One of my favorite Scripture verses occurs in the opening chapter of the Bible: “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.'” – Genesis 1:28
Does God want us to be fruitful? Absolutely. Does God bless people because they are fruitful? No!
Look again at the sequence in Genesis 1:28 … God blessed Adam and Eve and then told them to be fruitful. The blessing came first. The affirmation of their worth did not rest upon their fruitfulness. Instead, their fruitfulness depended upon them knowing their self-worth. The knowledge of their blessedness fueled their capacity to subdue the earth.
There are many it seems, who imagine the message of Christianity flows similar to this … Love the Lord, do good, give generously, live right, serve God … and the Lord will really love you and bless you.
Fortunately, this is not the essence of Christianity! The true gospel certainly contains these elements but in a different sequence … God really loves you and has blessed you … therefore, love the Lord, do good, give generously, live right and serve God.
God does not motivate by withholding love. He does so by giving love.
1 John 4:19:
“We love Him because He first loved us.”