Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life from the week ending 09/21/08
The Doctrine of Motivation:
Definition: Motivation means inducement, incentive, influence, or ground for something, the goal or the object of one’s actions. Motivation can be either thinking or emotion.
Let’s note some principles about God:
a. God’s love is eternal; it has always existed; there never was a time when it did not exist. It has no beginning.
God’s love has no beginning, because God is eternal. Therefore, His love is eternal.
b. God’s love exists with or without an object.
c. God’s love has always existed along with the righteousness and justice of God, because they are all a part of the same person. Therefore, the love of God can never be understood apart from understanding the righteousness and justice of God.
d. God’s love has always existed as a part of the integrity of God. God’s love didn’t begin at creation for His creatures. God is love, has always been love, and will always be love. It does not diminish or increase. It is perfect as a part of His integrity. His righteousness always does what is right and His justice always does what is fair. God is always right, and always fair in dealing with us, and now in a fallen state, all His creatures are treated fair and right by means of His merits in grace is to begin to understand His love.
e. The fact that God is eternal means that God has no beginning. Therefore, God does not have motivation, rather He is motivation. To be motivated by something God would have to be under the influence of that something which would make it greater than Him. God is not motivated, He is motivation. Be sure that you understand that God is never motivated by anything. He has always been love, and therefore the Cross (the ultimate expression of His love) has always been a part of His thinking concerning His creatures.
f. Motivation has a beginning with the existence of mankind. Mankind has motivation in the soul.
All of mankind is motivated, whether that is good or bad motivation is the issue in the Christian way of life. Motivation always has a beginning for mankind, but the essence of God has always existed, therefore God is motivation.See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and suchwe are (1JO 3:1). To the Church-age, God gave the most power to live in His love. To be given the most assets, and the most power is great motivation. To know we’ve been given the most assets and power is to know the integrity and love that God has toward us by means of grace. If the love of the Father would do this for us, as much as it cost Him, won’t He do everything else? To be called children of God by means of His love is to be a member of the one true Royal family. Isn’t that motivating?
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? (ROM 8:28-32)
The fact that God so loved the world that He gave His own Son shows that God is motivation, and God is love. When you learn this love it begins a motivation in us to respond to God’s many and interconnected doctrines. God’s integrity motivates us, and this includes righteousness and justice as well as love. God does not have to be motivated, because He knew all that would ever happen billions of years before it ever occurred. Motivation in the soul is the result of Bible doctrine in the stream of consciousness, which produces personal love for God. His communication of His love towards us produces the reciprocal effect, and we love Him. Therefore we are motivated by our love for God, and we don’t quit.
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you. (2CO 4:8)
God is love and His eternal love for you always was, and it will never change. Therefore, stop trying to impress God! You were set free by God, and the pastor/teacher is your vehicle to knowing the Word of God, because you cannot simply study it on your own. A major part of humility is to be teachable, and to be teachable you have to submit to a pastor/teacher. This is freeing to understand since we can understand the immutability of God in His dealing with us. God’s love will always be there for us, and therefore God does not need to be motivated. However, when it comes to us, we are in time and we require motivation. Our motivation comes from our love for God. The positive believer is motivated to press on when others would quit. David was motivated by the integrity of God in both prosperity and terrible adversity.
"And after He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, 'I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.'“
What was David after? What motivated David to keep going after monumental failures? Well, what is in God’s heart? The answer is Righteousness and Justice manifested by Love and Grace. This was David’s motivation and this should be ours as well. David’s motivation is expressed in terms of the integrity of God (PSA 89:14; PSA 32:5).
Because God’s justice would be satisfied at the Cross, in grace He not only forgave David the sins that he committed, but He also removed the guilt of wrongdoing from his life. How can God do this? For God, the Cross was a conclusion. The Cross has been forever since eternity past. We think of God in terms of time, but there never was a time when the divine decrees were not in His mind. God’s justice and righteousness were satisfied so that He could treat mankind in love and grace, and this has been His mind forever. God never has to be motivated.
“For the word of the Lord is upright; And all His work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord.” (PSA 33:4-5)
Doctrine, faithfulness, righteousness, justice, unfailing love and grace. This was David’s motivation. Are you motivated as a believer who is after God’s own heart? Has the Righteousness, Justice manifested by the Love and Grace of God, all revealed in Bible doctrine, motivated you to stick with the plan of God for your life no matter what? (PSA 18:30-35). Since we require motivation to keep going in our learning the capacity to love with the love of God, God has provided that motivation.
Human motivation has a beginning in reciprocity, we love because God first loved us, this happens when the Word of the Lord is a part of the soul. God’s eternal integrity motivates the believer, but the believer cannot motivate God. Unfortunately mankind, even believers, are motivated to follow the cosmic system and the doctrines of demons. There is both good and bad emotion; there is both good and bad motivation, but none of it belongs to God.
“I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. Make every effort to come to me soon; for Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica;” (2TI 4:1-10)
You will be motivated by what you love. If you love self you will be motivated to live for self. If you love the cosmic system you will be motivated to pursue the things of the world. If you love God you will be motivated to have a closer walk with Him. God motivates us, we do not motivate God. Motivation has a beginning, but God does not have a beginning. God does not have motivation. Motivation is a human function, not a divine function. Therefore, motivation can only be used of God as an anthropopathism. God functions on His eternal integrity with emphasis on the love of God. Integrity is not motivation; it is on a much higher plain. God’s integrity motivates us, and this includes righteousness and justice as well as love. God does not have to be motivated, because He knew all that would ever happen billions of years before it ever occurred.
Blessing or discipline from God originates from His eternal integrity. When God disciplines us, His righteousness and justice have not changed; therefore, neither has His love toward us.
“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me.” (REV 3:19-20)
The Righteousness of God is the principle, it is the standard of integrity that approves or disapproves. The Justice of God is the function, it is the execution of His integrity that blesses or disciplines. The Love of God is the demonstration of His integrity that provides divine solutions and motivation; principles related to spiritual growth. What the Righteousness of God demands, the Justice of God executes, and the Love of God demonstrates; all expressed by the Grace of God. Divine love is the key to God’s integrity as a point of reference, not God’s motivation. Omniscience always functioned under the integrity of God, so that divine love is the point of reference, not motivation.
Good and pure motivation begins with knowledge of Bible doctrine and reciprocal love for God. We do not advance in the spiritual life without simultaneous action from persistence in perception of doctrine and motivation from reciprocal love for God. Motivation begins with knowledge of Bible doctrine as epignosis. Motivation is the thinking and action of Bible doctrine in the stream of consciousness.
a. God operates on His integrity, not on motivation.
b. Motivation is a human function, whether it is emotion or thinking, not a divine function.
c. God motivates us; we do not motivate God.
God motivates us through divine revelation of Himself in the infallible word of God.
God makes His motivation perspicuous through the mentorship of God the Holy Spirit, Jn 14:26.
“But our Mentor, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will cause you to remember all that I said to you.” (JOH 14:26)