Summary: In our walk with Jesus, there comes a time when we will have to decide whether we want to follow Jesus all the way or will abandon our walk mid-way. This is a challenge which Jesus posed to his disciples,"Do you also wish to go away?" (Jn 6:67)
Title: What will you choose?
Scripture passage: Jn 6: 25-68
Introduction: In year 2000, I went to Disney world in Tokyo together with my family. As usual we went to the different rides and had a good time there. Then we come across a gigantic dome that looks so inviting and when we approach; there is a big board and says “Welcome to Galaxy Travel” the other words are written in Japanese and I can’t read them. So we enter into the waiting area and joined the long queue of people enthusiastically waiting to go in. The waiting area is prefurbished to look like a spacecraft and we are space-man waiting to go to our mission. You see, the interior was so big and we went from one chamber to another chamber of this spacecraft a number of times. All these while, not knowing what I am in for… there was a mixture of excitement as well as anticipation, and mystery surrounding it. You see the problem was I couldn’t read Japanese. However, one thing that caught my attention was a big sign right in front of me with bold letters written in red. I can read those written in English, “ If you have heart disease, high blood pressure, hyper tension, … if you are pregnant. …and so on, please take the exit on the left.” After this warning sign appear for more than three or four times, I begin to feel pretty nervous about the whole thing … all this while I had a thought that this is just a 3 D space simulator where I would strap myself to a special seat and look at a big screen and all the while being bombarded with surround sound and multi colour techno- displays and images of space and the galaxy. But this was getting to be more serious than I had thought. Each time I walked into yet another chamber and there in front was the same warning sign again, and again… . I had to resist the temptation every time, of walking out of that exit door. I have to make a deliberate choice to stay and not to walk out. So what is the ride?
I shall come back to my story afterwards.
Choice #1: What are you working for?
27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.
In other words, there is food that will spoil, and others that will not. When I was in Tokyo, out side every restaurant there is a display of the delicacies that they serve. The very look at the display will be enough to cause any hungry patron to salivate- because it looks so good. But they can’t be eaten. I heard that they are real dishes, but in order to preserve them, a special layer of waxy substance is poured over them. In a sense, the dishes become mummified! You can’t eat them.
I don’t thing that Jesus is referring to this when he said about the kind of food that will not spoil. He says food that endures to eternal life.
Jesus says that a man cannot have two masters. He cannot serve God and at the same time serve mammoth, he will love one and hate the other.
Joshua challenged the Israelites, “Choose this day who you will serve.’’
Elijah on Mt Carmel again tells God’s people to decide for themselves whether they will serve the Lord.
Let me ask you a few questions: I keep in mind some of us are not going to be working “full time" in the church, missions or Christian organisation.
- What drives you? What will affects your daily decisions, (such as whether to take up a promotion or not)? How do you allocate your time for ministry, work and family?
Are you working for money or for promotion? What drives you? What will give you the most joy in the long term?
By thinking through some of these questions, will help us to know whom do we serve? What are we working for?
Jesus says in Jn 4 “ my food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
For those who are serving God in full time ministry – “inverted commas” again, because in a sense we are serving God full time any way.
We usually get a huge pay cut and get relatively lower pay than the secular. With some rare exceptions, … unless you become a tele- evangelist.
So if we are not driven by money, what are we driven by?
Is it recognition, or pride or ego?
How we do measure our success in the ministry? Is it the size of our followers, or is it the lasting change in the lives we impact. I don’t want to make any enemies this morning.