“[A]nd I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ's sake” (Philemon 1:6).
How often do we feel that the church has no motivation? People just seem to be here physically, but spiritually they are far away. Jesus discussed this matter when He said, “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me” (Matthew 15:8). In context, Jesus speaks of worshipping God with the wrong heart, but the principle applies to our subject today. Sometimes we are here for worship physically but there seems to be no motivation in the spirit. What are we to do about this unfortunate dilemma? Where should we seek help? This writer will suggest the Bible for answers.
Every one of us needs motivation to get things going. Some might even wake in the morning to a cup of coffee to get the “juices flowing.” We understand that everything we do must be motivated by some kind of energy, especially in association with the physical aspect of life. But what motivates us in the spirit? Philemon 1:6 sheds some light as the word translated “effective” comes from the Greek word we get our word “energy” from.
Our faith is energized by the knowledge of all the good things that come to us in Christ such as our fellowship. When Christians assemble and love each other the way God has taught us to, we energize each other’s faith by uplifting and encouraging one another to “love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24). Worshiping our Lord is done through the energy our love for God generates within us. People know we are disciples of the Lord because we are fully energized by His love flowing throughout the congregation and out to others.
In the church we can sometimes forget how to care for one another. Jesus showed us how to care for one another through love: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Christ’s love is displayed by His willingness to lay His life aside for us. The brethren’s willingness to lay their lives aside for each other energizes the faith that Christ instilled in each one of us. It is our responsibility to share this kind of love so that the church will remain excited about the good things in Christ. If our love is evident to others their spirit is motivated in worship. They become more energized in the things they pray for, in the songs they sing and also their ears are motivated to hear the word of God, and this benefits our worship.
So if the church doesn’t seem motivated or excited we need to look within ourselves to make sure we are providing the “energy” for action. Let us gather around one another and love each other the way God loves us. Sometimes we love the way we are taught by the world and that is not agape love. Worldly love falls short of the love God wants us to have for the brethren (John 15:13). Sacrificial love for each other energizes our faith and energized faith holds nothing back as it offers up worship to God.
In His Grace,