There is a past action that dictates your motivation for living for God. It’s an action you can’t change. In fact, the action wasn’t even yours. But it can help you give it all to God.
Years ago I owned a different car—a sports car. Sitting behind those eight cylinders, I could go from zero to too-fast in about five seconds. (Of course, I never did). After Cathy and I had our first daughter, I decided I needed a family vehicle. Car seats don’t fit in Firebirds.
So I sold the car.
A few months later, I found a spare set of keys to the car, and I thought: I need to get these to the new owner. Even though I could have kept the keys (as insignificant as it seemed), they really weren’t mine to keep. I had sold them, in a sense, when I sold the car.
Living for God is like finding a spare set of keys to a car you no longer own.
In fact, you have a whole lot of keys that aren’t yours, because of that past action I mentioned.
Your Life is Not Your Own
After explaining our problem (our sin) and God’s solution (Jesus’ death for our sin), the Bible tells us that God’s grace provides complete forgiveness to anyone who will believe Jesus Christ’s death has fully paid for his or her sins (Romans 3:23; 8:1).
With that faith in Jesus, the car is sold.
- The legal title of our lives now belongs to God.
- Every part of your life belongs to God.
- He has purchased you with the blood of His Son.
So, when you find some area of your life in which you’re not living for God (as insignificant as it may seem), the Bible always points to a past event as the motivation for change:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God –this is your reasonable act of worship. —Romans 12:1
The words “in view of God’s mercy” point to the past. This past act—this transfer of title—this “mercy of God” offered and accepted when we deserved hell instead, remains the motivation for living for God as we should.
As a Christian, the reason you’re living for God and His glory isn’t to try to earn (or to keep) His love. It is, rather, because you already have it.
Hand Over the Keys
Having sold my car, I have a past action that dictates what I should do with anything I find associated with that car. I don’t keep it. It’s not mine. It’s the same in living for God:
Do you not know . . . that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. —1 Corinthians 6:19–20
Having believed Jesus died for our sins, we have a past action that dictates our motivation for living for God.
God’s mercy purchased us.
Question: What is a more effective motivation for living for God—fear or gratitude? To leave a comment, just click here.