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Scripture: Acts 21:30-40, 22:1-30
Whatís your motivation? What compels you to get out of bed in the morning? A desire not to be late, or a desire to get a head start on the day? What compels you to eat? Is it hunger, taste, or the price you paid for the meal? When you go to church, what compels you to go to church? Is it God, your spouse, your kids, or the need for social interaction or recognition (i.e. a ministry)? Or is it guilt?
Following Paulís encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, his whole motivation changed. He tells us in 1st Corinthians chapter 2, verse 2, that he did not desire to know anything outside of Jesus and Him crucified. That was his motivation. He desired nothing else. His actions and desires were transparent to those around him. When people looked at Paul they could readily see that only Jesus mattered. There was no hidden agenda. There were no hidden programs, there were no hidden interests. Only Jesus, and Him crucified.
Jesus tells us in scripture that no one lights a lamp and puts it in a jar, or under a bed, but puts it up where it will be the most benefit. The preaching of Jesus is transparent. There is no hidden agenda, no hidden program or interests.
As Christians, we, too, should be as transparent as we can be in order to bring more to Jesus. Our silent actions speak just as loud as our complaints. Our silent service speaks volumes not only to those that we are serving, but also to those that are standing on the side and watching.
Our motivation to serve God should be motivated by the love that He has spread abroad in our hearts. Any other motive, any other incentive, any other purpose, will defile the service. Any other motivation, however small and imperceptible, will blemish the gift and it will be deemed unacceptable.
Selfless motivation is an integral part of oneís testimony. For those looking on, for those that are watching you, your actions may become their testimony in the future. What you selflessly do today will go down into the heart of those watching. And what you did may very well become part of someoneís witness to an unbeliever in the future. Your actions may become a story that an evangelist will use in five or twenty years!
Your unselfish sacrifice may inspire or motivate someone to move forward into ministry, or, your selfish actions may cause them to move backward and authenticate their beliefs that the Christian life is no better than anything else.
A testimony based on Jesus and Him crucified is simple and itís maintenance free and only concerns you and Jesus. A testimony based on anything else, such as lies and intrigue takes lots of work, lots of concern, lots of time, and lots of people.
Whatís your motivation?
The motivation of the Jews
The motivation of the Crowd
The motivation of the Romans
The motivation of Jesus
The motivation of Paul
I. The motivation of the Jews
Our scripture text tells us that the whole city was aroused, however, the very fact that they pulled Paul from the temple indicates they were Jewish, since Gentiles were not allowed inside the gates of the temple.
So, what was the motivation of the Jews? Why were they so against someone that had formerly been an active part of the Sanhedrin?
There are many reasons, but there are two very good reasons that remain prevalent even in todayís
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