2 Corinthians 5 Lesson

What motivates us?

Motivation is defined as, “The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.” For today’s lesson, we will be pondering the question:

“Why do we do the things that we do?”

As we ponder this question, we need to understand two things:

  1. God sees everything that we do.“The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good.” – Proverbs 15:3.
  2. God understands our hearts.

Consider the following scriptures:

  • “Every person’s way is right in his own eyes, but the Lord examines the hearts. - Proverbs 21:2.

  • “God does not see as man sees, since man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’” - 1 Samuel 16:7.

  • I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind,to give to each person according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds.” - Jeremiah 17:10.

What fascinating scriptures these are to ponder!   

God not only knows what decisions we make; He understands why we make them. So, what steps can we take to ensure that our motivation is coming from a Godly place?

As Christians, we are taught to love God and to love our neighbor.   These are the most important commandments.   Jesus said so Himself as recorded in the Gospel of Mathew:  

  • “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”   And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment.  The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Upon these two commandments hang the whole Law and the Prophets.” – Mathew 22:36-40.

But how do we stay motivated to serve God and others when we are tired, beaten down, or struggling? To help answer that question, we will look at three sources of motivation that Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 5.


  1. Future reward.
  2. Our love of Jesus.
  3. A desire to be reconciled with God.

We will look at these one at a time, and then the lesson will be yours.


While doing something to get a reward may seem selfish, it is a perfectly acceptable source of motivation when the reward that we are seeking is heaven. We should be excited to be with God and Jesus in heaven!   And as we read the Bible, we will come to learn that getting to heaven requires obedience to God’s commands.

  • “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter." - Mathew 7:21,

The hope that we have of spending eternity in heaven should serve as a powerful source of motivation for us to serve God and love our neighbor!


There is a beautiful hymn called, “I Love the Lord,” by Richard Smallwood, that focuses on loving the Lord:

“I love the Lord,

He has been so good to me,

He gave His life,

From sin to set me free.

No greater love,

Then His could ever be,

I love the Lord,

Because He first loved me.”

The more we understand what Jesus did for us, the more we will want to please Him.   That is why reading the Bible is so important! When the light goes on, and we realize the amazing love of Jesus, we will find new motivation to be more like Him ourselves.


Another great source of motivation is our need to be reconciled with God.   Every one of us is a sinner.   The Apostle Paul wrote about this in his letter to the Romans:

  • “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23.

Fortunately for us, we have been redeemed through the cleansing blood of Jesus:

  • “In Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our wrongdoings, according to the riches of His grace.” - Ephesians 1:7.

  • “For this is My blood of the covenant, which is being poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” - Mathew 26:28.

Being aware of our sins and our need to be reconciled with God is another great source of motivation!

Today we have highlighted three sources of motivation to help us be more like Jesus.


  1. Future reward.
  2. Our love of Jesus.
  3. A desire to be reconciled with God.

We will conclude today’s lesson with the following scripture:

  • For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. ” – John 3:16.


Virtual Bible Study

How do we stay motivated to serve God and to love our neighbor when we are tired, beaten down, or struggling in some way?

Click To View The Discussion
Virtual Bible Study

How do we stay motivated to serve God and to love our neighbor when we are tired, beaten down, or struggling in some way?


I think it is helpful to share our stories about how we came to follow Jesus. Everyone has a story. Knowing that others have come before us and have made the decision to follow Christ, for me, makes me feel like I am not in it alone.


For Saul, the change was dramatic. After all he not only encountered Jesus but felt His power. I think for many of us the change is gradual, graded, advancing and retreating. It requires us to not only struggle with the negative messages coming from the media...the challenges to faith that are so often presented whereas the answers are suppressed. Also the devil plants doubts in our mind especially when we are weak, spiritually or physically. Despite deep prayerful thought that leads to the conclusion that it is irrational not to believe in God and then to conclude that Jesus is the only real answer, the frequent attacks by prominent figures seed doubt. Without great care these seeds grow into weeds that strangle the good wheat plants of faith, plants struggling to grow and produce the fruits expected of us as Christians. Thus I believe that most of us struggle to become and remain a "new creature" in Jesus and to truly shed the "old things". As Paul said, the spirit is willing (for us perhaps most of the time) but the flesh is weak (probably almost all the time).