draw near with a sincere heart in full
assurance of faith, having our hearts
sprinkled clean from an evil conscience
and our bodies washed with pure water."
When trying to solve a crime it is
necessary to examine the possible
motives for committing it. If a murder
occurs, Police Detectives look first for
a person who may have had a reason to
have committed the crime. Who would
benefit from the death of that person?
Did they have a large life insurance
policy and if so, who is the
beneficiary? Who were their enemies?
Detectives understand that when you find
a set of possible motives you will also
find possible suspects to the crime
It has been jokingly said that everyone
in prison is innocent - few ever admit
their guilt. Life itself is very much
like this too - few ever truly examine
the motives for what they say and do,
and as a result do not have a clear
picture of their own character and what
really motivates them.
In Romans chapter 1 we see that because
people had such a great lust for the
flesh, their beliefs and actions were
motivated by the desire to indulge them.
People often want to freely pursue
their wanton desires but they donít want
to deal with a guilty conscience so they
eventually convince themselves that
their motives are pure.
God calls this, "exchanging the truth
for a lie."
When you think about it, it is natural
for us to justify the things we do or
donít do. There was a woman who visited
our congregation one Sabbath who
believed in wearing "plain clothing."
Perhaps because she was dressed
differently than our women, she felt it
was necessary to give an explanation
during testimony services, and said that
she believed in dressing "plain."
The Bible does teach that women are to
dress modestly and in such a way that
does not draw attention to themselves.
(1 Tim.2) But if the definition of plain
clothing means to not stand out, then
looking like you just left the set of
the Little House on the Prairie TV show
is hardly "plain" in todayís culture and
is very noticeable. Not to judge the
motives of this woman, but the reasons
given and the actual affect seem
contradictory - and that is very normal
When it comes to practicing the
Christian faith many encounter the same
struggle. We may have a desire for
something that we really shouldnít, so
we will either yield to God and resist
the temptation or we will pursue it and
justify why itís ok.
Even though Jesus clearly taught His
followers to seek the Kingdom first and
to not store up treasures on the earth
but in heaven - the prosperity preachers
are exceedingly popular today. Why?
Because many lust after riches and the
pleasures of the world and quickly
embrace any "godly" authority who will
assure them that their motives are pure
Will we reap what we sow? Yes. Does it
please God to bless us? Yes, again. But
our focus should be on Christ and our
pursuit of the Kingdom of God. I have
always been abundantly blessed by my
Father, but my motivation is to store up
treasure in heaven while believing that
God will provide for me here.
does your faith cost you? It has cost me
It is very easy to follow the crowd but
is difficult to walk alone or with the
few. Jesus said, -"Count
the costs" because
the costs are real. Let us examine
ourselves to ensure that we are not just
taking the easy way and deluding