Let us try not to join the profession of Christianity, with seeking after worldly advantages.
“You’ll never have to worry about anything again!”
“God wants you to be rich!”
“This is the best life ever!”
“Everything is good!”
All of these claims have been touted by Christians, preachers, and televangelists. They have brought untold millions to their knees to pray a prayer that they’ve been conned into reciting. While they all contain a partial truth, they are not indicative of the Christian life.
Jesus had some choice words for some who wished to take care of business before taking up the business of following him.
As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
He said to another man, “Follow me.”
But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my Father.”
Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”
Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
Luke 9:57-62 (NIV)
In order to “close the deal” when it comes to leading someone to salvation, we are often apt to spout the benefits while making light of the cost. The truth is, there are many, many benefits to giving your life to Christ, but there is also a great cost—one that cannot be ignored.
Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
Luke 9:23 (NIV)
The benefits come as a result of us doing the right thing for the right reasons.
Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
It is a difficult road to walk, this life in pursuit of God. On one side, we can be easily distracted by the thought of a reward and, on the other side, we can be so focused on our call that we deny the existence of any reward at all.
Our purpose in serving God should be just that—to serve Him and Him alone. If the reward is all we seek, our hearts are in the wrong place. But that does not mean that we should not be prepared to receive a reward or blessing.
If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!
Luke 11:13 (NIV)
If is with a pure heart and pure motives that we must seek after God. Yet, as His children, we must not deny Him the joy of blessing us.
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Psalm 51:10 (NIV)
Read: Judges 12-14, Luke 9:37-62