May 22: Motive Is Everything
1 Chronicles 11:1–47; 1 Timothy 6:3–10; Psalm 80:1–19
It’s not often that we take an honest look at our motivations. But it’s important to reevaluate them regularly. When our sight is not fixed on God, we might become entranced with goals that conflict with godliness. Even though we might initially be performing the right actions, our lives will start to reveal the motives of our hearts.
Paul addresses this issue within the Ephesian community, where some people were spreading conflict in order to further their own gain. And this wasn’t just a problem with the perpetrators. This “constant wrangling by people of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who consider godliness to be a means of gain” was like poison, spreading envy and strife throughout the community (1 Tim 6:5).
To counteract this, Paul states that “godliness with contentment is a great means of gain” (1 Tim 6:5–6), but the gain he talks about is not success as we traditionally define it. Rather than financial riches, Paul presents the idea of complete contentment—of being satisfied with what we have and feeling secure in the life (both eternal and physical) with which God has blessed us (1 Tim 6:8).
This is not just a simple side issue. Paul states that “the love of money is a root of all evil” (1 Tim 6:10). When money becomes our guiding motivation, we’re very much tempted to be self-sufficient. Our motives become muddled, and we try to find our contentment in transient things. In contrast, when we’re completely satisfied in God, we won’t be tempted to conflicting motives.
Are your motives conflicted? How do you need to readjust your motives so that you desire godliness?
REBECCA VAN NOORD
- Then all Israel gathered themselves to David unto Hebron, saying, Behold, we are thy bones and thy flesh. And in time past, even when Saul was king, thou leddest Israel out and in: and the Lord thy God said unto thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be captain over my people Israel. So came all the Elders of Israel to the King to Hebron, and David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the Lord. And they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the Lord, by the hand of Samuel. And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem: which is Jebus, where were the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land. And the inhabitants of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt not come in hither. Nevertheless David took the tower of Zion, which is the city of David. And David said, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first, shall be the chief and the captain. So Joab the son of Zeruiah went first up, and was captain. And David dwelt in the tower: therefore they called it the city of David. And he built the city on every side, from Millo even round about: and Joab repaired the rest of the city. And David prospered and grew: for the Lord of hosts was with him. These also are the chief of the valiant men that were with David, and joined their force with him in his kingdom with all Israel, to make him king over Israel, according to the word of the Lord. And this is the number of the valiant men whom David had, Jashobeam the son of Hachmoni, the chief among thirty: he lift up his spear against three hundred, whom he slew at one time. And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, which was one of the three valiant men whom David had, Jashobeam the son of Hachmoni, the chief among thirty: he lift up his spear against three hundred, whom he slew at one time. And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, which was one of the three valiant men. He was with David at Pasdammim, and there the Philistines were gathered together to battle: and there was a parcel of ground full of barley, and the people fled before the Philistines. And they stood in the midst of the field, and saved it, and slew the Philistines: so the Lord gave a great victory. And three of the thirty captains went to a rock to David, into the cave of Adullam. And the army of the Philistines camped in the valley of Rephaim. And when David was in the hold, the Philistines garrison was at Bethlehem. And David longed, and said, Oh, that one would give me to drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem that is at the gate. Then these three brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: but David would not drink of it, but poured it for an oblation to the Lord. And said, Let not my God suffer me to do this: should I drink the blood of these men’s lives? for they have brought it with the jeapordy of their lives: therefore he would not drink it: these things did these three mighty men. And Abishai the brother of Joab, he was chief of the three, and he lift up his spear against three hundred, and slew them, and had the name among the three. Among the three he was more honorable than the two, and he was their captain: but he attained not unto the first three. Benaiah the son of Jehoiada (the son of a valiant man) which had done my acts, and was of Kabzeel, he slew two strong men of Moab, he went down also and slew a Lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow. And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, even five cubits long, and in the Egyptian’s hand was a spear like a weaver’s beam: and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and slew him with his own spear. These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among the three worthies. Behold, he was honorable among thirty, but he attained not unto the first three. And David made him of his counsel. These also were valiant men of war, Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem, Shammoth the Harorite, Helez the Pelonite, Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, Abiezer the Anathothite, Sibbechai the Hushathite, Ilai the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite, Heled the son of Baanah the Netophathite, Ithai the son of Ribai of Gibeah of the children of Benjamin, Benaiah the Pirathonite, Hurai of the rivers of Gaash, Abiel the Arbathite, The sons of Hashem the Gizonite, Jonathan the son of Shageh the Harite, Ahiam the son of Sacar the Hararite, Eliphal the son of Ur, Hepher the Mecherathite, Ahijah the Pelonite, Hezro the Carmelite, Naarai the son of Ezbai, Joel the brother of Nathan, Mibhar the son of Hagri, Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Berothite, the armor bearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah, Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, Uriah the Hittite, Zabad the son of Ahlai, Adina the son of Shiza the Reubenite, a captain of the Reubenites, and thirty with him. Hanan the son of Maachah, and Joshaphat the Mithnite, Uzzia the Ashterathite, Shama and Jeiel the sons of Hotham the Aroerite, Jediael the son of Shimri, and Joha his brother the Tizite, Eliel the Mahavite, and Jeribai and Joshaviah the sons of Elnaam, and Ithmah the Moabite, Eliel and Obed, and Jaasiel the Mezobaite. 1 Chronicles 11:1–47
- If any man teach otherwise, and consenteth not to the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, He is puffed up and knoweth nothing, but doteth about questions and strive of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Froward disputations of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, which think that gain is godliness: from such separate thyself. But godliness is great gain, if a man be content with that he hath. For we brought nothing into the world, and it is certain, that we can carry nothing out. Therefore when we have food and raiment, let us therewith be content. For they that will be rich, fall into tentation and snares, and into many foolish and noisome lusts, which drown men in perdition and destruction. For the desire of money is the root of all evil, which while some lusted after they erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 1 Timothy 6:3–10
- Hear, O thou shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like sheep: show thy brightness, thou that sittest between the Cherubims. Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stire up thy strength, and come to help us. Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine that we may be saved. O Lord God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people? Thou hast fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink with great measure. Thou hast made us a strife unto our neighbors, and our enemies laugh at us among themselves. Turn us again, O God of hosts: cause thy face to shine, and we shall be saved. Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it. Thou madest room for it, and didst cause it to take root, and it filled the land. The mountains were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars. She stretched out her branches unto the Sea, and her boughs unto the river. Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they, which pass by the way, have plucked her? The wild boar out of the wood hath destroyed it, and the wild beasts of the field have eaten it up. Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven and behold, and visit this vine, And the vineyard, that thy right hand hath planted, and the young vine, which thou madest strong for thyself. It is burnt with fire, and cut down: and they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance. Let thine hand be upon the man of thy right hand, and upon the son of man, whom thou madest strong for thine own self. So will not go back from thee, revive thou us, and we shall call upon thy Name. Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts: cause thy face to shine, and we shall be saved. Psalm 80:1–19