Motivation matters. That’s true because we need motivation to do the right things, and also because we need to do things from the right motive.
The mercy of God is our motive and motivation in life.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Romans 12:12).
The mercy of God in Jesus Christ is laid out before us in the first eleven chapters of Romans. God, moved by his own love and mercy, even while we were sinners, sent His Son to die for our sins. This was according to his eternal plan to save us from our sins and for his glory by conforming us to the image of Christ. He not only delivered us from the condemnation of sin, but he also gave his Spirit to dwell in us.
By the Spirit we call God our Father, know his love, choose for his will, and live with the assurance of glory to come.
We enter this life of freedom from sin and freedom in the Spirit by faith alone in Christ alone.
What mercy God has shown to us!
Now, in Romans 12, mercy makes its appeal to us. By the mercy of God, we are being called to give ourselves wholly to God, as living sacrifices, to discern and do his will.
The mercy of God is our motivation. If we find it difficult to pursue God, to do his will, to die to ourselves and live completely for his glory, then a Spirit-led meditation on the mercy of God toward us in Christ will help. New energy for loving obedience to God comes from the Spirit. The Spirit uses the good news of God’s mercy to provide it.
The mercy of God is our motive. When we give ourselves to God, to do his will and live for his glory, we are not trying to attain salvation for ourselves. We are not seeking self-righteousness. We are not building an image before people. So, why do it? For the love of God who has shown us mercy in Christ. God’s mercy is the basis of the appeal to live for God’s glory.
This weekend meditate on the mercy of God and be moved by it to offer yourself to God as a living sacrifice. Pray for our congregation as we gather together Sunday to worship God and hear his word.