What’s in it for Me?

TEXTMatt. 22:39Eph. 5:28-29

INTRODUCTION:

A.      FIRST THOUGHT WHEN ASKED TO DO SOMETHING – NOT ALWAYS BAD.

          1.       God wants us to be concerned about our own welfare (Matt. 22:39;  Eph. 5:29).

          2.       Not selfishness, but concern for self that produces desire to be worth something.

          3.       Self-interest used to motivate (Ex. 20:12; Matt. 5:3-12; Rev. 2:10;  Luke 13:3).

B.      ATTACHED TO EVERY COMMAND IS A PROMISE DESIGNED TO BLESS US.

C.      “WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?” – A LEGITIMATE QUESTION.

I.      GOD’S LAW WORKS.

A.      WHY DO GOD’S LAWS WORK?

          1.       He is our inventor (Gen. 1:26-28;  Psa. 139:13-14).  He knows all about us!

          2.       The auto maker knows the most about his product and prints a manual telling us

                   how to care for it.  Suppose we don’t follow his instructions;  not one is going to

                   make us.  What if we put syrup in the gas tank and cotton in the radiator?

Can the auto maker stop us?

          3.       God has given us a manual, the Bible.  No one stops us from putting IT aside.

          4.       What happens when we do? (Rom. 1:22-28).

B.      HOW DO WE KNOW GOD’S LAW WORKS?

          1.       It took 6,000 years for man to find the underlying principle of all good

Matthew 22:37Love.

          2.       Evidence in the lives of True Disciples (1 Pet. 3:16;  2:11-12;  Phil. 2:1-4).

          3.       Evidence in their Joy (Phil. 4:4).  They are Blessed (Psa. 1:1-2;  Matt. 5:3-12).

          4.       On the other hand, how do the ungodly fare? (Prov. 13:15).

III.    GOD’S LAW SUPPLIES ALL NEEDS.  WHAT DO WE REALLY

        NEED?

A.      GOD’S APPROVAL AND PEACE WITH HIM.

          1.       Man needs nourishment for his soul as well as his body (Matt. 4:4).

          2.       Without God there is no comfort or hope (1 Pet. 1:3;  2 Cor. 1:3-5).

          3.       Without God, man cannot explain himself (Ecc. 1:2-4;  Ecc. 12:13-14).

B.      TO BE SOMEBODY – TO BE SIGNIFICANT.

          1.       Who is significant from a human standpoint?

                   a.       One who is successful and famous (Matt. 23:5-12;  6:1-2, 5, 16 ).

                   b.       One who possesses great wealth (Matt. 6:19-21;  1 Tim. 6:6-10, 17-19).

          2.       Who makes a mark that can’t be erased (Ecc. 12:13-14;  Rev. 14:13).

          3.       Abraham Lincoln:  “It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels

                   worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who made him.”

C.      TO BE LOVED!

          1.       God tells us how to be loved (Matt. 7:12).

          2.       We must be lovable.  We must love first (1 Cor. 13:4-7).  If you knew someone

                   like this, wouldn’t you love him?

D.      PURPOSE, DIRECTION, AND ACCOMPLISHMENT IN MY LIFE.

          1.       What’s the difference between a man who spends all day breaking rocks on a

                   chain gang and a sculptor who spends all day breaking rocks producing a work of

                   art?

          2.       Montaigne:  “No wind serves him who has no destined port.”

          3.       What challenges Christians?  What furnishes us that needed sense of direction?

                   a.       The challenge to become the best we can be (Phil. 3:12-16).

                   b.       The challenge to help others and influence them for good

                             (Matt. 5:13-16;  James 5:19-20).

                   c.       “You will not be remembered for what others have done for you,

                                but what you have done for others.”

          4.       The Christian’s goals extend beyond time and into eternity.

                   a.       Earthbound goals cannot satisfy eternally (2 Cor. 4:16-18;  Col. 3:1-4).

All is vanity and a striving after windEcc. 1:14.

                   b.       Those things done in the Lord’s work will last forever, therefore, are truly

                             worthy of our efforts (Rev. 14;13;  1 John 2:17).

CONCLUSION:

A.      OUR BASIC NEEDS ARE FULFILLED IN OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S WORD.

B.      THE NEED OF REDEMPTION IS A PRIMARY NEED

          (1 Pet. 1:18-19;  Rom. 6:3-4).