Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What motivated you?

I have always wondered what drives a person to become a Christian. Beyond my own experience, I don't know.

I do believe that the Holy Spirit has an active role in touching our hearts towards God. What motivates people to become a Christian? Is it fear of going to hell? Wanting to go to heaven? Is it love because he first loved us? Can it be both? What drives people to become Christians today? What were you motivated by?

Share your thoughts.
What do you think?


Blogger Matthew said...

The family that reached out to me, it was different, I wanted that type of life too. But the Sunday I was baptized, I was 20 years old with no church background, it was just the right time, and looking back, it was God working in this time too.

12:12 PM  
Blogger NaNcY said...

i think that you are right to wonder. because, beyond my own experience i do not know either. i think this is because God deals with each of us in a very personal way. this is why i think that each of us has a very personal and unique experience in our journey to and in our relationship with God in Jesus. sometimes we can not even come up with a single motivation because the journey has been so long and drawn out to place one's finger on one moment or reason. and then we realize within this is the continual renewing journey. that is how it was for seemed to happen more than once to come to Christ in my life. and it seemed it was like going up stairs...each time was different need and reason.

2:20 PM  
Blogger magdalune said...

The thing that led me to God was that I was born in a Christian family, and they got me early. :)

I don't know what would convince me to return. I'm not sure anything could. I have an open mind, but I also have a healthy dose of skepticism for anything that is inherently unproven and unfalsifiable. Since Christianity, like most religions, requires faith, it is by definition illogical. I can barely trust myself, much less someone else's interpretations of things.

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was raised in the church. The faith of my family was passed on to me and I made it my own.

7:51 PM  
Blogger Kansas Bob said...

My wife's miraculous healing from blindness preceded the weekend that changed my life.

8:13 PM  
OpenID newheights said...

Feeling lost and empty and pointless and without hope.

My life wasn't working so I have it to God.

Good question. I look forward to reading more.


12:24 AM  
Anonymous Bryan said...

Christian upbringing and then later a Christian brother who had the courage to speak to me after I had been away from church fellowship for a time.

1:15 AM  
Blogger preacherman said...

I apprecaite everyone's testimony. It is wonderful to see how God works in the life of others faith. I like Darin are looking forward to reading more.

Kansas Bob's is a great example of God's healing us both physically and spiritually.

Keep the testimony's comming.

8:58 AM  
Blogger Jason Campbell said...

Awesome question, one that doesn't get asked enough. This needs to be the opening salvo of anything like an evangelism class or sermon.

Anyway, I remember very clearly the major pulse of faith which brought me to submission in Christ. I didn't grow up Christian at all (save perhaps in a moral sense--pretty conservative, non-religious family). I initially argued a lot with the concepts of Christian faith and several of them not only did not make sense to me, they actively irritated me. (I got so angry one night after one of public high school English teachers made me read the New Testament over the summer, and I came across this passage where Jesus forgives the scumbag criminal on the cross--WHERE'S THE JUSTICE!!?)

But despite all this, beyond rationality, beyond anything like a systematic Scriptural argument was a humming undertone of rightness. I knew, somewhere in the back of my mind, every time I came into contact with the stuff of genuine faith that it was right. At that point, I was ready to begin a serious investigation and think through the implications and connections.

9:14 AM  
Anonymous rogueMInister said...

At first it was almost purely out of my fear of going to hell. I am thankful that my faith, God's salvation in my life, and my theological perspectives have evolved past that over the years though. When I really began to realize God's great love that is when the changes started to take place in a more noticeable way.

I sometimes feel like Brennan Manning, when he said, "I was ambushed by Jesus of Nazareth." It is as I saw Jesus in the lives of others in an undeniable way that I had to grab hold of my faith and take up my cross to follow the Messiah from Nazareth.

9:40 AM  
Blogger Cheryl Russell said...

I read the Bible on my own, for the first time, when I was 18. I knew about Jesus but had no personal relationship. I read Matthew, fell in love with Christ, and have been a struggling disciple ever since. There is no one like Jesus, no one!

6:02 PM  
Blogger Kansas Bob said...

I just had to amen this from Chreyl:

"There is no one like Jesus, no one!

6:04 PM  
Blogger Alan said...

I was tired of the life I was living. I was lonely. And I didn't want to end up where so many others on that track end up. That's what motivated me to start looking. When I found it, well, the motivation got a lot deeper.

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Stan said...

Wonderful questions.
I was at first motivated by fear of dying and going to hell but as I matured my faith got a lot more rich and personal. Thank you for asking us this question. I really was encouraged by Kansas Bob's testimony. It brought me to tears as I read it.

9:11 AM  
Blogger Wade Tannehill said...

What motivated me was reading through the Gospels and discovering that Jesus offered a better way to do life that made sense.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Everyone is differnt. For me the Holy Spirit's call came in the form of the Fathers love. This pulled me to the cross.

8:29 PM  
OpenID kingdomseeking said...

After my father died from cancer, I became very aware that death is something we all face. Couple that with the fundamentalist view of God's wrath and I was open to the gospel. Fortunately the congregation my sister invited me to preached Jesus and the grace he offered rather than the mumbo-jumbo legalistic fundamentalism I grew up hearing.

But why have I continued in my faith? The death of a son and a younger brother had a way of nearly destroying my faith. It was the discovery that God was working to bring about my redemption and would finish that task (Rom 8) that kept my very fragile faith from being destoyed. I wanted a God whom I could understand in every way and whom I could know exactly everything he does and why he does it. That view of God is not compatible with suffering, because God never gives any reason specific suffering and even if he did, it probably would not remove the pain. But discovering that God was at work to bring about my redemption and that he would complete this task even if I cannot understand how or in what way and what time frame... I learned to accept God as he is, holy mystery and holy redeemer. To whom else could I turn to? For where else is there any true hope that liberates us from a suffering world of sin and death?

That is why I still live by faith in God. Glory be to God the Father, Son, and Spirit.


9:45 PM  
Blogger Terry said...

I needed forgiveness. I knew that I had mistreated many people and God. I knew that I was wrong in just about every sense that I could think of. I knew that I needed God. As I read the Bible and came to believe what I was reading, I knew that I needed to follow Jesus the Savior.

10:05 PM  
Blogger NaNcY said...

i was just motivated to come and tell you that you are a real sweet sweetie.

10:18 PM  
Blogger Royce Ogle said...

Behind all the indicators we can observe is a loving God who draws men and women to Himself. For some it was a simple "Follow me.." for another it was being stricken with blindness and a personal confrontation by Christ.

Then bottom line is, God saves sinners. "You who were dead in your tresspasses and sins has God made alive...By grace are you saved.." A dead man only contributes one corpse to the equation.

A cousins husband sat with me at his kitchen table and told me of God's gracious offer based on what Christ had done for me long, long ago and my heart was broken, I became deeply convinced of my sinfulness, and threw myself upon God's mercy and He kept his word. Almost 45 years later I have been kept by His mighty power.

Grace to you,

12:12 AM  
Blogger Mork said...

I found out an old lady was praying for over a few years - I had to give up - she sure was not going shut up!!!

4:18 AM  
Blogger Adam Gonnerman said...

Fear of death. Not dying or being dead, but having to possibly face God. I noticed early on how fast time goes by.

3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that it can be several reasons that you mention. I was motivated by fear of not wanting to go to hell and the love of God. Great thoughts and questions for us all.

8:11 AM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

By just simply coming to the end of myself in a kind of gentle way, a quiet conversion of sorts, from a rebellious but ultimately empty teenager, into the kingdom of Christ.

Not really fear, or hope or love, it seems. Maybe more hope than anything else, and just the power of the gospel.

9:20 AM  
Blogger Bird said...

What motivated me was freedom from sin.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Gord said...

Good question.

I believe that being truly sorry for our sins is what leads us to Christ and produces fruit in our lives.

"Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done." - 2 Cor. 7:10-11

Also, it is the kindness of God that draws us to him.

" you think you will escape God's judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?" - Romans 2:3-4

We all have our unique stories, but I think these biblcal insights show a commonality to all those who are truly his.

"No one can come to me (Jesus speaking here) unless the Father who sent me draws him..." - John 6:44


1:28 PM  
Blogger The Walk said...

I think it was a series of small steps, little stepping stones through life. A background in the church laid the foundation. And then, when I was twelve...low self esteem, awkward, confused...I reached a turning point in my relationship with Him. There was a kid a year younger than me who always seemed to be getting under my skin. One day we got in a fight. I watched as his dad put his arm over his shoulder, spoke to him so kindly, so lovingly. I wanted a dad so much. And when I saw how that dad loved his son, it made me think that maybe God could love me, too.

Still walking the stepping stones...

1:30 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

I'll be perfectly honest; when I was a young teen I was seriously scared of going to h-e-double-hockey-sticks. I was frightened so bad that one night I sat up alone in my house terrified for my soul (my mom had died a few years earlier and my dad was on the graveyard shift). I called the preacher and he came and took me to his house. He talked to me a while and believe it or not didn't dunk me that night. It was a year or two later when that fear had lessened and the love had increased that I finally went forward and obeyed the Gospel. I still had many years of failure and stupidity before I can say that a real relationship developed between Jesus and me. I’m still working on my part, but he is long-suffering. Thank you Jesus.


11:22 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

It is wonderful reading everyone's story. Thank you so much guys for your willingness to share how God has worked in your lives. :-)

2:07 PM  
Blogger Candle (C & L) said...

Preacherman - Good question - I was raised "in the church". I was baptized at age 12 because I knew it was the right thing to do and my friend who was being baptized encouraged me to do it now.

I am confident of my adoption into God's family but my commitment to walking as a child of God has not always been strong as it should.

But I have remained "faithful" because any other option seemed to offer so much less in terms of hope & peace.

What I'm most interested in these days is why others -- including my children -- who were raised on Bible stories and "going to church" opted to choose another path. I am gradually beginning to have that conversation with them but I'm not really sure how to proceed.

Good question and lots of informative answers

God Bless

2:49 PM  
Blogger Mork said...

I've shared what motivated me in 79 - but what I'm thinking is - what still motivates me?

7:57 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Great point Mork.
Candle (C&L), thanks for sharing it with us.
God bless sll.
It is so encouraging.
I have been uplifted as I have seen what God has done and how people are motivated.
I welcome more testimonies.


8:28 PM  
Blogger Rubber Turkey said...

It was fear. Pure fear. Now I know better. There is no saving.

I was 14 when I was baptized.

I am much smarter now.

Fear is what made me a Christian.

And there is no redemption from the human condition.

We are all fooling ourselves otherwise.

1:49 AM  
Blogger Joel said...

This is a really intricate question, and pretty theologically loaded as well. Doctrinally you either align under the 'arminianist' or 'calvinist' perspective. The first being that you choose Jesus by your own will, the second being that God chose you, He gave you the motivation (faith) to choose Him. Read Romans 9 for an overview of this issue.

Personally, I believe that as a sinful creature, I could never choose God by my own accord and that God through His grace enabled me to choose Him. He providentially used events in my life to point me to Him so that I may testify to His Glory.

Ultimately, the doctrines of free will and election shouldn't be divisive among the body of Christ, what really matters is that Jesus lived the life we could not live and died the death that we should of died.

Grace and peace to you.

3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi honey
Hope you had a great day. I'll call you tomorrow.
Mrs. Preacherman

11:36 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Thanks sweetie.

11:45 PM  
Blogger Neva said...

I wanted what Christian have. My dad was a minister and I grew up surrounded by godly people. They were loving and strong and full of hope. I wanted that, too.


12:29 AM  
Blogger John Frye said...

It was a caring 5th grade friend who explained the plan of salvation to me when I was about to enter 7th grade. The classic "good neighbor."

10:15 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

It was a lifelong journey for me. This journey included fear, love, people and all of the things that you mentioned. I knew that it was time when I realized that I was not the one in control.

2:56 PM  
Anonymous steve v. said...

John Frye - that has got to be the most powerful testimony I've heard in a long time. Granted I haven't read everyone's here, but wow! Unless we change and become like children!

Kinney - I don't have much to add other than I wanted to be like my dad. He was the real live example of Christ that I could touch in this world. He was truly Christ-like so I followed his example that turns out to be the exact same example Christ set.

How are you doing? I just noticed that it has been a while. And was wondering if you are doing well - physically and spiritualy.

Peace and grace from our Father.

2:16 PM  
Blogger Milly said...

Need, I need His love and forgiveness.

3:46 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

I am sorry I haven't posted a new post in a while. I have been extremely busy with end of school activities and yes, I have been having migraines.
I appreciate everyone giving their testimonies. It has been so encouraging and powerful. Thank you everyone for sharing your faith here and with others.
God bless each one of you.

5:52 PM  
Blogger jeleasure said...

Hello Preacherman,
Thank you for the pleasant comment left by you on my blog page, today.
I'm very impressed by the honest question comming out of this blog. Many people take being a Christian for granted. It is something they do, but not live. I do not believe people intend to not live the life. I just think we do not know how. This is what I hope to find change in, in my lifetime. I hope that when people see the opportunity to be a Christian, what draws them is the love of God. And that they are changed when they realize people are what matter.
Jim Leasure

9:43 PM  
Blogger Paul Ford said...

I was raised in the church, and became a Christian early in life. Though for several years, followed my own wants and wishes and served myself. After changing churches, I discovered that Christians can be happy by serving God, by serving others. I admittedly am motivated by fear. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. I blogged on this topic a few months ago with a blog topic called: What Motivates You?

11:05 PM  
Blogger Deano said...

Yeah I was quite young but I'll still put it down to supernatural. I can't deny that God spoke to me, and that he made his love totally visible to me.

It was Jesus who came and showed me he was the only way, and that was the only motivation I needed

5:52 AM  
Blogger Lill said...

These are wonderful posts, I will be back to comment and thanks for coming to my page even when I was missing in action!

4:17 PM  
Blogger thoughts of a person on a journey said...

hey preacherman - thanks for the comment left on my blog! I have been looking on yours and I like what I am reading.

I was motivated by wanting to be like one of my sisters, then fear when I was scared I was 'backsliding'.

Now I am motivated by love - the love of God for me - which means the love I ought to have for my neighbour as well as myself.

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