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What’s My Motivation?!

“Enemy-occupied territory---that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.” Yesterday, my boys and I watched the 1984 film, Red Dawn. If you haven’t seen it by now, I don’t think I could call my brief synopsis a spoiler, but it’s coming. The film centers around a group of Colorado teens caught behind enemy lines during the fictional invasion of the United States by Cuban and Russian Forces and their allies. When their town is invaded, they flee to the mountains, and survive off of rations given to them by local townsfolk, and what they can hunt. They are scared, and don’t know what to do. During the course of the film, and driven by the need to avenge their families and protect their people who are being slaughtered in an attempt to drive them out of hiding, they struggle, and face different motivations for fighting. Facing betrayal, hunger, and loss, they have to decide if they should fight, or flee to friendly territory.


On the way to church this morning, my oldest and I were talking about it. We were talking about the different motivations people had, and what drove them to fight or to fear, to stand their ground or betrayal. It’s an interesting concept, for sure, but it led me to think about a few things. We ARE in hostile territory, stuck behind enemy lines. Most people don’t know it, and folks often come into the Church with their own motivations. We have an enemy who holds this world, who seeks to kill, steal and destroy, and we have to question our motivation within in it. Am I just in it to get through to the next paycheck? Am I trying to stay as comfortable as possible until I’m called home? Am I here to help liberate as many people from the grips of sin and death as possible?


Make no mistake, loved ones, this world is not our home. We are in territory long-held by an enemy who does not have our best interests at heart. We are not safe, and the only place of security is with the One who gave His life to save us from the Enemy of our souls, and from ourselves. Check your motivations, and seek Him only. He will make your purpose clear.


1 Peter 4:7-5:14


The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.  Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.


Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And


“If the righteous is scarcely saved,what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?


Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.


Chapter 5


So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”


Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.


By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it. She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son. Greet one another with the kiss of love.


Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

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