Why do you do that?
Mark 10. 28-31
When you were a child and even now as an adult when someone says line up, it is complete instinct to want to be first. As a child if you pushed in at the front and were caught you were sent to the back.
When we run in a race, do we compete to come last?
In our jobs are we happy to just remain where we are?
In our homes do we still have the things we had 10 years ago?
The answer is of course no. We want to win, we want to get a better job with more money, and we want to have the latest equipment, a better bigger T.V., music system, etc.
This passage comes after the passage about the rich man, and how difficult it would be for him to get through the eye of a needle. In Jewish times it was seen as a blessing to be wealthy. So, the disciples were feeling quite shocked at what Jesus said, and which led to Peter’s statement. “We have left everything to follow you.”
The problem was it wasn’t about how much you give up or how much you have, what matters most is what your priorities are. Peter still didn’t get it, he thought that because he had left everything, he would be first in line at the gate of heaven.
But this was the same problem the rich man had – priorities, Peter was saying – I am better than everyone else because I have made lots of sacrifices to be with you.. So, I must be first because I am better than those people who haven’t. It was the wrong attitude.
Who did he give everything up for? Himself so he could be first in the queue for heaven?
Jesus didn’t say the sacrifices were worth nothing, he said Peter would be rewarded in heaven, over and over.
But the truth is that work and sacrifice
Your place in heaven is not earned by work and sacrifice.
Discipleship is not about what we can get.
It’s about love and commitment
It’s about the reason we do things?
Why we do things?
God values the complete opposite of what we value.
The question is why do we do things?
Do we do them so that we gain something in return?
Or do we do it out of love? With no expectation of anything back?
That’s a hard concept in today’s world, where people only think of themselves and what are they going to gain from it.
What is your motivation for doing things?
You might not have great wealth, or great success in life – but if you do things with the right motivation then that’s all Jesus was asking..
If you give your time to your neighbours not because of what they will do in return but because of your love of God. That’s the right attitude.
You can have all the wealth in the world but if you don’t love God, you will only have worldly success, which you can’t take to the kingdom of heaven.
There is a saying ‘there is no pocket in a shroud’.
So today, as you go about your life think about why you do the things you do?
Why are you doing this? I am doing this because I want to share my love of God with you.
Or is it because you want to find status in the church?
What are your priorities?
What is your motivation?
In this world of ‘me first’. It’s hard for children to see anything different.
I am doing this to show God’s love, isn’t something that comes naturally.
Why not ask the children to line up for example and then turn the line around. So, that the first will be last and the last will be first.
Ask the children – why are you here this morning?
Is it because your parents have brought you?
Your grandparents want you to go to church?
Is it because you want to go to the church secondary school?
Or is it because you love God?
Give the children a challenge, to do something for the love of God, and if they are offered a reward say ‘no thank you’. That will be really difficult for some children.
Or as a reminder of getting their priorities right, you could get them to make a bead bracelet with the letters - F L O G (For Love of God)
Or let the children come up with other letters to remind them.