In a now famous hall of fame speech Deion Sanders told us exactly what motivated him to become one of the greatest football players of all time. What kept him sprinting when he was exhausted?
What got him up at four am every morning when he was tired? What gave him the extra strength to do ten more push-ups when the average person would just give up? The answer? His Mama. He said,
I was ashamed of my Mama. My Mama worked in a hospital. She pushed a cart in a hospital. I was ashamed of my Mama, who sacrificed everything for me to make sure I was best-dressed in school. One of my friends in high school saw her pushing a cart and clowned me because of my Mama. So I made a pledge to myself that I don’t care what it takes, I’m not gonna do anything illegal, but my Mama would never have to work another day of her life.
As motivated as Deion Sanders was, his motivation paled in comparison to the disciples. Peter, John and the rest were arguably the most motivated people in history. They were bold, courageous and literally turning the world upside down.
Then you add John 20:18 and it changes everything. Jesus says,
Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go.
Jesus tells Peter that he will die on a cross. That is the only way to explain that verse. Well, reading his five sermons in Acts (Acts 2:14-39; Acts 3:11-4:4; Acts 4:8-12; Acts 5:29-32; Acts 10:34-43) takes a whole new meaning when you include the fact that he knew he could die at any moment. This could be his last sermon.
So what motivated these guys? How can we be as bold as they were?
Well in order to see what motivated them we don’t need to look further than the first eleven verses of the book of Acts. Here are four powerful truths that made the disciples the boldest individuals in history.
They were chosen by Christ
… until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. (Acts 1:2)
Luke right away reminds us that these were the guys who were hand picked by Jesus. Throughout Jesus’ ministry He loved reminding them of this truth. In John 15:16 he says, “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit…” Not only were they thankful to Christ for choosing them, but they were motivated by the fact that their Creator hand picked them for a task, the huge task of going out into the world and making disciples.
The truth is that it is no different for us. Christ literally chooses you as well, for salvation, but he doesn’t stop there. He chose you before the foundation of the world in order that you would be an ambassador for him (2 Cor 5:20). He has hand picked you to be his mouthpiece and to glorify him with your life. His incredible love towards us should compel us to boldly proclaim Him to the world (2 Cor 5:14).
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