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What's in it for Me?
by Alan Allegra
3/12/2015 / Devotionals
I recently passed a church sign that says, "Every promise God made is mine!" There is a song with a similar title, that includes these lyrics:
"Every promise in the book is mine, Every chapter, every verse and every line.
All are blessings of his love divine; Every promise in the book is mine."
When I was a child and Dad came home from work, my first reaction (unless Mom was waiting to tell him how I misbehaved) was, "Did you bring anything for me?"
When my wife brings in the mail, I'll say, "Anything for me?"
If someone beats me to the phone, I wonder, "Is that for me?"
Do you shake the Christmas or birthday card to see if a check or gift card falls out?
On Everybody Loves Raymond, Robert, the insecure brother, overhears conversations and moans, "Is this about me?"
A non-Christian might look at the bible and say, "What's in it for me?" A believer might say, "Is that promise for me?"
Not all promises are directly for us, but the entire bible was written for our benefit. "Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come" (1 Corinthians 10:11; see 2 Timothy 3:16).
In times of trouble, it can be difficult to believe promises we once embraced. When the fog of difficulties diminishes our view of eternity, we think maybe all the promises and blessings are for "Super Christians": pastors, missionaries, TV preachers, etc. Like a pilot flying by instruments, knowing the runway is in the same place it was when the sun was shining, we need to continue to believe God and his word remain the same in any weather.
If you are not familiar with the bible, or do not know much about God and Jesus Christ, your question, "What's in it for me?" is easily answered: "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him" (John 3:36).
When religious people challenged Jesus to identify himself, he said, "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me" (John 5:39). The bible points to him as the only source of eternal life. This is what is in it for the unbeliever.
When those who thought they were believers found the road too hard and deserted him, Jesus asked his disciples if they, too, would leave. "Simon Peter answered him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life'" (John 6:68). This is assurance for the not-so-sure Christian.
The last book of the bible includes everyone when it says, "Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near" (Revelation 1:3).
An inspired psalmist spoke for all believers when he penned, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to keep your righteous rules" (Psalm 119:105 - 106).
The bible has something for everyone. The first step is to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (John 1:12; 3:16). Then, with reliance on the Holy Spirit, learn and obey the bible (1 Corinthians 2:14 - 16).
In elementary school, we handed out Valentine cards to everybody, so they didn't really mean anything. Like my history teacher wrote in my yearbook, "When everybody is somebody, then nobody is anybody. We know this is true."
Solomon summed up the "Is this about me?" question thus: "The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man" (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
Unlike the mass Valentine card situation, God's expression of love through the gospel is not diminished toward anyone although it is offered to everyone. Whoever you are, when it comes to the bible, it's for you!
Alan is Content Coordinator for Lifestyles Over 50 (Thrive Media) and contributor to the Allentown, PA, Morning Call. He is also an adult Sunday school teacher and Bible study leader. Passionate about reviving theology and church methodology, and being a senior citizen!
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