How do we motivate others to bear fruit?
How can a parent motivate their children to be holy or care for others? How can pastors motivate their flocks to worship God and serve others? How can we stir others to love and good deeds? By telling them to just do it? By telling them to go out and put your nose to the grindstone and bear some fruit? Come on, get your hundred pound Christian backpack on and start grinding out that hundred mile hike to heaven.
The best way to motivate others is to display Christ’s glory to them. Show them his mighty power to save and transform. Show them his sympathy and compassion to help them in their struggles and suffering. I love this quote by T. David Gordon in Why Johnny Can’t Preach:
I believe that as people’s confidence in Christ grows, they do, ordinarily and inevitably, bear fruit that accords with faith. Thus, there is no need for some trade-off here, or some alleged dichotomy suggesting that we need to preach morality if we are to have morality. No; preach Christ, and you will have morality. Fill the sails of your hearers’ souls with the wind of confidence in the Redeemer, and they will trust him as their Sanctifier, and long to see his fruit in their lives. Fill their minds and imaginations with a vision of the loveliness and perfection of Christ in his person, and the flock will long to be like him. Impress upon their weak and wavering hearts the utter competence of the mediation of the One who ever lives to make intercession for them, and they will long to serve and comfort others, even as Christ has served and comforted them.
I read somewhere that the best way to motivate our teens is to dazzle them with Christ. The best way to defeat the allure of the world is to show folks something more alluring, more beautiful, more delightful – Jesus Christ in all his glory.
Not only does the glory of Christ motivate others to bear fruit – it motivates and stirs us us as well!