Motivation for Ministry
As one who has dedicated my life to helping people grow through their life struggles, I often face the temptation to become weary. “Why do I do this?” I query within myself. A close examination of that question reveals that much of my motivation is driven by a sense of obligation—the sense that I “should” do this because of how good God has been to me—or fear—I mean, what else can I do, since this is where I have landed in my life pursuit.
I’ve recently been encouraged to reexamine my motives while reading through John Piper’s book, Future Grace (www.desiringgod.org/Store/Books/62_Future_Grace). The source of my ministry to others is the overflow of my life with God—a life to be lived by faith in His infinite, inexhaustible grace, not by seeking to repay Him for His grace by means of my own effort. Grace provides the motivation (“delight in the Lord”) as well as enablement to provide ministry to others. On the other hand, seeking to please the Lord by paying Him back for His goodness only brings exhaustion, questioning, and frustration. Living in the former highlights the Lord’s grace; living in the latter nullifies it.
Learning to lean on nothing but His grace is an adventure in which I am growing. But I am finding that trusting the Lord in light of what He has already done, rather than trying to live out of a constant sense of doing “what I should” keeps the focus right where it must be—His grace. And because of that I can rest and depend upon more of it in the future. “For of [Christ’s] fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.” (John 1:16)
Posted on November 10, 2011