Living the Right Life
|John 12 (NKJV™)|
|20||Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast.|
|21||Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."|
|22||Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus.|
|23||But Jesus answered them, saying, "The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.|
|24||"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.|
|25||"He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.|
|26||"If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.|
New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.
If this sermon was a book and I wanted to sell lots of copies, the title would cause it to fail. Now if it were entitled "Living the High Life" or "Living the Successful Life," then I may have a winner. But many have lived with both success and riches who didn't live right! So what is the right life? Or to frame it with a better question: What kind of life is most pleasing to God? Through a series of paradoxes, John gives us the answer—it wasn't the answer most people are looking for!
"But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name" John 20:31.
Believe:879 is an epic journey through the book of John led by Pastor Skip Heitzig of Calvary of Albuquerque. As we explore each of the 879 verses of this gospel, we'll grow in grace and in our knowledge of Jesus Christ. From His pre-incarnate existence, to His public ministry, through His death and His resurrection we'll traverse familiar territory and embark on new adventures of faith.
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Meditations for Living the Right Life:
Greek Terms: ψυχή- psuché mental life, ego, self-focused life; zoe aionion- age-abiding life; not just quantity, quality; focused on God and His will
Figures Referenced: Dennis Pragger; George Muller; Dietrich Bonheoffer
Publications Referenced: Webster's Dictionary 1865
Cross References: Psalm 27:4; Daniel 7:13-14; Daniel 9; Zechariah 9; Matthew 1:21; Matthew 5:3; Matthew 5:6; Matthew 6:33; Matthew 10:37-39; Matthew 25:21; Mark 9:35; John 3:16; John 4:42; Acts 1:8; Acts 17:21; Romans 12:1; 2 Corinthians 12:9; James 4:10
Topic: Christian Living
Keywords: lordship, lord, Greeks, gentiles, salvation, Christian living, Philip
Would you turn in your Bibles to John's gospel, Chapter 12 let's pray.
Lord, David said that you search us and you know us. You know everything we think before we think it. You know when we get up and when we sit down. We can't quite grasp that kind of thinking and that kind of knowledge but how grateful we are that you know everything about us and you still love us. And with that said you desire to invest in us as your kids, your children week by week, truth by truth, line upon line and so we dedicate this time as worship. We set is aside as worship and that worship includes our minds -- engaging our minds, as well us every bit of us. And so father we ask that you would speak once again speak clearly through the pages and the truth of your word. In Jesus name, Amen.
Doing the right thing doesn't come easy for some people. You can just ask the IRS and they'll tell you that every year they have people who have some interesting excuses as to why they shouldn't file their tax returns. According to one IRS source, one woman from Florida had a creative excuse. It was tax season and she informed the IRS that she just wasn't in the mood this year to file, those were her words. But then she promised the IRS agent that the following year she would file two returns. That didn't go over very well they just said, we suggest you get in the mood now. One man wrote the IRS a letter and said "Please take me off your mailing list." That's thinking; it didn't work. And finally they say that once in New York City in tax court when Judge Dawson was presiding one person had the nerve to say, "God is my judge, I do not owe this tax." And the judge said, "He is not. I am. You do. Next case."
I want to talk to you about doing right and not just doing right but being right. Living right what is the right way to live. Dennis Prager traveled for years around the United States and spoke to high school groups. And he asked them a question and he was doing this for his own research. The question was simple; in an emergency situation would you save the life of your dog or a stranger first? Would you save the life of a dog or the life of a stranger first? He said almost without exception, the kid said I would save the life of my dog. And he asked them why? And they simply reply, well I love my dog I don't love the stranger. And what Prager was putting together is that what is good is defined as what I feel. There is no higher moral or standard to appeal to than simply how I feel what I feel is right, is right.
So I decided to look up in the dictionary the definition of right. And I went to my online dictionary, dictionary.com and they defined it as, "What is in accordance with what is good and proper and the conformity with fact and reason." Well that interested me, so I decided to compare that dictionary definition with the definition of Webster's 1828 Edition, the first edition. And that edition was closer to the biblical definition of what is right, you might be surprised that the dictionary said this. "It's according to the standard of truth and justice or the will of God." that's in the dictionary. "That alone is right in the site of God which is consonant to His will or law this being the only standard of truth and justice." My have things change on our landscape in just over 150 years. What is right, living right? I'm going to warn you that living right is not easy and it's not comfortable and if you do so you walk the less traveled road.
To live right means you will sometimes have to put away what feels good or feels right to you. You have to push that aside, you'll have to decide on something that is far less glamorous. It doesn't always feel good now but it will feel great later.
On Monday, tomorrow morning when the alarm goes off and whatever time that is for you. When that alarm goes off that annoying sound rings in your ear, do you hop out off bed and go "Goody, yippee I get to go work!" You might do that, I'm scared of you if you do, but you might. But probably you don't. Probably what you do is you defer the momentary pleasure of lying in bed and lingering and enjoying it to the eventual pleasure of colleting the paycheck. You go to work, if it's Saturday and your wife comes to you with that look guys or that tone of voice and says "I think you need to clean the garage, it's really messy." And that happens at the time you just turned on the game, what do you do? Well if you're smart, you're going to clean the garage, why? Because when mama is not happy ain't nobody happy! Just go do it. You'll be happier in the long run. You can Teebo that baby and get to it or get the score online.
However, it's much deeper than colleting a paycheck or making a person happy, doing what is right back to Webster's dictionary is living in such a way that it's consonant to the will of God. Well we're in Chapter 12 and we continue our story from last week as Jesus came into Jerusalem. It's Passover time. There are crowds of people that have gathered from all over the world. And there is one special group that wants to see Jesus; they want a private audience with him. In the midst of this Passover week and in the midst of this little paragraph or reading there are three things that are right and altogether make living the right life, the right pursuit, the right provision and the right priorities and all three together blends beautifully in helping us live the right way.
Here is the first one, the right pursuit we begin in verse 20. Now there were certain Greeks among those who came to worship at the feast. Then they came to Philip who is from Bethsaida of Galilee and asked him saying "Sir we wish to see Jesus." Philip came and told Andrew, Andrew and Philip told Jesus.
Okay, now we don't know who these Greeks are, we don't know their names, we don't know exactly why they're in Jerusalem or why they want to see Jesus. A, here's a possibility, they were spiritual Greeks. That is, they had turn from paganism they were really interested in the God of Israel. And there was a group known among the Jews that were Gentiles and they were called God-fearers. And God-fearers are those who had left paganism, they haven't become circumcised; they were infested in attending the synagogue and so they could have come to Passover for spiritual reasons.
Option number two, these guys were Secular Greeks. They were curios about the philosophy that Jesus might espouse. I discovered by reading this week that at this time the Greeks generally were known as wanderers who would go almost anywhere to pick up the latest, newest philosophy to add to their cadre of philosophical beliefs. There was one Greek writer that even said "You man of Athens have no rest, give yourselves no rest and you don't give anybody else any rest." They were just searching perhaps for some new philosophy from Jesus.
Do you remember when Paul went to Athens, Greece and he preached, that's Acts 17, we're told this by the author Luke. "For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time and nothing else but either to tell or hear some new thing." Sounds like the university campus. I just want to hear something new, something different, something way out. They had gathered in Athens these Greeks just to hear something new and it could be that these Greeks wanted to hear what Jesus had to offer in the philosophies of life. And so they came for whatever reason they want to see Jesus. And so who did they come to first? Were told, Philip.
Why Philip? I don't know but Philip is a Greek name. The father of Alexander the Great was Philip of Macedon. So that was a very prominent Greek name. By the way Philip means lover of horses and who doesn't love people who love horses. So they come to Philip and John puts a note in there. Philip was from Bethsaida in Galilee, why does he do that? Here is why I think. Bethsaida of Galilee was right next to a huge Greek colonized area known as the Decapolis, and probably I don't know for sure, but probably these Greeks at the Passover feast already had known Philip form Bethsaida and they spotted him. They had some kind of a relationship with him, knowledge of him, and acquaintance with him. And so they saw him and they go "Hey, we want to see Jesus." So he told Andrew and Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
There is something else that I think is vital. John is the only gospel author that inserts this story of these seeking Greeks the others do not. Matthew, Mark and Luke did not include it John does include it. And that's because that's central to a message John is trying to get across. Here is what John wants us to know, Jesus Christ was not only the redeemer for Israel and the Jews but the entire world including Gentiles. And that's why John 3:16 "For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten son." That's why we have John Chapter 4 where the Samaritans rightly say, "He is the savior of the world." John includes that.
So here is what I think John wants us to see. At this time before Jesus' death as the doors are closing, the doors of formal Judaism are closing to Jesus the doors of Gentile opportunity are opening to Jesus. And that's going to continue to the book Acts as the gospel goes from Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the other most parts of the Earth. Don't you find it fascinating that at the beginning of Jesus' life wise men from the East came looking for Jesus. At the end of his life, wise man from the West came as if to book-end the life, Gentiles are coming to seeking.
So they say "We want to see Jesus." or "We'd like a private audience with him." That's the idea, they just didn't want to look at him and see what he looked like so they could like paint a picture of him. It's like when you go to a doctor and you say "I am here to see Dr. Green."
I'll tell you a little story it's true but it was a mean gesture. When I was training in radiology back in California years ago at the hospital I was at. It was late one evening, the emergency room was packed. One of these doctors, these hot shot interns was just getting off work and he decided to go into the emergency room and say "How many of you are here to see a doctor?" And they all raised their hands and he goes, "Whoop! You've seen one!" and he turned and walked away, that's cold isn't it?
We want to see Jesus, we don't want to just see him physically we want a chance to have a meeting with him. So these Greeks are making the right pursuit. We're told in John that the Jews were saying we want to see a sign. The Greeks are saying, forget the sign we just want to see Jesus. That's the right pursuit.
Let me let you in on something. In the earlier days of England and in the earlier days of America many pulpits in those countries had a verse etched in the front of the pulpit so the preacher could see it when he walked in to the pulpit, and it was this verse. Put in the King James Version, "Sir, we would see Jesus." And it was placed in many pulpits and I preached in some of those pulpits with those sings. And so when the preacher would walk into the pulpit he would be reminded give people Jesus, don't give them your opinion or give them something short of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Sir, we would see Jesus.
But here is my point; to live right you need the right pursuit. What are you pursuing? What is your passion? That's a common word these days. "My passion is this..." or "I'm all about this..." What is your master passion? What are you seeking above all else? You might have many wonderful pursuits in this life all could be noble and no worthy, but first and foremost it needs to be Christ.
Jesus said, "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these other things will be added to you." I suppose the complimentary verse from the Old Testament is Psalm 27 where David writes, "One thing I have desired of the Lord and that will I seek after that I might dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life that I might behold the beauty of the Lord and inquire in his temple."
So number one, the right pursuit. Because whatever you aim at is what you're going to hit. Ask a carpenter, carpenters don't watch the thumb and finger holding the nail they watch the head of the nail because if you watch the thumb you're going to hit the thumb; if you watch the finger you're going to hit the finger; you watch the nail that's what you're going to hit. You keep you're eyes on Jesus. You keep seeking Him and pursuing Him that's the right pursuit that's number one.
Number two the right provision. Now they say we want to see Jesus these two disciples go on and they tell Christ about it. The answer that Jesus gives is not what we would expect. What would you expect -- well put yourself in the situation somebody comes to you and says, "Hey, there's a group of Greeks who want to talk to you." You probably say, "Cool! Great! I'd like to talk to Greeks they make great baklava..." in my big fat Greek wedding. I remember there's a lot of good food in that movie. "I like to talk to the Greeks." that's what I would say. But Jesus says something astonishing. In fact in verse 23, Jesus answered them saying "The hour has come that the son of man should be glorified."
I imagine that when he said that a hush of expectancy fell over that crowd, their heart skipped a beat. And here's why. Remember where we've come from in our story. Jesus has just what? Came from the Mount of Olives on a donkey with palm leaves thrown at his feet and clothing thrown all over as people said "Hosanna this is the son of God. This is the King of Israel the son of David." And He fulfilled Zachariah 9 and Daniel 9. So this big hubbub of activity and anticipation as for the very first and only time in Jesus' ministry He allows himself to be presented as their Messiah.
And then He stops and He says, "The hour has come for the son of man to be glorified." Well, what was going to the disciples minds when he said that? They're thinking one thing. He's going to setup His kingdom now. The hour has come. Because remember up to this point He's been saying my hour has not yet come, my hour has not yet come that's for later. Now he says my hour has come. Son of man has going to be glorified. They're thinking okay this is it He's going to set up the kingdom. Now it's going to help me if I tell you what the Disciples were thinking 2000 years ago and I know this because all Jews 2000 years ago had a fixed eschatology in their heads, in their hearts or they believe certain things about how the end of times the coming of the Messiah would unfold.
Number one according to their thinking according to their study, the coming of the Messiah would be preceded by a time of horrible turmoil in their land. They believed that the Roman occupation of Israel fulfilled that for them. Number two, in the midst of the turmoil an Elijah-like forerunner would come pointing the way to Messiah. That's why people clamored over John the Baptist and said are you Elijah? Number three, after the forerunner the Messiah would show up, would defeat His enemies would bring in the kingdom; and number four, all of the scattered Jewish people around the world would return to the land of Israel and Jerusalem would be setup as the center of world peace.
So when Jesus stops after coming into Jerusalem and the Greeks want to see Him and the first thing He says is, "The hour has come for the son of man to be glorified." Their hopes shut up immediately. They were expecting He's going to setup the kingdom. Also, because He refers to Himself, if you'll notice, as the son of man. Did you see that in verse 23, "The hour has come that the son of man should be glorified."? If that's ever confuse as to how and why Jesus uses that it's a messianic term comes right out of the book of Daniel Chapter 7.
In Daniel Chapter 7, Daniel sees a vision at night a glorious vision of the coming of the son of man he writes. The son of man being ushered before the throne of the ancient of days God the Father with holy angels. And it says of the son of man and I quote, Daniel's 7:14, "He the son of man was given authority, glory and sovereign power all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away and His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed."
They're going, "Yes!" They're psyched. They're about to be let down. Have you ever been so psyche and then something happens that you just go -- okay, that's about to happen. Verse 24 he continues, "Most assuredly, I say to you..." and they're going "Yeah, I'm all ears!" "...unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies it remains alone but if it dies it produces much grain." The first statement raised their hopes; the second statement shattered their hopes. You had to pick these Disciples up the ground after verse 24. Because suddenly Jesus is talking to them about a different kind of a king, not one who will rule by conquest but one who will rule by His own death. The analogy He gives was plain and simple and they've got it. Jesus is saying I've come to die the death of the cross and then resurrection.
Think of the illustration it's simple. You have in your hand a kernel of grain a grain of wheat. It's there. It can't do you any good in your hand. You don't really see or realize its potential in your hand, but during planting season you put it in a cold dark earth, a tomb if you will. And there it sits in the tomb of the earth and as nature takes it course and it gets some moisture begins to rot and decay and the encasement cracks open and out eventually comes the resurrection -- the plant. And as the plant grows it bring forth much fruit.
One source that I read said if its good seed each grain contains the potential of a million similar offspring. It's easy to see what's He's saying. Jesus is going to die and rise from the dead and the result of the death and resurrection is going to be millions of people around the world being saved. Here's the Greeks pursuing Jesus but here's Jesus pursuing the provision for their sins and the sins of the whole world.
There's a point I want to make here its very important to living right. If you're going to live right you need the right pursuit and that is to pursuit Christ. But you must first pursue Him as your savior, the one who came to die for your sin and for my sin. See a lot of people say "Oh yeah, yeah Jesus He's cool! I'm into Jesus." Jesus I want Him as my Friend. I want Him as my chaperone. I want Him as the sort of the guy who's there whenever I need Help. I visit Him once a week when I have time that's Jesus. Oh no! Jesus must first be the one that you confront and are willing to take all of the sin that you have committed and transfer to Him by faith trusting that His finished work on the cross that provision was enough before God.
That's what the angel said when He announce the birth of Jesus you will call His name Jesus for He will save His people from their sin. It's good to pursue Jesus, but you must first and foremost pursue Him as savior. If you want to live the right life it's the right pursuit, it's the right provision and number three it's the right priorities.
Verse 25 and 26 is where we end these this morning. And this is what He does. Jesus gives the principle about Himself like a seed dying, coming back - resurrection and He takes that principle and He now applies it to us, to his followers, that that same principle of self-sacrifice, of death to self is now transferred to us. Verse 25, "He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me let him follow Me and where I am they're my servant will be also. If anyone serves Me Him my Father will honor." Now what does Jesus mean when He says to hate your life. Does that mean you should wake up everyday and cultivate a real hatred an antipathy toward life? Did you get up grumpy and growly or you go I hate life! I hate it! Really, why? Well Jesus said I'm supposed to hate it. I hate it! I just want to die and go to heaven get out of here!
That's not a good -- that's not the joy of the Lord last time I checked. To hate something was often a Hebrew idiom to prefer one thing over something else and the preference would be so distinct that it's like comparing love and hatred. That's how steep the preference would become. There's two words you should know about I want you to look at them both in verse 25. Both translated life but there are two different Greek words in the original. Look at verse 25, "He who loves his life will lose it." That word life happens to be the Greek word Suke. It's hard to say Suke it means the psyche the mental life. And the Greeks referred to it as the ego the self-focused life. It's the person who focuses all of the attention on the temporary physical life. Well, if you do that if you love His life you'll lose it.
And then He says, "He who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." You see that life that end of the sentence life different word, translated the same different word. It's the world "zoe aionion" - life everlasting life eternal. Its abiding life that's not just quantity goes on and on and on the quality of life. It's focused on God focused on as well life Webster's 1828 definition "in consonant with God's will" that's the kind of life.
Let me sort of paraphrase this on my own as I break it apart. When you live for self will and your life is all consumed about your own will your own comfort your own physical temporary life you're going to lose it all. However when you prefer what is right even if you lose temporary pleasure you'll get life the focus completely changes. Now I'm going to read to you a scripture that is a parallel passage that I think will help you understand what we've just read and considered. This is now Mathew 10, you don't have to turn to it just give me your ear for a moment. Jesus speaking says, "If you love your father or mother more than you love me you're not worthy of being mine. If you love your son or your daughter more than you love me you're not worthy of being mine. If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me you're not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your own life you will lose it. But if you give it up for me you will find it."
We call that a paradox a statement that has an apparent contradiction to it, a paradox. Do you know that we live our whole Christian life in paradoxes? I'll give you a few. God's power is made perfect in our weakness, so you know that. 2Corinthians 12. He's another one, "To be rich you must first become poor in spirit." Mathew Chapter 5. "If you want to be first you must be last. If you want to rule you must serve. If you humble yourself before God He will exalt you. If you exalt yourself He will humble you." Our whole life is lived on a paradox system or in the direct antithesis of how the world lives its life. What it values, what it lives for, what it's passionate about, what it pursuits.
And so here we have this paradox we live by dying our potential will never be reached if we just stay a seed we have to die to certain things just like the life that was in Christ wouldn't be able to escape that ability to give life through the atoning death of Christ unless He was dead and put in a tomb for Him to resurrect; same principle.
We live by dying. Folks this is exactly the opposite of the world that you and I live in. Most people in the world are consumed with what they're going to eat, what their fashion looks like, what kind of pleasure that they're going to have today this week, next month. That's what they live and you know why it's simple it's because they value the body more than the soul. If you value the soul more than the body different choices are made. This is what Jesus is speaking about. Think about what it would sound like if a seed could talk. Put a little mouth on it. And it could talk and it can express it's feelings as you're taking it from the bunch of his friends and putting him in a cold dark stinky earth. It goes, "I hate this. I hate it! I hate it!" But just wait little seed just wait till spring time something wonderful it's going to come up because of it, fruits going to happen all around you.
So to bring life there must be death. That's the principle, that's the paradox. Does the name George Muller ring a bell? To some of you it does. George Muller ran an orphanage in Bristol England in the 1800s. He was very influential all over London for his education of children, very well-known. Somebody asked Muller one day what's the secret of his life was. You'll be interested to find out his answer. He said as he hang his head, "Well, there was a day when I died, I died to George Muller to his opinions, his preferences, his tastes and his will and I even died to the approval and the scorn of my friends and enemies. There came a day when I didn't care what anybody else thought of me, what anybody else's opinion of me was or what even I preferred... I came 1828 Webster's dictionary to be in consonant with God's will. That's the secret of my life." Dietrich Bonhoeffer the great German pastor who resisted Hitler said, "When Christ calls a man, He bids him calm and die." That's the principle I want to leave with you before we finish this up that's the principle.
You need the right pursuit you pursue Christ. But you must pursue Christ as savior that's the provision. Then you must pursue Christ as your Lord and your master. And here's the statement and I want you to listen to it carefully. If Jesus Christ is just your savior and not your Lord don't expect to have full and satisfying life; it won't happen. You want the right life the full and satisfying life even though there is pleasures that are deferred, even though it might even hurt and be uncomfortable is to pursue Christ as savior and as master for a full and satisfying and above all a right life.
Look what happens when you do verse 26, "If anyone serves Me let him follow Me where I am there my servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, my Father will honor." Let that just sink in. My Father will honor -- how will God honor you if you do that? Well besides giving you everlasting life, which is not bad how about this one, the joy of knowing that your life is honoring the God, the joy of knowing that your life is pleasing to God. We love celebrities in this country. We love to watch them get their awards. We watch what they wear. We think about their diets. We imagine what it would be like to be honored by so many people. But how about push all of that aside being honored by God who gave even them life and breathe knowing that your life is pleasing to God. To be honored by God is to know that our life is being lived right and it's so fulfilling.
I was two weeks old as Christian when the Lord first started working this principle into my life. Now I say He first started He's still at it. It's been a long time coming He's still trying to work this principle out. But I was two weeks old as a Christian I had just believed in Christ I was 18, two weeks old in the Lord and I started reading the New Testament. I needed an easy version so had the new English version I think it was called. There was a little paper back New Testament and I started to the beginning of the book Mathew. I read one, two, three and four of Mathew then I came to the beatitudes in Chapter 5 and I read something that stopped in my tracks. It read and I'm quoting directly from that translation "Happy are those who's greatest desire is to do what God requires God will satisfy them fully."
When I first read that it's like I stopped because I knew there were some things in my life that needed to die that I need it to cut out if I wanted to have joy. I have a question for you, is your life sort of stagnant? Are there -- would you say you're spiritual potential is unrealized? I would submit to you to go home and examine what things need to die, what things need to be cut out and replaced with other things. You know the text I now you do. Paul said I urge brothers by the mercies of God that you would present your bodies as a living sacrifice. Now that's a little bit different a living sacrifice versus a dead sacrifice is different.
Because a dead sacrifice just lays on the altar. Living sacrifices have a tendency to want to squirm off the altar once they're put there. I gave you my life Lord, oh I don't know about that. Right now I kind of want to do something else. And there's always that need to go back a living sacrifice that's why Paul said I die daily it's a daily process. "If anyone serves Me Him my Father will honor."
I close with this it's one of my favorite little quips. In medieval Europe there was a group of minstrels that love to travel around. The minstrel was a musician or a poet and would perform with music around him and this group of minstrel traveled from town to town in Europe. Well the economy was tough like it is for us these days. People weren't showing up to entertainment shows like the minstrels were performing. And it was an afternoon before the evening performance. They had just arrived town they were setting up. One of the young minstrel said to the whole group, I say we just quit. I mean last night there was only a handful of people who came and look outside the window it's snowing now, I'm sure hardly anyone at all will come tonight. I say we just give them their money back and I'll perform. Well that's sort of grumbling spread to the whole group rather quickly as it often does until one of the older more experienced minstrel said, "Now wait a minute. I say we've come this far we give it our best shot tonight it might be our last performance so we could talk about quitting tomorrow, but let's give this our best." So they did and afterward they all felt satisfied that they had given their best. To top it off, someone had handed a note to one of the minstrels and when the minstrel came back to his band of fellow performers in the backroom after. Opened it up with trembling hands he read it. It said "Job well done! Outstanding performance! Signed, Your King" They didn't know it but that night n their audience of just a few people their king the king of their country had been traveling through on business and happen to watch the performance. And now they could go to bed knowing that they honored their king and their king had honored them by saying I loved it! What a pay off isn't it? Well Jesus will say to you well done, good and faithful servant enter into the joy of the Lord. I've watched your performance. Job well done, because you lived right.
Father in heaven, that's how we want to live our lives with the right pursuit keeping Jesus front and center as we walk, and run, and aim our lives toward Him. Coming to know Him for his provision as savior, and coming to know Him as our master and Lord the one who calls the shots; the one that we serve because wherever He is that's where we are, we're following Him. And we're doing it in faith knowing all the while that when we make such choices and form that kind of a world view that dominates our life, that's it's pleasing to You and that You'll honor us by giving us life eternal and the pleasure of knowing that we were pleasing to you in Jesus name, Amen.