by Pastor Genell Knisley, Grassland Church of the Nazarene
There are days when life is so full of joy and there are days that are hard. Day by- day, what is it that motivates you to continue on? Are the motivations different? I think to myself: “What is my motivation? Is it about me, others, or Christ?” How about you? What motivates your days? Is it stirred by love or fear, accomplishment, or a lack of esteem, to fulfill your role or maybe someone else’s, or to be obedient to Christ and used for the Kingdom of God? What is the reason we have for living in a particular way? There are likely many reasons. Do the reasons that come to your mind motivate you?
- W. Tozer said, “When it looks like things are out of control, behind the scenes there is a God who hasn’t surrendered His Authority.” What an amazing Truth! Jesus said, “All Authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.” Our God is Sovereign. He Is Mighty and Rules with Great Authority!
Another question to ask ourselves is “HOW?” How am I living? Am I running after success or fulfillment, or trying to please people? Is it my desire for my life to imitate those in the world or to imitate Christ? Paul wrote to the Christians in Ephesus, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children, and walk in love, just as Christ loves us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2.
To be “a fragrant offering;” I love that thought. What are your favorite fragrances? My mind goes to the kitchen. When the Bible speaks of Christ’s sacrifice as a fragrant offering, it is not talking about wonderful kitchen smells. I wonder what obedience smells like? What does loving devotion smell like? What does sacrifice for the life of others smell like? God knows! Our lives, surrendered to Christ, can take on that fragrant aroma!
God knows the intricacies of the whole universe, and He knows all the motivations of your heart and mine. Our cry needs to be like David’s: “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and put a new and steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10. Filled up with the Spirit of God, we can have the faith of a child. Children watch our every move and imitate us. It is precious to see them grow. With our eyes on Jesus, we can truly imitate Him in love, character, and selflessness. That must be a lovely fragrance! The Lord can use that kind of motivation to build His Kingdom: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.”
O Sovereign Lord, be glorified by the motivations and fragrances of our lives!