MOTIVE – PART 3
ACTS 16: 16 & 17: Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.”
Motive is the essence of every action and decision, either publicly declared or disguised. Motive can either be right or wrong. The judgement about whether a decision or action is right or wrong belongs to God the Almighty, because He is the Omniscience God and knows the intent of any man. The bible says in Heb. 4:12 that “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (KJV). Interestingly, many atimes it is even possible for someone not to know that his/her motive is wrong until God convicts such fellow. That is why it is important that you are in tune with the Spirit of the living God. The Holy Spirit would always continually convict us when we make certain decision based on a wrong motive. Where a fellow gets to the level when they are no longer convicted by the Holy Spirit then that fellow must take care else such a fellow is on the way to perdition.
In part 2 we looked at the case of King Saul whose wrong motive led to his fall and damnation along with his entire generation. Here, we would be looking at the case study of Ananias and Saphira in Acts 5: 1-11. In this story we see an evidence of God’s ability to know the intent of any man even when they did not say it; or when they think that nobody knows what they have hidden in their hearts. In the Ananias and Saphira’s account, we were told that they made the other fellow believers and the Apostles believed that they were in support of the idea of communal living. Definitely, they would have partaken in the sharing/eating from the proceeds from what others have brought into the common pool. I want to believe that before they were convicted by the Holy Spirit, they would have made very good impression on some of the brethren when they brought what was supposed to be the total proceeds from the sale of their land. Alas, it was not true as they have their own motive different from the communal sharing motive behind the common pool as recorded in Acts 2: 44-46 “And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart” (NIV). However, while they could have deceived the other brethren, it was not possible for them to deceive the Holy Spirit of the living God. As the bible warns us in Num. 32: 23, their sin found them out; with terrible consequences – death.
What can we learn from this? We should ensure that we do everything possible not to fall into the hands of God. The bible says in Heb. 10:31 that “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”. How can we avoid falling into the hands of the Lord like Ananias and Saphira? We should ensure that we give regular quality offerings unto God; pay our vows; pay our tithes regularly and serve the Lord with utmost sincerity. The bible says in Mal. 3: 8 -10 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.
Beloved, as a Pastor I want to encourage as many of us that are not faithful in our tithe to try God with our tithe. Let us accept the Lord’s challenge that He gave us in His word in Mal. 3: 10. The motive for the request of your tithe by God is clear in Mal. 3: 10 (that there may be food in my house). The way God rewards faithful tithe-payers are multi-dimensional. Try God today and see that He is faithful. The bible says in Num.23:19 that God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill? (NIV). NO.
I pray that none of us shall fall into the hands of the Lord in Jesus name. Amen.
Dr. Yinka Okude
RCCG Jesus Sanctuary, Northampton
HYMN: NOW THANK WE ALL OUR GOD