Introduction: After going through all of the lessons so far, you
likely feel that you need to witness to others. You need to do
something to advance the Kingdom of God. But after you come home
from work (or school) and you fix a meal and eat and do some other
chores, you feel like just sitting down and resting. Day after day
is just like that. Finally, you feel guilty because you look back
and see that you have done nothing! Is guilt bad? If we are to be
motivated by love instead of guilt, how can we change guilt to love?
Let’s dive into the Bible and see what we can learn about our
motivation to witness!

  1. A Drive

    1. Read John 14:15. When you read the introduction, did you
      answer “That is me!” If so, how do you feel now? (The
      implication is that if you do not make time to advance
      the Kingdom of God, you don’t really love Jesus. That
      makes us feel guilty.)

    2. Read Philippians 1:15-16. We looked at this text a couple
      of weeks ago. What does Paul say about having a motive
      other than love to share the gospel? (He acknowledges
      that you can be motivated by something other than love.)

    3. Read Philippians 1:17-18. Does our motive to share
      matter? We feel guilty, so we share. Is that bad? (No,
      not as far as sharing the gospel goes.)

      1. Read Matthew 6:5. What does this suggest about
        witnessing with the wrong motives? (Jesus suggests
        that the wrong motive harms us.)

  2. The Right Drive

    1. The problem for me (and I’ll guess for many of my
      readers), is how to exchange guilt, ambition, or
      competition as witnessing motives for a love motive.
      Let’s go back and re-read John 14:15 and then add John
      14:16-18. What has this to do with Jesus’ statement that
      if we love we will obey? (I think Jesus realizes that
      love obedience is not easy (to put it mildly)if we are
      just gritting our teeth and saying, “I love, therefore I
      must obey!” We end up admitting: “Okay, I don’t love, so
      I have guilt, therefore I must obey!” Because of this
      practical problem Jesus sends someone who “lives with you
      and will be in you.”)

      1. What do you think this “lives with you and will be
        in you” means, as a practical matter? (It has to be
        a reference to a new addition to our thinking and
        our attitude.)

    2. Read John 14:19-21. Just in case you thought the “love
      and obey” statement had nothing to do with the Holy
      Spirit living in us, this makes the connection obvious.
      What do you think Jesus means when He says that He will
      “show [Himself] to [us]?” (We will be aware of Jesus’
      presence in our life when others would not be aware.)

    3. Read John 14:22. What do you think is the answer to this?

    4. Read John 14:23-24. This is Jesus’ answer to the question
      of Judas. What does Jesus teach us?(Those who have given
      their allegiance to God (love) stand on different ground
      than the world. God rewards this love by showing us love
      and sending the Holy Spirit to live in us.)

    5. Read John 14:25-26. What is the role of the Holy Spirit
      when it comes to our obedience? (The Spirit both teaches
      and reminds us.)

      1. How many times have you missed something when you
        were not paying sufficient attention?

        1. Think about the last time you were given a
          speeding ticket by the police. Did you know
          you were speeding and just got caught? Or,
          were you not paying attention, had no idea you
          were speeding, and got pulled over? (Most
          likely you were not paying attention. So many
          things in life escape our notice because we are
          not paying attention. The Holy Spirit helps us
          to notice.)

      2. Let’s revisit our introduction. You get home, feed
        the family, do some chores and are too tired to do
        something else to advance the Kingdom of God. How
        does what we just learned about the Holy Spirit
        change the picture? (What about all of our
        relationships during the day and evening? If God
        reminds us (“pay attention”) to the opportunities to
        advance the gospel, if the Holy Spirit teaches us
        how to be constantly nudging others towards the
        Kingdom of Heaven, then perhaps we will have already
        done a great deal of Kingdom work by the end of the

  3. Understanding the Transformed Drive

    1. Perhaps you are concerned about the mystic nature of what
      we have been discussing. We know that gritting our teeth
      is not going to give us a love motive to witness. At the
      same time, you may want more detail than just waiting for
      the Holy Spirit to give us a love drive and make us more
      alert. Of special concern is that some of the texts we
      just read ( John 14:23) make it appear that love comes
      before the Holy Spirit comes to live in us.

    2. Let’s look at some practical lessons. Read James 2:8-11.
      James starts out talking about love, but ends talking
      about murder. What is James saying about love? (His point
      is that obedience is not easy. If we show favoritism, we
      sin. If we commit adultery, we sin. If we murder, we
      sin. It is not easy to avoid sin because a single, minor,
      stumble (favoritism) gets us in the same sort of sin
      trouble as murder.)

    3. Read James 2:12. Given what James just said, what law
      gives freedom? (Read Romans 8:1-3. James suggests that
      keeping the law perfectly is not possible. Paul tells us
      that Jesus kept the law on our behalf. This is what James
      means when he refers to “the law that gives freedom.”)

    4. Read Romans 8:4-9. What is God looking for in us? (To
      have our minds set on what God desires. This is the
      practical work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.)

    5. Read James 2:12-17. What does James say that God has
      shown to us? (Mercy!) What should we show to others?

      1. Let’s get back to guilt. After reading what James
        and Paul say about the law, do we need to feel
        guilt? (No! No amount of witnessing will make us
        righteous. We cannot say, “I failed to earn my place
        in the Kingdom today because I failed to witness.”
        Jesus makes us righteous. If we are motivated by
        guilt, we don’t understand the gospel.)

      2. How then does James hook the work of mercy to faith?
        (He seems to say mercy is required.)

      3. Isn’t that contrary to salvation by grace alone?
        (Yes, on the surface it seems to be a contradiction.
        Looking deeper removes the contradiction. Jesus
        saves me. I’m not compelled to witness to earn
        something Jesus has just given me. However,
        salvation by grace alone is a tremendous act of
        mercy. How can I neglect to show mercy to others?)

    6. Read James 2:18-20. Is James wrong when he writes that
      “faith without deeds is useless?” (Read Romans 6:12-14.
      The distinction here may seem small, but it is of
      infinite importance. James is not saying that our deeds
      create our faith. Rather, he is saying that when we truly
      understand God’s mercy to us (we who cannot obey without
      stumbling), then a proper attitude, an attitude of mercy
      towards others, follows. Just like you can be downstream
      and test the purity of the water upstream, so you can
      look at the deeds of someone to judge the authenticity of
      their faith.)

    7. Read Romans 10:1-4. Can we be zealous for God without
      having a proper understanding of this? (Paul says,

      1. What is the key to salvation? (Jesus. Righteousness
        is available to all who believe. Keeping the law is
        not required for salvation.)

        1. How do you feel when you read this? (Liberated!
          I have been shown the ultimate mercy!)

        2. Do you want to share this? (This is the “mercy
          motivation.” It is the love motivation. God
          showed mercy to us by saving us by His life,
          death and resurrection. If we truly believe and
          understand this, we have our motivation to
          witness! The Holy Spirit convicts us of this
          truth. The Holy Spirit reminds us of this
          truth. The Holy Spirit points out
          opportunities to share this truth. Romans 8:5:
          “those who live in accordance with the Spirit
          have their minds set on what the Spirit

    8. Friend, you can be motivated by guilt to witness, but
      what a terrible thing that is for you. Jesus saved you
      from your sins. He gave you eternal life when you
      believed. He delivered you from guilt! If you believe
      this, no one has to urge you to witness. Will you
      confess your sins and accept Jesus’ life, death and
      resurrection on your behalf? You can be liberated right
      now! And you can joyfully share your liberation with

  4. Next week: Let the Church Know.