1 Corinthians 9:23
And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
Everyone is selfish by nature, and God knows this. Because God knows that we are selfish, He uses our selfishness to get us to do right. Let me illustrate. If God only offered salvation, most would not get saved. So, God knowing our selfish motives says that if we will trust His Son to be our Saviour that He will keep us from going to Hell. Most people accept Christ as their Saviour so they can go to Heaven when they die instead of going to Hell. This seems to be a very selfish motive, and it is, but God was fine with this so that He could save us and reconcile us back to Him. Some think a person should get saved because they love God and want a relationship with Him, but nobody has been saved for this reason. Everyone who has been saved accepted Christ’s payment to be saved from Hell.
After we get saved, we still do right for selfish purposes. God offers blessings if we will do right. For instance, God promises to bless us financially if we tithe. Does it bother God that we tithe so we can be blessed financially? Absolutely not! God offered to bless us financially so that we would tithe; He knew that is the only way He could get the believer to tithe. Much of what we do in the Christian life is so that we can be blessed by God. We put God first so that all these things shall be added unto you. God is not at all disappointed that the believer does right for His blessings, but God desires that the believer grows in their spiritual motives.
God’s desire is that we grow to the point that we do right for two reasons. First, He wants us to get to the point that we do right for the Gospel’s sake. God wants us to grow to the point spiritually that everything we do or don't do is for the benefit of the Gospel. When our motives are for the Gospel’s sake, we will ask ourselves if what we are doing will help or hurt the Gospel. If it hurts the Gospel, we won't do it, but if it helps the Gospel, we will do it even if it does not benefit us. Our spiritual motives ought to grow to the point that we do what we do for the Gospel’s sake.
Secondly, He wants us to get to the point that we do right so that He receives the glory. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Not only does God want us to do right for the Gospel’s sake, but He wants us to do right so that He receives the glory. In other words, when my motives are for God receiving the glory, I will ask myself if what I am doing will bring glory to God. If what I do does not bring glory to God, I will not do it if what I do is for the sake of God’s glory.
My friend, we are to grow in grace, but growing in grace is growing in the motives for why we do what we do. Now, we should not wait until our motives get right because our motives will become right the more we do right. I overcome evil with good; therefore, I overcome immature motives by doing good, and as I do good, spiritual motives become the purpose for which I serve God. If you go soul winning so that you will receive rewards in Heaven, that is good, but if you keep going soul winning, you will one day soul win for the Gospel’s sake and so that God receives the glory. God is interested in your motives, but you will only mature in your motives by doing right. So, keep doing right and one day you will serve God for the Gospel’s sake and so that God receives the glory for all that you do.