And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?
Mark 8:36 (NLT)
Note from Kip…
I am musing this morning about the things we treasure. What motivates and drives us. Just what is it that we seek to gain. What is my profit motive.
I pulled this from Wikipedia…
In economics, the profit motive is the motivation of firms that operate so as to maximize their profits. Mainstream microeconomic theory posits that the ultimate goal of a business is to make money. Stated differently, the reason for a business’s existence is to turn a profit.
What do we discover when we take this definition of profit motive and through that lens look at our motivation? What is my reason to exist?
We aren’t quite as simple as a business
That statement will set a few MBA’s on their ear, I am fairly sure. But I’m going to ask you business types to hold your hat for a bit while I explain this premise.
A business has one reason to exist; pure, simple, unadulterated profit. That’s it. Despite the mounting complexity of processes and projects that fall in line behind that objective, virtually everything that a business does is designed to increase the bottom line.
When we consider us; you and I, we quickly see that there are several reasons for us to exist. Much of that depends on who you ask.
We exists for love
The first one I immediately think of is what Jesus considers our central objective. So this one is easy; it is love.
The physics of this are a little hairy to try and wrap our minds around but let’s have a go at it just the same. I want to use terms like ‘at some point’ or ‘on a given day’, but these terms reference the state we live in that is encased in both space and time. The universe to us consists of innumerable heavenly bodies distributed through space. We have our homes and that is our space. We have our offices and that is our space.
The God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit are not confined to that limited definition of existence. They exist outside of it. Can observe everything in it and are fully aware of it.
Now, add to that that while we have our clocks and get up with an alarm so that we can get to work on time. Then comes a time when we take a break (attempting to pause time which we really can’t do) to have lunch. Eventually the time comes when we can leave work and go home (that space thing again). Then it is supper time, time to relax, then finally time for bed.
Our physical existence runs from birth, to puberty, to adulthood, and at last death. When we are young it seems like forever, but forever lay in the realm of God remember?
The point (another time reference) is that our physical existence is a finite thing which is encapsulated in both space and time. Neither of which the Trinity is subject to.
To the point
All of that explain this. Jesus because He exists outside of space-time, knew us before there was an us to know. His perspective outside of space-time looking in on the bubble we exist in, allows Him to know us well before the first man took his first breath.
This is because just as He can observe all things at the same ‘time’ and because He is not limited by ‘time’; He can, does and has seen all things at all times.
Back to love
I started with love because when you consider the above and ask the question of ‘what is our reason to exit’; from the perspective of the Trinity there is but one answer; we exist because Jesus fell in love with us as He observed us in our space-time bubble, and for that reason He created the space-time bubble and everything in it; including that which He loved; us!
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created.
Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it.
John 1:1-5 (HCSB)
He created us, because he loved us first. He did so that we might of our own free will respond in kind and return that love to Him; both individually and collectively.
We love because He first loved us.
1 John 4:19 (HCSB)
Beyond the love
“If you love Me, you will keep My commands.”
John 14:15 (HCSB)
Our love for Jesus obliges us to another motivation; to obey Him.
Be wary of those who teach a different gospel than the gospel of Jesus Christ. They want it to sound like Biblical truth, but many will twist the message of Christ and turn it to server their own selfish motivations.
The true one calls for obedience. But for the believer obedience isn’t negative at all. As a matter of fact obedience to our creator and Lord is something we take great joy in.
I never understood fully why doing what Jesus tells me to, created so much joy in me. Until I came to the realization that in obeying Him, I was fulfilling my very reason for existence. Loving Him and because I do I obey Him. So, our very obedience serves the Love we have for God!
I’m not going to go into everything Jesus told us but I do want to stress one element of obedience that is all but lost to the world today.
Then He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
Mark 16:15-16 (HCSB)
Before you run off, Jesus wasn’t talking to the pastors of the world. He was pointing to each and every believer. We are His message bearers. It is our job to spread His Gospel anywhere we can, to whoever we can. We are His preachers and teachers. It’s that simple!
Now when these people we extend the Gospel to, accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior we have another obligation that isn’t adhered to as it should be.
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:19-20 (HCSB)
Make disciples? Wait a minute! How am I supposed to do that? By teaching them the things God teaches you. By encouraging them, from the Joy that is in you. By being, their example of what taking up your cross and following Jesus is all about. That is discipleship.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.”
Matthew 16:24 (HCSB)
The other point that I will stress about spreading the Gospel of Christ Jesus, is that we can’t do this without also spreading love. This love for which God has purposed us for, is pervasive and powerful. It requires that we love not only those that love us, but the we extend our love to those would would seek to destroy us as well.
The secular motivation
But alas, in opposition to what God has purposed for us, there is that which the world would view as our ‘profit motive’.
And just as with God’s purpose being love, the worlds purpose is serving self and gratifying that which bolsters up self.
The thing is, God’s version of our reason is a real purpose. When all is said and done, we are filled with joy and peace, knowing that we are serving the intent of the creator.
Where as service of self all comes to waste and deteriorates, leaving us with less than we started with and used up emotionally and physically.
“Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Matthew 6:19-21 (HCSB)
Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.
Hebrews 4:16 (HCSB)
Note from Kip…
This passage isn’t calling for self mutilation. The point that Jesus is getting to here is that nothing is worth loosing our soul over and we have to bring the flesh under discipline and it would be better if we were unable to do that to loose those parts of us which cause us to miss out on salvation.
“If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to go into hell!”
Matthew 5:29-30 (HCSB)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.,
Proverbs 3:5-6 (HCSB)
Because you say, ‘I’m rich; I have become wealthy and need nothing,’ and you don’t know that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire so that you may be rich, white clothes so that you may be dressed and your shameful nakedness not be exposed, and ointment to spread on your eyes so that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be committed and repent. Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me.
Revelation 3:17-20 (HCSB)
Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him and be firm in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world.
1 Peter 5:8-9 (HCSB)