From the Message, “What’s in it for Me?”
Sunday, October 9, 2021
Matthew 19:27 Then Peter responded to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you. So what will there be for us?”
Peter and the disciples asked a powerful question that has everything to do with our lives today, In Matthew chapter 19 and verse 27, Peter, being the spokesperson for the rest of the disciples, asked the question,
“What will there be for us?”
It is the question for those who have sold out for Christ!
Are you a little uncomfortable with the question?
We have been taught that as Christians we are to be selfless and piety requires that we at least act like we don’t want anything for ourselves. Is that really the message of the Bible?
Never do the scriptures ignore the fact that you and I have desires.
The scriptures teach that our desires and ambitions need to be sanctified by the work of the Spirit in our lives.
Psalms 37:4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
I love how the Message Bible states the truth of Philippians 2:3-4.
Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
No where does scripture tell us to ignore our desires rather scripture commands us to place others above ourselves and follow the divine example of Christ.
Still unconvinced? Let’s look at 1 Timothy 3:1
This saying is trustworthy: “If anyone aspires to be an overseer, he desires a noble work.”
The only ambition that is forbidden is selfish ambition.
Hopefully you are a little more comfortable with the question, “What’s in it for me?”
In order to motivate us, you and I must see some benefit to us personally.
It is that benefit that inspires us to look past the pain of the moment to something deeper and more satisfying.
Outside of Jesus Christ, perhaps no one suffered more than Paul.
How did Paul endure all the imprisonments, five times receiving 39 lashes, beatings with rods, one stoning, three times shipwrecked, adrift in the ocean for a day and a night, the hardships of traveling, dangers from robbers, danger from Jews, danger from Gentiles, sleepless nights, hunger, thirst, freezing, and the daily pressures in caring for the churches.
Paul knew that there was a reward. He had respect toward the prize.
The Apostle Paul looked forward to the personal benefit to preaching the gospel.
“I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus. Therefore, let all of us who are mature think this way.”
In 1 Corinthians 9:26 Paul in describes his Christian life as one who is running a race with the desire to win the prize. He was not a boxer who was flailing at air.
At the conclusion of his life, Paul uses that same language to declare that he had finished his race, fought a good fight and kept the faith.
Paul tells us that the purpose of his ambition is to receive a crown of righteousness from God the righteous judge (2 Timothy 4:7-8)
Our ultimate example is Christ himself.
Hebrews 12:2 keeping our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Why and how did Christ endure the shame and embarrassment of the cross?
He was looking forward to the joy that was to be his when he had redeemed us back to himself, purchased our salvation and once again was seated at the right hand of the Father.
John chapter 17 tells us that Jesus desired greatly for us to be with him to behold glory that the Father had given him before the world began. (John 17:24).
Are you ready to ask the question?
Lord, What’s in it for me?
Stay tuned for Part 2 . . .