I have heard a lot of reasons over the years to do good things and live a good life: it will benefit you in the long run, God commanded us to, good things come to those who do good, God blesses the righteous, you can’t go to heaven unless you follow God’s commands for your life… The list goes on and on and on. Most of them have good intentions and some of them have good theology. However, most of them lead to more guilt than freedom, some of them are nothing more than legalism or prosperity gospel, and just about all of them give you a quick burst to do good but then leave you exhausted, frustrated, and disenchanted with false expectations and dwindling motivation.
Ephesians 5:1-2 gives us a different reason. “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us”. As we understand the true nature of the Gospel: God loved us so much He sent His son to die for us so that we could be with Him for eternity (See John 3:16) this should be the only motivation we could EVER need! Motivation that sets us on a marathon race right alongside Jesus with the Holy Spirit guiding us the whole way and God visibly at the end running toward us. Why do good and live a good life? Because you’re loved. More than you’ll ever understand. Live out of that love. Love others out of that love.