Just last month, my wife Cynthia and I were engaged in a cruise conference to the Greek Isles with some friends of Insight for Living Ministries. As we disembarked at Athens, we were near ancient Corinth, one of the sites where the apostle Paul ministered untiringly on his journeys. Anyone who visits Corinth’s marketplace will observe a raised platform of carved stones—the city’s judgment seat. Twenty centuries prior, Paul stood at this very spot as Roman Proconsul Gallio sat on the judgment seat (Acts 18:12–17).
When Paul later wrote to the believers in Corinth, he compared his appearance at Corinth’s judgment seat to the appearance each Christian will face before “the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10). That moment won’t be a judgment for sin since sin was judged at the cross. Instead, it will be a judgment to determine our rewards based on how well we have followed Christ. On that day, Jesus will examine and reveal our motives and the quality of our service (1 Corinthians 3:10–15; 4:5).
My mind goes back years ago to the day I asked my sister Luci, whose art skills far exceed mine, to print a simple, three-word question on a small card. Just black letters on a white card, with a bold question mark at the end:
WHAT’S YOUR MOTIVE?
I no longer have that card, but the question remains indelibly etched on my mind. It’s one I ask myself almost every day. It has proven to be an essential checkpoint of my life:
- Why am I planning this?
- Why was I involved in that?
- Why did I say yes (or no)?
- Why did I write that letter?
- Why am I preaching this message?
- Why did I respond like that?
- Why did I mention that person’s name?
All those questions force me to face my motive. Here’s one more: Why do we do what we do at Insight for Living Ministries? What’s our motive? I can answer that in five words: so lives may be transformed. That’s it. That’s what it boils down to. What began on a handful of radio stations more than 35 years ago has grown—by God’s grace and to our amazement. We are now an international outreach ministry that delivers God’s Word around the world in multiple languages every day. How very exciting!
Focusing on our God-given motive for doing what we do is what the Great Commission is all about. We want to teach the Bible—and help others teach the Bible—around the world. It’s a huge task! But how worthwhile! Why? Because we’re laying the essential groundwork for a ministry that will outlive us all. And the motive?
To teach the Bible so that lives may be transformed.
Copyright © 2015 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide.