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Connect the Testaments

May 22: Motive Is Everything
1 Chronicles 11:1–47; 1 Timothy 6:3–10; Psalm 80:1–19
It’s not often that we take an honest look at our motivations. But it’s important to reevaluate them regularly. When our sight is not fixed on God, we might become entranced with goals that conflict with godliness. Even though we might initially be performing the right actions, our lives will start to reveal the motives of our hearts.
Paul addresses this issue within the Ephesian community, where some people were spreading conflict in order to further their own gain. And this wasn’t just a problem with the perpetrators. This “constant wrangling by people of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who consider godliness to be a means of gain” was like poison, spreading envy and strife throughout the community (1 Tim 6:5).
To counteract this, Paul states that “godliness with contentment is a great means of gain” (1 Tim 6:5–6), but the gain he talks about is not success as we traditionally define it. Rather than financial riches, Paul presents the idea of complete contentment—of being satisfied with what we have and feeling secure in the life (both eternal and physical) with which God has blessed us (1 Tim 6:8).
This is not just a simple side issue. Paul states that “the love of money is a root of all evil” (1 Tim 6:10). When money becomes our guiding motivation, we’re very much tempted to be self-sufficient. Our motives become muddled, and we try to find our contentment in transient things. In contrast, when we’re completely satisfied in God, we won’t be tempted to conflicting motives.
Are your motives conflicted? How do you need to readjust your motives so that you desire godliness?
Rebecca Van Noord


 Barry, John D., and Rebecca Kruyswijk. Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012. Print.

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