The Motivation of Love

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son …”. (John 3:16)

Among the rich truths this well-loved verse gives us, is the Lord’s motivation for saving us. Jesus said, “For God so LOVED the world.”  Why did He save us? Why did He come? His motivation was love.  It was not just to do a “religious thing.” He came because He really cared about us, and did not want us to perish, separated from fellowship with Him forever. His motivation was love.

This ought to spur some soul-searching among God’s people, as we consider our own ministry to the world.  Why do we do what we do in relation to people in the world around us? When we open our mouths to witness, what is our motivation?  Is it because we are “supposed to”? Or because we want “a notch on our belts” (“I got to witness today!”)?  Or to prove our moral or intellectual superiority to others?  All of these fall way short.

When we think of our ministry to the world, and our witness to them, we need to make sure that we have the same motivation Jesus did: love.  We can “unload” a basic 4-pt. gospel presentation entirely without love, and it will most likely have very little effect.  But what many of us need as God’s people is not merely “an opportunity to witness”, instead what we really need is to be filled with God’s LOVE for people, and act and share out of that love.  Real love speaks loudly.

“For God so LOVED” was the key to our salvation. His love in us — manifested in genuinely loving words and deeds — will be the key to our effective witness as well.

About Shawn Thomas

My blog,, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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