What should be our motivation to live for God? In Colossians 1:3-14 Paul provides a model.
Paul’s Model is the Gospel
Looking at this section, you should notice that Paul mentions the gospel right after he talks about the Corinthians faith and love. Then down in verses 12-14, you should also notice that Paul expounds on the gospel, right after he calls the Corinthians to live lives pleasing to God.
Paul’s focus on the gospel tells us that he wants us to be motivated to live gospel-centered lives out of the gospel.
What Paul Could Have Done, But Doesn’t
You see, Paul could have motivated the Colossians to live for God in a number of ways. He could have told them to live for God because God said so, or because that is what will win favor with God, or because that is how we will make it to heaven, or because this is what makes you a good person. Paul could have used any number of tactics to motivate the Colossians, but he didn’t. Instead he used the gospel.
Just as Paul wants the Colossians to find their motivation for Christian living through the gospel, he wants us to do the same.
Examples of Gospel Motivation
Looking at Colossians 1:3-14, we see that if we are struggling:
- In our faith – we need to remember that if God provides His Son for our salvation and guarantees our future inheritance, He is able to provide for our daily needs.
- With loving others – we need to remember the love of God in giving His only Son for our sins.
- With doing good works – we need to remember that sin no longer masters us, but God is our Master, freeing us to live for Him and not for sin.
- With growing in our relationship with God – we need to remember that God so desires a relationship with us that He sent His Son to pay the price for our sins, redeeming us from His wrath.
- With enduring trials and tribulations patiently with joy – we need to remember that this world is not all there is. Jesus will return, defeat our enemies, and setup His perfect kingdom one day.
- With worshipping God – we need to remember that He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, qualifying us to share in the inheritance with the Saints.
You see, the gospel is not only given for our salvation, but it is also given as motivation for godly living. So the next time you are struggling in any of these areas, meditate on the gospel; allow it to motivate you to live lives pleasing to God.
Questions for Reflection
- How have you tried to motivate yourself, or others, to live for God in the past?
- How does a gospel motivation change the way you look at living for God?