The Whole Enchilada
"So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name." (NASB)
In the 1989 movie Field of Dreams, Ray Kinsella hears a voice
saying, "If you build it, he will come," and interprets the mysterious
message to mean that he should plow under his Iowa corn to build a baseball
diamond. Which he does, resulting in Shoeless Joe Jackson and seven other
banned players from the 1919 White Sox team showing up on his baseball
diamond to play.
Toward the end of the movie Ray and Shoeless Joe have an exchange that goes to the heart of Ray's motives. Ray says something to the effect of "I've done everything you've asked me to do and have never once asked, 'what's in it for me.'" "What are you saying?" Shoeless Joe replies. Ray fidgets, shifts his weight, looks down to the ground and says, "Well, what's in it for me?"
Even the most selfless among us get around to asking the question eventually, "What's in it for me?" Part of the reason we do, is because we've been conditioned by Madison Avenue to think that way. But really, no one had to teach us to be selfish it is natural. Somewhere among the other single-syllabic words toddlers learn is always the word: "Mine!" It is a word a small child will use to describe everything they like without regard to real ownership. As we grow, we learn to share and care about other people's feelings and rights, but somewhere deep down inside is that nagging question, "What's in it for me?"
Even when it comes to matters of faith.
We understand that becoming a Christian means surrender of our own will to God's will it is completely giving our lives to Him and submitting ourselves to His lordship. We know that we no longer can claim ownership of our lives because we've been bought with a price. We read Paul's opening words in Titus 1:1 "This letter is from Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ. . ." (NLT) and understand that Jesus is our Lord and we are His servant. Intellectually, we know that what really matters is God's will and His Kingdom, but something inside of ourselves says, "Yeah, but that's just Church talk you know the kind of thing you say in Sunday School it isn't the real world."
And so our duplicity continues. We dabble in faith, but are not willing to swallow the whole enchilada.
Not the early Christians.
Our text says, "So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name." (Acts 5:41 NASB)
God was manifesting Himself in powerful ways in the 5th Chapter
of Acts. After the purging of the Thank you
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