I have a friend, Michael Mcleymore, who runs an amazing rehab/ recovery program in Union County, South Carolina, called The Prodigal’s Home. He recently had another inspiring post that he shared from a moment in the life of their program. At the end, he closed with:
“No agenda, one motive: be the love of Jesus! “
One of the ugliest things about people who are involved in “good things” is when we find there is an hidden agenda. When we find out that someone has laid out a chess match type of manipulation/transaction of a situation where they give the impression that they are being good, generous, charitable, etc. — but it turns out they were actually just doing it for themselves.
Even religious people who think that doing more good deeds in this life will earn them a greater reward somehow — may actually be working under a hidden agenda to benefit themselves, rather than truly being “motivated to love and serve others”.
It is the motive that matters.
As a Christian, we are to be motivated by the love of Jesus for us, that in turn motivates us to love others. This motivation that rises up out of faith that He loved us first — it is truly the foundation for the disciple of Christ.
If our theology, traditions, dogma and ceremonies don’t all grow from this root — from this motive — they are fruit from the seed of a poisonous tree — they are about the self-righteous measuring and comparing of our own good and evil — rather than a being drawn close to the Lord to walk as He walks.
No agenda, one motive: Be the love of Jesus!
Find out more about Michael’s ministry here: https://www.facebook.com/421873688267793/
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
Romans 12:9-10 NLT
People may be pure in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their motives.
Proverbs 16:2 NLT
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”
Jeremiah 17:9-10 NLT
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.
Hebrews 4:12-13 NLT
Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored. But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s! So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go! This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him! * * *
Romans 8:5-17 MSG