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Rooted (discipleship)  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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ST. - then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold,
we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have
therefore?
TITLE: WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME
This thought has Penetrated the minds of many believers as well as
unbelievers. There are some that are here this morning that are
asking this very question, perhaps you are on the Brink of decision
making -- making a commitment to Christ but the question that Peter
posed some time ago has entered your mind, perhaps like King
Agrippa, after Gospel was presented to him – You are almost
persuaded, but you are still wondering this morning before you make
the most important decision of your life What’s in it for me?
Let’s set the scenario this morning in an effort to help understand
this question that Peter asked, let’s take the time to place it in
its Proper Context. It is important to understand event that led to
this question. Mark tells us in his account that a Rich Young Ruler
came running to Jesus, this young man was feeling pretty good about
himself. He approached Jesus with an expectation that Jesus would
Commend him, for his Behavior and Adherence to the Law.
- "Good Master What Good Thing Shall I Do, That I May Have Eternal
Life?"
- Don’t Murder - Don’t Commit Adultery - Don’t Steal - Don’t
Bear False Witness – Honor Parents – Love your Neighbor as Thyself.
- Lord I have done all these things since I was a little boy
- Just like he Ran to speak with Jesus - at this point He should
have Run Away – Run back home or wherever he came from - while
the "getting was good"
- He received the response he was looking for but did not have sense
enough than to leave at this point
- Felt pretty proud of himself and asked a second question - "Do I
Lack In Any Area?"
Let me tell you my brothers and my sisters, it is a sad thing to
think that we have "arrived." It is a dangerous space to be when we
become "self-righteous" – think that we do everything right in the
eyes of God and in the eyes of man. Jesus responds to this second
question and tells this rich young man that he should "sell that he
has and help the poor and he will have treasures in heaven." And
then Jesus adds, or actually extends an invitation to come and
follow Him. You know what happened you have read or heard this text
before. This is a lively and active passage of scripture, we are
told that Jesus loved this young man, but was disappointed that this
rich young ruler loved his money - his position more then he was
willing to love Jesus. After seeing as well as hearing the
conversation between Jesus and the rich young ruler, who refused to
give up all and follow Christ, apparently the disciples had a
discussion among themselves in reference to rewards and prominence
in the Kingdom of Heaven. Remember with me that it was the
disciples that heard basically the same invitation as this young man
but disciples elected to respond differently. It was the disciples
that left all to follow Jesus and become fishers of men. In the
discussion that grew out of their Reaction to Jesus’ dialogue with
the rich young ruler we are now presented with Peter’s question.
Although it was Peter that asked the question, he was clearly
speaking for the Rest of the Disciples. We understand this fact by
close examination of the Lord’s answer. Look at the beginning of
Vs. 28 "AND JESUS SAID UNTO THEM…" Since Jesus took the time to
address all 12 and not just Peter who once again elected to take the
lead, it is apparent to us that the 12 had been in discussion or
even debate and following the dialogue between them - the question
is now delivered – What’s in it for me?
At first glance we would think that this was a foolish Question, it
seems as though Peter’s Statement and Question are very self-
promoting. The question, however, is more his seeking reassurance
that they have indeed tried to follow him, that they have made the
right choice. They had, in fact, left everything to follow Jesus.
While they had not always understood nor had they always selected
the proper course, they had still sacrificed everything to follow
Him. Wonder have we sacrificed all - have we Counted the Cost -
Willing to Follow God and not attempt to lead Him? We should not be
to quick to discount the great sacrifice the 12 had already made for
Jesus, and to be honest when Jesus was crucified, it had to make
their devastation all the more severe. This was a legitimate
question and Jesus took the time to graciously answer it in lieu of
the fact that a man had just chosen Possessions over Him. It was
the disciples that made the correct choice to follow, unlike this
rich young man that now had his back Turned to Jesus and still
Walking Further Away.
- Jesus called the 12 one by one
- Follow Me and I will make you to become fishers of men
- Straightway forsook their nets and followed Him
- Left their IRS positions
- Left Family Business
- They followed with Sacrificial Obedience
At the time of this summons, Jesus did not mention anything about
rewards – matter of fact when Jesus sent the 12 out according to
Marks account the instructions were simple - ST. "AND
HE CALLED UNTO HIM THE TWELVE, AND BEGAN TO SEND THEM FORTH BY TWO
AND TWO; AND GAVE THEM POWER OVER UNCLEAN SPIRITS; AND COMMANDED
THEM THAT THEY SHOULD TAKE NOTHING FOR THEIR JOURNEY, SAVE A STAFF
ONLY; NO SCRIPT, NO BREAD, NO MONEY IN THEIR PURSE: BUT BE SHOD WITH
SANDALS; AND NOT PUT ON TWO COATS." This was the first time they
had gone out without Christ, and it therefore constituted an
advanced step in their training -- outlined the Standard for their
Ministry. I don’t know about you this morning but I can at a
minimum relate and understand where Peter’s question was coming
from. Jesus also understood this because He did not Rebuke Peter,
instead, like He had done so many others who are desperate for His
Care and Cure, he affirms Peter, just as He affirms us today.
Though the cost of following Jesus may appear to be very high, the
reward of following Him is infinite beyond measure, both in this
world and in the world to come.
Those who follow Christ must forsake all and follow Him. This is a
very difficult thing in which to do. I have watched many a Christian
struggle with the surrendering of their Will and give in to the Will
of God. This is why Bible Study is not full on Wednesday Night,
this is why Prayer Service is not well attended, this is why we can
not rise early on Sunday to attend Sunday School hour, because we
have not forsaken all to follow Him. When we learn to forsake and
follow, Jesus will become that pearl of great price for which we
would gladly sell all that we have. ST. "THE
KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS LIKE UNTO A MERCHANT MAN, SEEKING GOODLY
PEARLS: WHO, WHEN HE HAD FOUND ONE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE, WENT AND
SOLD ALL THAT HE HAD, AND BOUGHT IT." What hinders this process of
commitment and forsaking all is our love of the World. If we are
not able to move beyond the question What’s in it for me? than we
are still caught up in the cares of this life, Jesus reminds us
that "no man can serve two masters…" I don’t believe there is
anything more dangerous to a man’s soul than riches and wealth. It
was J.C. Ryle that wrote:
"FEW OF OUR LORD’S SAYING SOUND MORE STARTLING THAN THIS; FEW RUN
MORE COUNTER TO THE OPINIONS AND PREJUDICES OF MANKIND; FEW ARE SO
LITTLE BELIEVED; YET, THIS SAYING IS TRUE, AND WORTHY OF ALL
ACCEPTATION. RICHES, WHICH ALL DESIRE TO OBTAIN, - RICHES, FOR
WHICH MEN LABOR AND TOIL…RICHES ARE THE MOST PERILOUS POSSESSION!"
We need to make sure we have Laid our Treasure in Heaven. God will
not measure a man by the money he has been able to save and put in
the bank, but He will measure a man by the amount of Grace he places
in his Heart. Don’t get me wrong this morning – I am not suggesting
that God desires us to be poor, I am not suggesting that at all.
What I am saying is that our first desire must be to Serve God, we
must have a real hunger and thirst after righteousness. God can
cause Kings to bow down and Worship - God can cause rich men to
cast their riches at His feet.
- Abraham was rich – yet he was the father of the faithful
- Moses was rich – still he followed God
- Job was rich – God still recommended him - have you considered my
servant Job?
- David was rich – yet he was a man after God’s own Heart
- Solomon, Jehashphat, Josiah, Hezekiah, were all rich – yet they
stand as monuments of God’s Grace
- They forsook all
- When God gave them Riches they did not sit idle but used what God
blessed them with for His Glory
What’s in it for me? - Those who forsake all and follow Christ
shall lose nothing for doing so. Christians do not serve God for
any type of Gain. There are those especially TV Evangelist that
preach the Health – Wealth - Prosperity Gospel of Greed are nothing
more than Misguided. Here what I am saying this morning, I do not
pretend that God will make you wealthy - healthy - or even
comfortable in a physical - material sense in this World. But here
is a promise I can make to you in the name of God as you forsake all
and follow Christ. Go with me to "BUT MY GOD
SHALL SUPPLY ALL YOUR NEED ACCORDING TO HIS RICHES IN GLORY BY
CHRIST JESUS." King David in days gone by fully understood this
promise when he proclaimed -- "THE LORD IS MY SHEPHARD, I SHALL
NOT WANT." -- David boldly said I have no Wants, because God is
more than able to provide for my every need -- I believe the
Songwriter said "What Ever You Need God’s Got It." -- The
Psalmist said "I WAS YOUNG BUT NOW I AM OLD, YET I HAVE NEVER SEEN
THE RIGHTOUS FORSAKEN NOR HIS SEED BEG FOR BREAD"
What’s in it for me? Well…you might lose some Family - Old
Friends. Neighbors will think you are now a "Holy Roller." I have
learned I have a Father and a Brother in every Male believer - I
have a Mother and a Sister in every believing Woman. I can be at
Home in every believers house, I feel that I as a Believer am the
richest person on the earth! What’s in it for me? Jesus told the
Disciples that their Reward in Heaven will be Great, told them in
Heaven they will sit upon 12-Thrones and judge the 12-Tribes of
Israel. I can not explain this to you, but I can explain this –
Jesus said if you understand Its not about you, not about your Will
down here, I will Bless you on the other side.
-- President JFK who said "Don’t Ask What Your Country Can Do For
You, Ask What You Can Do For Your Country"
-- I can hear the Lord saying to us today – Don’t Ask What’s in it
for me? – But Ask What Can I Do For The Lord
-- What’s in it for me? - Life Eternal - Streets that are Paved
with Gold - Peace that Surpasses all Understanding
-- I may not occupy one of the 12 Thrones, I may never Judge the 12-
Tribes of Israel, But I’ll Be Somewhere Around God’s Throne
-- What’s in it for me? – I may look around and realize some of my
loved ones did not make it – I may look around and realize that some
of my church family did not make it – may realize that some of my
neighbors did not make it – my look around realize some of my co-
workers did not make it – realize some of the deacpms did not make
it - may look around and realize that some of the preachers did
not make it
But my brothers and sisters, I now realize what’s in it for me –
When I see Jesus, the man who Died for Me - the Man Who Set Me
free - I will be able to relate to the words of the Song Writer
who wrote millions did not make it but I was one of the one’s who
did
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