By David Martz
Today's Scripture: Numbers 3:2–4
Central Thought: Values are the basis for motivation.
Motivation is often divided into three types: intrinsic (originating from within), extrinsic (influence external to the person), and transcendent (from God). While it would be ideal if every believer were motivated from purely divine influence, much motivation is a mixture of all three types. Imagine someone offering you $1,000 to go to a Wednesday night church service or a Sunday school class? Would the money influence your decision?
God wanted Israel to become a community of learners ('learn” is the root meaning of disciple). Israel was to learn about God, redemption, forgiveness, substitution, holiness, and themes fulfilled in the atonement of Jesus Christ. God made this experience exciting through great object lessons like the sacrifices, festivals, and feasts. Unfortunately, even priests like Nadab and Abihu failed to serve God from a motivation of holiness when they offered strange fire on the altar. They knew better, but they either didn't understand the concept of holiness or they really didn't care.
Holiness is a prime motivator of godly men and women and should be a core value for today's Christian. If believers don't learn this concept, they will miss the significance of other important concepts. Now if holiness cannot be taught, how can it be learned? It must be modeled with consistency and presented to others with conviction. Although many believers dismiss the legalism of the law, the law was intended to instruct people in holiness. Even though the law lacks power to make people holy, it remains one of the greatest object lessons on how a consecrated person is motivated.
What motivates us? Can we be bribed or coerced, or does our dedication to God motivate us? Values such as holiness form the basis for motivation. They must be internalized, not just talked about. They become internalized as we pray and ask God to transform our hearts into vessels of honor.
Devotional Prayer: Father, change my heart and cultivate within me motives that honor You and advance the Kingdom of God. Help me to break out of my shell and unselfishly help someone today. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Today's Bible Reading: Numbers 2:1-3:51; Mark 11:27-12:17; Psalms 47:1-9; Proverbs 10:24-25