Originally posted on Tuesday, May 5, 2015, by Pastor Chris McGarvey on his blog, Re:flection.
When All Our Adolescent Push Back Will Pass Away
Several years ago, Sam had a large piece of gummy candy that he was itching to eat. He woke up one morning and asked if he could have it for breakfast.
Not a chance.
Lunch time came, and went.
(in a stern voice) “Go get that gummy candy.”
“Give it to me.”
I unwrapped it. And then I said (again, in the stern, fatherly voice), “Sam, the Bible is very clear. God says ‘Children obey your parents.’” (Dramatic pause.) “Eat this.”
Sam happily obeyed, and then he went and gushed to his big sister. When he returned, I told him why I did what I did. I wanted him to have an illustration of something really important.
“A lot of God’s commands seem hard in this fallen world—even though they all are good! But one day, if Jesus is our Savior and Lord, we are going to hear one climactic command. Do you remember that parable of the talents? The servant was faithful with what was entrusted to him. When the master returned, he said to his servant (Matt 25:21), ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ Do you think we’ll roll our eyes and shrug our shoulders?”
Now, what if that end-of-the-age command is really the heartbeat behind every other single command God gives his people? (seeDeuteronomy 10:12-13, for instance)
Do you doubt it? Be careful . . .
In Jesus’ parable, there were three servants. Two of them heard that sweet command and happily obeyed. One guy did not. Remember what he thought of his master (Matthew 25:24–25)?
Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.
There will be no adolescent push back on Jesus when he gives this command to his followers at the end of the age. Among his faithful servants, there will be no rolled eyes, no slumped shoulders, no backtalk, no heavy sighs, no resistance.
If “enter into the joy of your master” is the heartbeat behind every one of God’s commands, and if we actually believe that, do you think it will change the way we obey in this life? Maybe it will mean that our adolescent push back will begin to pass away more and more, until the day when it passes away into eternal oblivion, never to be seen again.
Serve the LORD with gladness!
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.