"Motive" by Pastor Gabriel Ogunbayeje

« For the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts» 1 Chronicles 28:9b

«All the ways of man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs spirits » Proverbs 16:2

Motive is the reason behind our actions; it explains why we do what we do or say what we say. It also explains why we do not do what we do not do or why we refuse to say what we do not say. It explains the reasons behind our activities. There is always a motive behind everything we do. Our motives may be right and wrong; our motives may be good or bad; Our motives may be influenced by God, by Satan, or by others.

Motive is important in whatever we do in life. Often, our motives can be misjudged or misinterpreted by others, our motives can also be hidden from others as we do not always understand why some people do what they do and they may not understand why we do what we do . Either we understand or we do not understand why people do what they do, there is one person who understands all, God, He sees deep down beneath the heart of every individual.  Deuteronomy 29:29 a

Characteristics of motive

Some of the characteristics of motive are:


Motive can be selfish, 

Motive can be godly,

Motive can be satanic,

Motive can be right,

Motive can be wrong,

Motive can be influenced- by God's spirit, by Satan or by others,

Motive can be weighed,

Motive can be controlled,

Motive can be deceitful,

Motive can be understood,

Motive can be misunderstood/misjudged/misinterpreted etc.

A Some characteristics of bad/wrong motive are:






Some examples of people with wrong/bad motive are:

Judas served Jesus for financial gain John 12:6

Delilah seduced Samson to betray him Judges 16:5-6

Ananias and Sapphira sold their land and presented part of the money as if they brought the whole money to be seen as honest Acts 5:1-2

Aaron and Miriam were secretly jealous of Moses and talked about his wife while they were envious of him Numbers 12

The young rich man that came to Jesus and thought that he had fulfilled all the laws thought he would be praised for keeping the laws Matthew 19:16-22

The Pharisees who prayed in the temple was proud and thought that he was more justified Luke 18:9-14

Amaziah the King did what was right in the sight of the Lord but not with a loyal heart 2 Chronicles 25: 2

Consequences of wrong or bad motive

Being deceitful e.g Delilah Judges 16: 7; Ananias and Sapphira Acts 5:3-5

Death e.g. Amaziah 2 Chronicles 25: 27; Judas Matthew 27:3-5

Rejection e.g.  Cain Genesis. 4 :6, Balthazar Daniel 5 :25-31

Causing pain to others e.g.  Athaliah 2 kings 11: 1

B Some characteristics of good/right motive

It is selfless

It is pure/genuine

It is under the control of the Holy Spirit

It is weighed with the word of God

It is beneficial to others.

Some examples of good/right motive

Jesus came to the world not for any selfish gain or recognition but in humility to redeem man to God John 3:16; Revelation 5:4-13; Philippians 2: 6-11

The widow that gave all her money without any string attached to it Luke 21:1-4

David wanted to build house for God 2 Samuel 7:1-3

Jonathan helped David to escape from Saul 1 Samuel 20:1-12

Why do we need right motive?

God weighs motives 2 Chronicles 28 :9b

God rewards good motives e.g David 1 Samuel 13:14

Good motives produce good results

Bad motives produce bad results e.g. Judas died Matthew 27:3-5

God helps someone with good motives e.g. Solomon 2 Chronicles7:5

God loves someone with good motives e.g. David. Acts 13:22 1 Samuel 13:14

What God expects from us is that:

Our motives must be pure

Our motives must be right.

Our motives must be genuine/sincere and honest

Our motives must not be selfish

Our motives must be influenced and be under the control of God, Holy Spirit and God's word. Philippians 4 :8

How to have good motive:

Some of the ways we can have good and right motive are to:

Totally surrender your life to God. And let Him lead you in all your thinking   

Fill your heart with the word of God Colossians 3:16

Daily renew your heart with the word of God Romans 12 :2

Watch your thinking pattern Philippians 4:8

Be filled with the Holy Spirit, let Him direct you and be willing to obey Him. Romans 8:14; Ephesians 5:18

Always think positively. Philippians 4:8

Things to do with right and godly motives

Serve God and others with right motive Ephesians 6:6

Help people with the right motive

Work with the right motive

Lead with the right motive

Love with the right motive Romans 12:9-13

Correct and discipline others with the right motive

Speak with the right motive Colossians 3:9-10

Pray with the right motive etc.

But we do not often talk about why we do things or why people do what they do. And sometimes, it is possible to hide our motives and say something else. People may not be able to detect the actual reason behind our actions, but there is one person who judges our actions based on why they are done and not what we tell people, He is the right and just Judge, God. Jesus said that he comes quickly to give rewards to everybody according to what they have done; he will give rewards rightly and justly. It will be a shock to many that their rewards might not be what they expected; it will be a shock that some people we expect to receive much may receive less and some, their works will be consumed by fire or completely rejected, why?

Individuals will receive what they sow and not what we think they have sown Galatians 6:7-8

What do we build with and on what foundation? 1 Corinthians 3:13

What was the motive behind the miracles we do? For self -recognition or to showcase Jesus for the whole world Matthew 7:21

Why do we give and to who? 2 Corinthians 9:6-7

Why do we serve God? Do we worship God for our personal gain or to worship him? John 4:24

Why do we preach and evangelise? To show our talents and skills/ to advertise Jesus or our church Matthew 7:21

Why do we give to the poor? To help them out of their problem or to portray us as a giver? Matthew 6:3-4

The consequences of doing things with the wrong motives

Rejection and death e.g. King Belshazzar Daniel 5:1-32

Rejection of offering e.g. Abel Genesis 4;1-6

Rejection of work of the work done with wrong motives Matthew 7:23

Death e.g. Ananias and Sapphira who lied against Holy Spirit Acts 5:1-3

Failure. Psalm 2:4 etc.

In conclusion, shouldn't we think deeply? If we do miracles, cast demons out and build big cathedrals and have thousands of members but fail to do the right things? Will it not be dangerous to leave the most important things that God wants us to do and strive to do things in our own ways only to be rejected at the end?  We may deceive others but not God. He sees in secret as well as in the light, people may hail us, but God sees us deeply. God knows our works and the reasons why we do them, either for Him or for others. And if He will judge and reward us, shouldn't we please Him than we please ourselves and people? Shouldn't we serve Him with the right motive? And shouldn't we do all that we do with the right motive either people recognise us or not? Jesus is coming soon to reward us for whatever we do- either with right or wrong motive but the best thing is to do everything with the right motive.  « And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me to give to every one according to his work» Revelation 22:12.

Pastor Gabriel Ogunbayeje

Christ Apostolic Church

United Kingdom



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