John 10:18 (NKJV) No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself.
There is a side of the David vs. Goliath story that you have probably never heard taught. What we hear taught is that David’s motivation for taking on a giant three times his size was his passion to defend the honor of God. That is true…partly.
But there was another reason—there was a generous reward offered for the one who took out the giant.
The one who defeated the giant got the hand of the king’s daughter in marriage. In other words, it is one of the oldest stories woven into the collective history of mankind—a young commoner comes out of nowhere and accomplishes some great deed, gets the king’s attention and is rewarded by getting the hand of princess in marriage.
Read it for yourself (I Samuel 17:25, 26, 29). You will discover that David made no offer to take on the giant until he heard about the reward. Three times he checked on the details and when he was sure he was motivated to put his life on the line for the honor of God and country.
In the same way, one of the reasons Jesus was willing to lay down his life and endure the terrible suffering and ridicule that he did was because of the reward that awaiting him on the other side (see below).
The reason the writer of Hebrews shared this glimpse into Jesus’ motivation is that it was to serve as a model for you and me (Hebrews 12:2-4).
In other words, when test and trials come our way—remember the reward for enduring them.
If Jesus could willingly bear all our diseases because of the reward that awaited him, can you not bear one graciously?
If Jesus could willingly lay down his life for sins of the world because of the reward that awaited him, can you not lay down your life for one person in order to save your marriage? (“Dying to self and living to serve”, the secret to a great marriage.)
If Jesus could willingly part with all the riches of heaven and come to earth to live in poverty because of the reward that awaited him, can you not forfeit a few things you want in order to be faithful to the calling on your life or to be faithful in supporting financially your pastor and church?
Sure you can! The reward will be worth it.
- The ONE THING for today: Don’t be afraid to take risks and make sacrifices for the glory and honor of God, for with that risk and sacrifice will be a reward that abundantly compensates you for any suffering and loss you may experience.
Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV)
2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Luke 18:28-30 (NKJV)
28 Then Peter said, “See, we have left all and followed You.”
29 So He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.”