accepted” when he should stand before “the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10). He worked, not to earn credit before God, not to make restitution for his sins, not to attach something to the gift of Christ’s righteousness, but to team up with Christ in the mission of saving his fellow men.
He wrote, “For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (1 Corinthians 15:9, 10; Colossians 1:29).
Also, he worked to reflect Christ in his life because he understood this would be pleasing and acceptable in God’s eyes. The difference between the honest and the dishonest Christian is that one seeks the approval of God and the other the approval of man. He who decides to live, not for himself, but for Christ, will not use his time in uselessness or in seeking worldly pleasures (Galatians 1:10). Christ desires to see His own image reflected in us (Job 23:10). And it is our prerogative to reflect Christ, of whom it is said that He “pleased not himself” (Romans 15:3; Hebrews 11:5).
The motivation of love
It was the motivation of love to God that compelled Paul to live a pure life. He declared, “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died” (2 Corinthians 5:14). Obedience to God law becomes light when it is motivated by love.
There is all the difference in the world between doing right only because it is right and because the Lord demands it, and doing it for the pleasure that comes when it is done with the motivation to please God. Worthy as it may be to do right from a sense of obligation, how much better to do it from a heart filled with love for the Savior (John 14:15).
Love should be the root of all actions. Jesus summed the Ten Commandments, which is the duty of man saying, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27; Ecclesiastes 12:13). And He added, “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets“ (Matthew 22:40). To love God is to devote to His service one’s entire being, the life, the physical powers, and the mind. This kind of “love” is “the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10; John 15:9, 10).
In His service,
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