Jered Wilson writes:
I love my friend Jesus because he knows everything I’ve ever thought and still doesn’t cross the street to avoid me when he sees me coming.
I love my friend Jesus because the blood of his sacrifice speaks a better word than the sweat of my effort, and he shouts it triumphantly.
I love my friend Jesus because he chased after me when I ran away and he didn’t stop til I was found and tackled.
My friend Jesus? He’s a storm-hushing, tomb-busting, dragon-crushing brother.
I love my friend Jesus because he took my death, even though he had plenty of time to think it over and every reason to say no.
I love my friend Jesus because he’s never left me and won’t ever leave me, even when I’m most leave-able.
I love my friend Jesus because even when he’s laughing at me, he’s laughing with me. There is no guile in him, no mockery.
I love my friend Jesus because even when he calls me on my bull he doesn’t nag or shame me.
I love my friend Jesus because he never checks his watch while I’m talking to him.
I love my friend Jesus because he never brings up my old stuff.
I love my friend Jesus because, while the crowd gathers with their stones on that side, he stands on this side of the line with me.
I love my friend Jesus because he keeps the devil on a leash like a dog but will throw him into the lake of fire like he’s a cat. #dogperson
I love my friend Jesus because he doesn’t nitpick.
I love my friend Jesus because he never leaves me behind.
I love my friend Jesus because he waits unhurried with me.
I love my friend Jesus because when I enter the room, he doesn’t shake his head & mutter “This guy” but smiles and shouts “This guy!”
I love my friend Jesus because, though he has every right to be, he is nevertheless not ashamed to call me his brother.
I love my friend Jesus because he doesn’t “get upset” with me.
I love my friend Jesus because he is forgiver, healer, conqueror, king, God.
I love my friend Jesus because he uses the dirt of my sermons to open blind eyes. What a powerful, gracious friend.
I love my friend Jesus because he doesn’t just erase the records against me, he burns the record book and scatters the ashes to nothing.
I love my friend Jesus because when he sees me shuffling in, tail between my legs, he runs to meet me in welcome.
I love my friend Jesus because he doesn’t pass on false reports about me but is glad to be my eternal advocate.
I love my friend Jesus because he upholds the universe by the word of his power. I am in good with the boss of existence.
I love my friend Jesus because he just straight-up — no hesitations, no qualifications, no ifs ands or buts — loves me.
I love my friend Jesus because while many give me trouble, he gives me rest.
I love my friend Jesus because when all around my soul gives way, he is all my hope and stay.
I love my friend Jesus because he always lives to intercede for me.
I love my friend Jesus because I can just be myself with him.
I love my friend Jesus because he is infinitely rich with grace and a big spender.
I love my friend Jesus because he makes me feel like a conqueror but he does it without feeding my ego.
I’ve heard people say that our reason for doing what God commands shouldn’t be the good things that might happen to us as a reward for obeying him. They say, “You should obey God because he is God, purely as an act of worship. Stop focusing on the reward!”
This sounds good, until you notice how many times Jesus also focused on reward we would receive if we follow his commands.
This week’s fighter verse song comes from the beatitudes, which is at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount.
Looking at this passage, one cannot reasonably propose that Jesus thinks we should have only worship and obedience as a motivation, because he gives us so many other motivations.
I’ve written them down. Here are …
Jesus’ Motivators from the Sermon on the Mount
(Reasons we should do what Jesus says – from Matthew 5-7)
Matthew 5:3 – Ownership in the Kingdom of Heaven*
Matthew 5:4 – Being Comforted
Matthew 5:5 – Inheriting the Earth
Matthew 5:6 – Satisfaction
Matthew 5:7 – Receiving Mercy
Matthew 5:8 – Seeing God
Matthew 5:9 – Being Called a Son of God
Matthew 5:10 – Great Reward in Heaven
Matthew 5:11 – That others will see your good works
Matthew 5:19 – Being Called Great in the Kingdom of Heaven
Matthew 5:20 – Entering the Kingdom of Heaven
Matthew 5:21 – Avoiding Judgement
Matthew 5:22 – Avoiding Hell*
Matthew 5:26 – Avoiding Prison (Physical or otherwise)
Matthew 5:37 – Avoiding having your behavior sourced by evil
Matthew 5:45 – Being a child of your Father in heaven
Matthew 5:46 – Reward from God*
Matthew 5:48 – Being like God
Matthew 6:15 – Receiving Forgiveness from God
Matthew 6:20 – Having treasure that will last
Matthew 7:2 – That your measure of Judgment won’t be used on you.
Matthew 7:5 – Ability to help others get out of sin
Matthew 7:6 – Avoid being trampled by ‘pigs’
Matthew 7:7 – Getting good things from God
Matthew 7:14 – Avoiding Destruction
Matthew 7:15 – Avoiding being tricked by false prophets
Matthew 7:23 – Avoiding being cast away by God
Matthew 7:24 – Avoiding being like a house that falls because it’s not on a good foundation
I’ll just point out that this is just three chapters from one of the Gospels.
So the questions is – do you want these things?
* Indicates motivators that are given more than once.