Prohibitions against bad behavior rarely motivate us to do good. Some actually stir up a desire to disobey. Tell Johnny to stay away from the cookie jar and you’ll soon hear its lid rattling. The strongest motivators of good conduct are those in which we have a personal investment.

A school janitor posted a sign in the front schoolyard that read: Keep Off the Grass. But the children still trampled down the turf.

Then a fourth-grade class had an idea. They decided that each child would be given a crocus bulb to plant along the edge of the sidewalk in the fall. As winter drew to a close, the children eagerly watched for the first signs of spring. What a power those hidden bulbs had to keep dozens of little feet on the right path.

We too need a positive motivator to keep our feet on the right path. If our goal is to be able to stand before Christ with confidence and without shame when He comes again, we will want to obey Him (1 John 2:28). As we anticipate that day, and as we become more Christlike right now, we will grow in our confidence.

Lord, help us to obey You so that we will be confident and unashamed if You should return today.