Do Our Motives Matter?

September 8, 2022

For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

There’s an old saying that goes, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” And when it comes to our relationship with God, that couldn’t be more true. You see, God is the judge of all. And He knows our hearts and our every intention. That’s why His Word is such a powerful tool; it “reads” us and tests us in the best ways. So, do our motives matter in our relationship with Him?

Where We Stand

Hebrews 4:12 tells us that God judges the hearts. That’s why Christ’s sacrifice is so important. Because of Him, we have been made righteous. We stand in mercy because of Jesus. We are liberated from condemnation, fear, and punishment because we are His. And because God cares for us, He lovingly corrects us, just as any good parent would, and disciplines impure motives as needed.

When Our Motives Aren’t Pure

But what exactly are impure motives? Simply put, they’re sinful thoughts or desires that try to lead us away from God. And while we may not always be aware of them, make no mistake–they’re there. They’re the little voice in our head that says things like, “God doesn’t care about that” or “This isn’t a big deal.” But we need to be on guard against these impulses, as they can quickly lead us down a path of disobedience if we’re not careful.

There’s A Way Out

So how do we combat impure motives? First and foremost, we need to recognize them for what they are–temptations to sin. And Christ Himself always provides a way out for us (1 Corinthians 10:13). Second, we need to turn to God’s Word for guidance and wisdom. As the psalmist says, God’s living and humble Word is a lamp for our journey (Psalm 119:105). He will never lead us astray. And finally, we need to pray for strength and discipline. Pray that God would give you the power to resist temptation and the discipline to follow His Word.

What Now?

The next time you find yourself struggling with sinful thoughts or desires, remember that you are not alone. We all face temptations of one kind or another daily. But thanks be to God, we have victory over these impure motives through Christ Jesus our Lord!

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