Sunday, August 9, 2009

#45 Ulterior Motives

Luke 6:35 "…love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High;"

Most of us love to get a great deal on something right? When we see a great sale going on or a store going out of business we go seeking the bargain of a lifetime. Some of us even get up at ridiculous hours the day after Thanksgiving to go wait in line so that we can be the first to buy that season’s hottest toy or to get a microwave for $25 or something along those lines. I have even heard of fights that break out over the last toy or gaming system left on the shelf.

Then there are those times in our life that we hear about an incredible price on something and we think to ourselves, “This is too good to be true.” Our suspicion is enhanced with the old adage that says, “If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is.” Everyone of us who use email have probably received a email from someone claiming that they need our help to take possession of several million dollars they have inherited. The letter’s sender only needs our bank account information so that they can transfer these millions to us. They say that if you will help them claim their money they will give you a portion of those millions. When in reality the second they get your account information they clean out your account. These “too good to be true” bargains are little more than cleverly devised schemes seeking to separate us from our hard earned funds. The more we are exposed to these types of things the more skeptical we seem to become of all “good deals”.

Some people approach to Gospel of Christ with this same attitude. They hear that Jesus longs to give them eternal life in exchange for this temporary one and they find it hard to believe. Some are so wrapped up with the here and now that they have a hard time giving up the so-called pleasures of this life just for the hope of a better life that they cannot see or touch. A life that is realized only through our faith relationship with Christ. As a pastor I have the opportunity to talk with many different people from a myriad of backgrounds. Some of the people I meet are very hesitant to open up to me at first because they think that I have ulterior motives. Many think that if they talk to me that I will try to force them to come to church or that I will ask them to give money. Many people have been ripped off and lied to by so many people that they naturally begin to not trust anyone, including God and His people.

I want to encourage you all to be careful about how you attempt to share the Gospel with people you meet. Make sure that each day you go to the throne of grace via prayer and submit and surrender yourself to Christ. First, let we who profess the name of Christ be consecrated to do His work. First, let us make sure that Jesus is reigning supreme in our lives. It is only after this happens that we can genuinely reach out to a world in desperate need of a Savior. It is then that we can present ourselves as the genuine article to a skeptical world. I challenge you all this week to make sure that you are deeply connected with Christ so that when the door of opportunity opens for you and I to share the Gospel we may present the love of Christ with our only motive being to see people in the kingdom of God. Pray that by God’s grace we will not cheapen the good news about Jesus, but may we present the truth of His love in the light that it deserves.

Dear Father in heaven,

We thank You for Your abundant grace that is able to save us beyond measure. We ask that You would teach us how to be wise as serpents but harmless as doves as we share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. May we never use deception or trickery that serves only to cheapen the message of hope that we have been given. Teach us Your ways, O Lord, that we might rise up and serve You and those that You died to save. It is in Jesus’ name that we pray, Amen.

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