I was asked by a friend to find a story that I had shared in a past message…it took me a while, but I found it. In it, Tim Keller quotes a parable that Elizabeth Elliot used to use…it’s in the form of a fictional PARABLE (in other words, it’s not in the Bible):
“One day, Jesus asked the disciples to pick up a rock and to follow him on a journey. Peter picks up a pebble, like us, he’s thinking “What is the LEAST burdensome way to fulfill this command?”, and they journey all morning long, Peter is thinking: I nailed this one. Then, Jesus tells them to get their stones out, and he turns them all to bread…tells them: lunchtime! And each disciple’s stone turns to bread, of course Peter had only a small pebble, so that’s all the bread he got for lunch. Peter is a bit put out, and he’s hungry.
Then, after lunch, Jesus tells them Pick up another stone, we’re going on another journey. So Peter…I’m gonna be starving by dinnertime, picks up a HUGE rock…boulder. Sweats and staggers under it’s weight all afternoon. Then, Jesus calls them over to the edge of a stream and has them all throw their stones into the river. Again, Peter is put out, sulking, and thinking: “What! No bread!?”
Jesus comes to him and gently asks him: Peter, why are you upset? Who were you carrying the rock FOR?”
Not once was Peter carrying that rock for Jesus…he was carrying it for himself! His motivation was completely for what he would GET! How can Peter take care of PETER?
How often are we exactly like that in our devotion to Jesus?
The challenge for all of us is that we do all that we do for Jesus. If He calls us to carry the rock, then we carry the rock for Jesus. We give, we serve, we share, we live for Jesus! We don’t give to manipulate God into giving us something. We give because Jesus models it and tells us to! AND as we give like Jesus, we realize that you can’t outgive God! We don’t serve because of the blessings we’ll receive from serving! We serve because Jesus calls us to serve! And then as we serve, we realize that we are blessed far more than we are a blessing…that’s just how it ends up working in God’s economy! And above all we love, because we are loved, and we are called to love! So love outlandishly today, and love for Jesus!!