I am not usually a very impulsive person. But every once in a while, I will do things that I regret almost immediately. For example, I recently signed up for a race just a few weeks beforehand with little time to get in shape. Despite my regrets for having signed up, I was not complacent in getting the workouts in. I knew I needed to get in shape…and fast. I certainly didn’t want to embarrass myself. And after all, I had paid good money to put myself through with it. However, no matter how well I did, I was going to get the T-shirt at the end anyway!
Many times, though, the thought “you will get the T-shirt no matter how you race” leads to complacency in our pursuit of Jesus. Since Jesus has done everything required to atone for sin and bring reconciliation with God on our behalf, it can be easy to bring feelings of apathy and over-contentedness to our own spiritual growth. After all, won’t the outcome be the same regardless of our discipline in pursuing spiritual growth? If we all get the “T-shirt” in the end by God’s grace through faith in Jesus, why keep striving for deeper wisdom, greater understanding, and a more intimate relationship with Him? In a word—joy.
Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. That’s it! That is our motivation. It is joy in Jesus! Complacency in our spiritual growth takes root when we forget how precious a treasure the gospel really is. We become overly content with where we are in our spiritual growth. When we obtain good standing in church, reach an outward appearance of righteousness, and know just enough Hebrew to be dangerous, we can be tempted to think we have arrived spiritually. We forget that we get to enjoy a relationship with Jesus right now. We don’t have to wait until we cross the finish line. We get to experience our restored relationship with God in this life!
And this is my exhortation for all of us this morning. Meditate on the gospel. Delight in it. Let the treasure we have in Jesus be the motivation to lay hold of all the tools God has given us to enjoy Him: His word, prayer, fasting, meditation, fellowship. Let’s throw off complacency and enjoy Jesus together right now.