90 Bible Verses about Motives

Matthew 6:1-18 ESV / 193 helpful votes

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. ...

Proverbs 21:2 ESV / 189 helpful votes

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.

Galatians 1:10 ESV / 143 helpful votes

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

1 Thessalonians 2:4 ESV / 116 helpful votes

But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.

Philippians 2:3 ESV / 96 helpful votes

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Matthew 6:1 ESV / 80 helpful votes

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

1 Timothy 1:5 ESV / 77 helpful votes

The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

1 Samuel 16:7 ESV / 73 helpful votes

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

1 Corinthians 4:5 ESV / 67 helpful votes

Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.

1 John 3:12 ESV / 56 helpful votes

We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous.

Proverbs 16:2 ESV / 48 helpful votes

All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.

James 4:1-17 ESV / 46 helpful votes

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? ...

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 ESV / 45 helpful votes

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.

1 John 4:1 ESV / 36 helpful votes

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Genesis 4:7 ESV / 33 helpful votes

If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”

Colossians 3:17 ESV / 30 helpful votes

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Matthew 10:28 ESV / 23 helpful votes

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Colossians 3:23 ESV / 22 helpful votes

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,

1 Thessalonians 2:6-12 ESV / 20 helpful votes

Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. ...

1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 ESV / 19 helpful votes

For you yourselves know, brothers, that our coming to you was not in vain. But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict. For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. ...

Matthew 18:1-35 ESV / 19 helpful votes

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, ...

1 Chronicles 28:9 ESV / 19 helpful votes

“And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever.

1 John 1:9 ESV / 18 helpful votes

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Ephesians 6:6 ESV / 18 helpful votes

Not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,

Galatians 5:13-14 ESV / 17 helpful votes

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Philippians 4:8 ESV / 16 helpful votes

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

1 John 2:27 ESV / 14 helpful votes

But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.

Numbers 32:1-33 ESV / 14 helpful votes

Now the people of Reuben and the people of Gad had a very great number of livestock. And they saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, and behold, the place was a place for livestock. So the people of Gad and the people of Reuben came and said to Moses and to Eleazar the priest and to the chiefs of the congregation, “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo, and Beon, the land that the Lord struck down before the congregation of Israel, is a land for livestock, and your servants have livestock.” And they said, “If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants for a possession. Do not take us across the Jordan.” ...

Psalm 106:8 ESV / 13 helpful votes

Yet he saved them for his name's sake, that he might make known his mighty power.

James 5:1-20 ESV / 12 helpful votes

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. ...

1 Timothy 3:1-16 ESV / 12 helpful votes

The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? ...

Job 2:4 ESV / 12 helpful votes

Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life.

Job 1:9-11 ESV / 12 helpful votes

Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.”

Matthew 5:22 ESV / 10 helpful votes

But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

1 John 4:1-6 ESV / 9 helpful votes

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. ...

Ezekiel 36:21 ESV / 9 helpful votes

But I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations to which they came.

2 Kings 5:5-7 ESV / 9 helpful votes

And the king of Syria said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So he went, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing. And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which read, “When this letter reaches you, know that I have sent to you Naaman my servant, that you may cure him of his leprosy.” And when the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Only consider, and see how he is seeking a quarrel with me.”

1 Timothy 2:9 ESV / 8 helpful votes

Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire,

Luke 16:19-31 ESV / 7 helpful votes

“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. ...

Job 2:5 ESV / 7 helpful votes

But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.”

Joshua 22:9-34 ESV / 7 helpful votes

So the people of Reuben and the people of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh returned home, parting from the people of Israel at Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan, to go to the land of Gilead, their own land of which they had possessed themselves by command of the Lord through Moses. And when they came to the region of the Jordan that is in the land of Canaan, the people of Reuben and the people of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh built there an altar by the Jordan, an altar of imposing size. And the people of Israel heard it said, “Behold, the people of Reuben and the people of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh have built the altar at the frontier of the land of Canaan, in the region about the Jordan, on the side that belongs to the people of Israel.” And when the people of Israel heard of it, the whole assembly of the people of Israel gathered at Shiloh to make war against them. Then the people of Israel sent to the people of Reuben and the people of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh, in the land of Gilead, Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, ...

Philippians 1:18 ESV / 6 helpful votes

What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,

Ezekiel 36:22 ESV / 6 helpful votes

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came.

1 Chronicles 19:3 ESV / 6 helpful votes

But the princes of the Ammonites said to Hanun, “Do you think, because David has sent comforters to you, that he is honoring your father? Have not his servants come to you to search and to overthrow and to spy out the land?”

2 Samuel 10:2 ESV / 6 helpful votes

And David said, “I will deal loyally with Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father dealt loyally with me.” So David sent by his servants to console him concerning his father. And David's servants came into the land of the Ammonites.

James 4:3 ESV / 4 helpful votes

You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

Luke 16:1-31 ESV / 4 helpful votes

He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ ...

Isaiah 64:6 ESV / 4 helpful votes

We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

James 4:17 ESV / 3 helpful votes

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

1 Timothy 2:4 ESV / 3 helpful votes

Who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Philippians 4:19 ESV / 3 helpful votes

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 6:5-8 ESV / 3 helpful votes

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.

Luke 9:48 ESV / 3 helpful votes

And said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”

Luke 6:37 ESV / 3 helpful votes

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;

Matthew 7:1 ESV / 3 helpful votes

“Judge not, that you be not judged.

Jeremiah 17:10 ESV / 3 helpful votes

“I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”

2 Samuel 10:3 ESV / 3 helpful votes

But the princes of the Ammonites said to Hanun their lord, “Do you think, because David has sent comforters to you, that he is honoring your father? Has not David sent his servants to you to search the city and to spy it out and to overthrow it?”

Revelation 2:23 ESV / 2 helpful votes

And I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works.

Revelation 1:1-20 ESV / 2 helpful votes

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near. John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood ...

Hebrews 4:12 ESV / 2 helpful votes

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

2 Timothy 2:22 ESV / 2 helpful votes

So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

2 Timothy 1:7 ESV / 2 helpful votes

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Philippians 4:15-17 ESV / 2 helpful votes

And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit.

Philippians 4:13 ESV / 2 helpful votes

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Ephesians 3:20 ESV / 2 helpful votes

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,

Galatians 6:7 ESV / 2 helpful votes

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.

Galatians 5:16 ESV / 2 helpful votes

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

2 Corinthians 9:8 ESV / 2 helpful votes

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

2 Corinthians 9:7 ESV / 2 helpful votes

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

2 Corinthians 5:10 ESV / 2 helpful votes

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

1 Corinthians 15:23 ESV / 2 helpful votes

But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV / 2 helpful votes

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 4:4 ESV / 2 helpful votes

For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.

Acts 17:10-11 ESV / 2 helpful votes

The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

Luke 16:15 ESV / 2 helpful votes

And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

Luke 14:28-30 ESV / 2 helpful votes

For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’

Matthew 16:23 ESV / 2 helpful votes

But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

Matthew 7:11 ESV / 2 helpful votes

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

Matthew 7:1-2 ESV / 2 helpful votes

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

Matthew 6:31-32 ESV / 2 helpful votes

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.

Matthew 5:10 ESV / 2 helpful votes

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Jeremiah 29:11 ESV / 2 helpful votes

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Proverbs 21:5 ESV / 2 helpful votes

The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.

Proverbs 14:12 ESV / 2 helpful votes

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

Proverbs 13:25 ESV / 2 helpful votes

The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, but the belly of the wicked suffers want.

Proverbs 13:21 ESV / 2 helpful votes

Disaster pursues sinners, but the righteous are rewarded with good.

Proverbs 10:4 ESV / 2 helpful votes

A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.

Proverbs 3:9-10 ESV / 2 helpful votes

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

Joshua 1:8 ESV / 2 helpful votes

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Genesis 2:15 ESV / 2 helpful votes

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

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