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Staying motivated!

Motivation – “a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way.”

There is a lot going on at the moment that’s impacting our motivation. We could be highly motivated, or we can be not motivated at all. One day we get excited to get up and do things – around the house, outside, our work. The next we could be less motivated – find it hard to get going. Drift in and out of our work. Not really committed to doing anything. Being totally driven by our emotions, and even the weather.

Why do we become unmotivated?

Top 3 ideas:

1. We only see the bad side in things that happen

2. We forget the benefits and rewards

3. We set ourselves unrealistic goals

Today we’re going to look at the book of Philippians. Paul - under the power of the holy spirit - wrote this letter to a church in Philippi. Philippi was a Christian community in a region of the Roman empire in Macedonia.

Philippians 3:13-14

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Before we go into the detail, it’s important that we acknowledge that Paul writes this from a prison cell. He is in prison. I another part of the letter he says, “to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” He’s pointing to the suffering of Christ Himself upon the cross. He’s in prison, unsure whether he’s going to live or die. But he’s saying that if he lives, he will gladly go on and live as Christ did – suffering, but to die will actually be a benefit – will be gain because he’ll be reunited with Jesus in heaven. He is content with his current situation because of this

And Paul is sharing this contentment – this joy – with the Philippians so they can join in it too

Just as we can now.

Why I raise this is because, in these 2 verses, we see true passion in his language

We see true desire

We see true motivation

We see language that describes and paints a vivid picture of movement

From Paul who’s stuck in prison, but he’s not standing still in His faith – in his love for Jesus. He’s not even strolling or walking. He’s straining toward. He’s pressing on. He’s striving, not passive – not passively meandering. He’s moving towards his goal – towards his prize. Facing his difficulties. Sharing the Gospel in a hostile world. Straining forward in hope and service. Pressing on towards!

So, the answer to this motivation we find is what he’s pressing on to. What he’s striving and straining towards? This goal and this prize?

It’s his focus on this that sustains his motivation

It’s this single desire

It’s this single passion

That’s what’s motivating him to keep going. To keep moving forward...

“Focusing on the right thing gives you the motivation for everything”

He does this without distractions. He writes – forgetting what is behind. That’s Christian communities he’s planted across Europe. That’s the success of sharing the Gospel with people so that they can be saved. That’s deeply disciplining people in their walk with Jesus

That’s seeing Jesus! All those things that he could sit back and enjoy. To remember and dwell on. That’s not even including all the failures – all the baggage. His previous life and his direct persecution of Christians. Missing your kids’ piano class, not being able to get to the parent-teacher night. Not hitting that deadline at work. No, he says move forward. Look ahead. That’s the motivation. Looking back – good or bad will only distract you!

Sure, learn from it – but the focus should be out in front.

The Focus is Salvation

The focus for a Christian – for a brother or sister. Is the prize!

The right thing to focus on is this goal – is this prize!

And this is – “God’s promised future”

Glorification with Him. The separation from the presence of sin. Being united with Jesus in heaven. This completeness with Christ that awaits all that call upon Jesus as their savior

The power of the resurrection. Grounded in Christ’s work of grace upon the cross. Paul is focused on the day he will have completeness with Jesus. He hasn’t taken hold of it yet, but He presses on, he isn’t idly waiting for it. He’s pressing on. In the ongoing hope, In Christ Jesus.

That’s what’s sustaining Paul through discouraging times and through frustrating times. When most would curl up into a little ball, Paul is striding forward - Running. Running his race

With passion and purpose. Powered by Jesus’s resurrection and by the hope of his own -

In Christ Jesus, fellowship with Christ, peace with Christ and eternal life with Christ

Let’s look at those top reasons for poor motivation;

  • We only see the bad side of things that happen. The truth of the resurrection provides us with the joy and true contentment to face any temporary situation or circumstance.

  • We forget the benefits and rewards. The truth of the resurrection provides us with the hope and the prize of eternal life with Christ.

  • We set ourselves unrealistic goals. The truth of the resurrection could only have been done by God through Jesus. We cannot bring about our own salvation

“Focusing on the right thing gives you the motivation for everything”

And that focus should be on…

“God’s promised future”

Originally presented by Adam Bamforth as part of The Word@Work Ministry

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