THE RIGHT MOTIVE FOR CHRISTIAN LIVING
or RIGHT THINGS FROM WRONG MOTIVES
INTRO. Events that took place in our country before
national television in the last two or three days
highlights our lesson this morning. When our
president called a national alert for our defense
forces, his motives were questioned on national
television and provoked a variety of responses.
Although we don't share it often, we do realize there
is the question in most people's minds again and
again, why is someone doing this?
To the Jews there were three great cardinal works of
the religious life or three great pillars on which the
good life was based:
1. It was alms giving
Jesus didn't question this for a moment, but what
troubled him was that so often in human life the
finest things were done for the wrong motives.
It's a strange fact that these three cardinal good
works lend themselves so easily to wrong motives.
1. Jesus said a man may give alms but not really
to help the person to whom he gives but simply to
demonstrate his own generosity and to bask in the
warmth of someone's gratitude and all men's
2. Secondly, a man may pray in such a way that
his prayer is not really addressed to God but to
his fellowman. His praying may simply be an
attempt to demonstrate his exceptional piety in
such a way that not one person fails to see it.
3. Thirdly, a man may fast but not really for the
good of his own soul; not to humble himself in
the sight of God but simply to show the world
what a splendidly self-disciplined character he
Now there is no doubt at all that that kind of motive
receives a certain kind of reward. Three times in
Matt. 6:2, 5, 16 he said, "Verily, verily, I say unto
you. They have their reward."
ILL. It would be better translated, "They
receive payment in full." The word used in the
Greek is a technical business ...
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