Taste the Greatest Reward

Even life was not worth the satisfaction that Paul found in Christ. Moses chose to be mistreated with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. Come and taste the One that is better than anything you’ve ever tasted, come find Christ.  (Matthew 13:44 / Philippians 1:21 / Hebrews 11)

Speaker(s): Pastor Justin Schaller
Sermon # 11430
6:30 PM on 3/4/2018



P. Justin Schaller

Mt. 13:44, Philip. 1:21, Heb. 11, I hope that this is a message that edifies us. In Job, his friends came to him and Job was there and they said, you read what they said, and it’s pretty good advice. It sounds like wisdom. But at the end of the book, what does God do? He rebukes the friends. It’s interesting that the Bible is this way. We can say the right things but the Spirit isn’t in it. What I want to say tonight is not something – I don’t think it will be condemning – but at the same time it’s something you say I haven’t had that for a while or haven’t tasted it. Don’t condemn yourself but be encouraged in it.

There was a field, Northern Parkway and Charles Street, – it’s probably still there – it’s just a field that was broken down, broken down fence, overgrown grass, not seeming too valuable. Whenever I read this parable, I think of this field. We all know that dumpy lot in the neighborhood or that area where it seems nothing is going on with it.

This man is passing by. I like to think he’s passing by day after day and one day he stumbles across and is going to take a short cut to his house and he’s cutting through the field. When he’s cutting through the field he stumbles on something. It has so much value whatever he finds that he hides it. He comes home and imagine the scene. He’s so excited and enthusiastic about what he found and trying to convince his wife we are going to sell everything we have. She’s thinking you’re crazy. He goes on to explain what he wants to buy. She’s saying that old dumpy field that everyone takes their dog to so they can go to the bathroom? That’s the field you’re talking about? That IS the field I’m talking about.

Jesus, why is it you came into the world in Php 2 – he came in the likeness of sinful flesh, made like us, came in humility, came as a servant, a man of sorrows. You think of Christ and see the outside of who he is. You see him there on the cross. You say what beauty is in this Messiah or king. When he was in the world he’s in this place that there is no beauty in what he is doing. No beauty in who he is as a person but he is the field. The kingdom of God is like that. The treasure in the field is Jesus himself. But what I want you to look at is that first the man finds the treasure and second he sells all he has. In Php. 1 this is the preface of my point, we have Paul who is in prison writing to the Philippians with so much joy. It’s a joy book. You read it and this is where it’s at.

vs. 12, I preached about this in Fed Hill a couple weeks ago. I said that Paul is in prison and if a pastor goes out and preaches the gospel and is in prison and he’s thrown in county jail what does that do for everyone else preaching? I wouldn’t preach. I’ll be straight up and honest. If I realize they are cuffing people and throwing people in prison my first reaction is I don’t want to preach. I’ll do it down low. Not out in the open. I don’t want to be thrown in prison. Paul is saying they became bold to speak and without fear cause he was in prison.

That seems crazy. vs. 20. Think about that. Christ will be magnified in my body.

What does that mean? He goes on to say it in vs. 21. I would like to say tonight that Christ being magnified in my body happens where Paul says Christ is magnified in my body the most when I die. God is magnified in my body he says when I die. It is great gain. What does that mean? How is God glorified in the death of Paul? He dies to everything that he is enjoying in life. He can’t preach the Gospel anymore. He can’t lift up his hands and praise God anymore. He can’t witness to people. He can’t disciple people or counsel people. I would say all those things would be glorifying God and they do. But he says when I die, it’s great gain and I magnify the Lord in my body. The reason why Paul is saying Christ is magnified in me even more when I die is because he gets to experience the treasure and be satisfied with the treasure even more. We think God is glorified when we make hard decisions and we’re doing something hard for God’s sake. But I think in the Scriptures it points to when I enjoy God the most that is when God is most glorified in me.

If you look back in those verses in Php 1, he says when I was in prison they had the ability and no fear to go out and speak the word. Why was it? Because I think they saw that Paul saw it was all worth it. He was gaining so much satisfaction out of the fact that he was suffering for Christ’s sake and he found in that suffering an unbelievable satisfaction so much more so than his life. His life wasn’t even worth the satisfaction he found in Christ. Those preachers see Paul in prison and they are saying what the heck is he seeing? What the heck is he tasting? He must be experiencing something better than life, better than my own freedom or tasting the most delicious food or experience the most pleasure in life. It must be Jesus satisfies me to the highest degree I am willing to lose my life. Sometimes we think I have to lose my life to gain Christ but I think the Scripture is saying you taste and see that the Lord is good and you go home and tell your wife I’m selling everything. What do we have to tell people struggling with addiction? That Jesus tastes so much better than your sin. What do we tell people so caught up with their self-conceit and their greed? We have to say that Jesus owns it all. You don’t have to live your life going after things for yourself. Your Father has it all. All treasure is in Christ. He is my full satisfaction. When I say that, it glorifies the Father to the nth degree. To die is gain means I get to experience the thing that is most satisfactory in all of eternity, Jesus. That is what we need but how do we get it? That’s the question. I remember talking to this young guy witnessing to him and being so fired up. When you leave service sometimes and so fired up and say I have to tell someone about Jesus. He said I can see you are excited about it but what about me? How do I get it? What’s the secret?

And in Heb. 11 it says, this is something for probably a month, I want to know is better in my own life so it can change me. I believe it is here. I believe Jesus is the answer.

Heb. 11:6. He rewards those who seek him.

Let’s take it to a practical level and use Moses as the example in vs. 23. Born into privilege, authority, born into anything he would need in life. We look at his example and say how can he ever do it? My heart is so drawn to pleasure. We could say that’s a bad thing but I don’t think so. God has made me to enjoy pleasure, to be happy.

Is it 1 Tim 5 maybe he made all things for me to enjoy. Christianity shouldn’t be a trudge through the mud. Woe is me. I think God has made me to enjoy things but I get it messed up. My old heart is hooked into the wrong things. My heart is actually hooked into things that are just like are you kidding me? God is saying I’m not trying to rip away pleasures from you but to realize your pleasures are too cheap. There is something else going on that you can enjoy that the pleasure meter is one hundred and you are down there playing in the sandbox. Let’s get moving here and start enjoying things I made you to enjoy. I made you to enjoy me. I brought my Son so you can enjoy him. Moses has all these enjoyments. We could say evil, evil. The thing in itself isn’t evil.

The distortion is evil. So in vs. 23-25. We could say that’s hard. That’s a hard thing. Let’s be honest. Your sin, the thing you enjoy that takes the place of God, that’s hard to leave that. It’s not easy. For Moses he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter…

vs. 26. He looked to the reward. He is a rewarder. What is the reward? If Moses saw a reward that made him leave the grips of pleasure that none of us could leave, what was that reward? That was the grace of God. What did he glimpse? What did he see as he was standing there that no one else could see? He must have seen something so magnificent that his body, mind and heart were so on fire he says I’d rather suffer affliction with the people of God so I can gain that reward. Faith works like this. Sometimes we think we have to do this by faith and jump in the dark. We aren’t jumping into anything that is dark. We are jumping into the future grace that is going to meet us at the next moment. That’s how we live our life. Jesus died for me, suffered for me. Therefore I have to do this thing for Jesus. I can’t last doing that. Lord, my heart is so on fire for this pleasure and sin and so attracted to it but by your Spirit quicken me according to your word and show me something that gets my spirit so on fire that I say I want to go this way. It’s future grace. It’s grace in the future. Abraham, give up your son. I can’t do it. I can’t give up my only child. He said he knew God was faithful to resurrect his son from the dead. That gave him that ability to make that decision to lift that knife up. By faith I trust that God is going to give me that grace and that gives me the power to deny my flesh and go towards the reward. That’s what I need. Why did the psalmist say taste and see the Lord is good? What is he talking about?

1 Peter 1 he says vs. 23. I like to think of it, what is this seed? It’s incorruptible seed. He said through the word of God which lives and abides together. How did we awaken to God? We go past the dumpy field and one day we believe. By that seed it opened us up to a whole new reality. That reality gave us these senses. He wakened me to a new system that can’t be seen. I’m alive to it. Everyone else is passing by the field. Nothing there. This pleasure is better. Peter is saying you have been born again. It’s the Gospel preached to you. That’s what made you alive. The Word made you alive. The Word of God came in and made you alive.

2:1-2 desire the pure milk. I like how he uses milk. We can taste it be filled with it and it nourishes our body.

vs. 3. Taste it. How do I taste Jesus?

It says in Heb. 12 where are our eyes placed? On Jesus. The author and finisher of our faith. How did these people do these unbelievable things? They suffered persecution, famine, hunger, beatings, imprisonment, leaving the world behind. Noah was mocked and ridiculed and kicked out of society. How did they do it? By seeing Jesus. It wasn’t because they were doing some hard thing. It wasn’t because it was hard, or I have to do this hard thing. They saw something so phenomenal they said I will leave all behind and go for that. How do we see Jesus? How do we taste him? How do we experience him? vs. 3.the milk of the word. Look at this Bible. What picture do we get? We get Jesus. We get his different attributes his words, his love, his actions, the deep heart he has towards us. And then we get to know his will. We get to know what he delights in. Lord, what do you delight in? I don’t delight in that. But let me get to know what you delight in. This is the miracle of the H.S. in all of our lives. All of a sudden those things that I am so attached to start to fade away and become so dim. The things so important to Christ become so important to me. I love it.

Paul says in Php. 1 he goes I have so much joy in you guys. These are the same people he was killing before. These are the people he was thinking were the scum of the earth. What happened Paul? You said the highest joy were these people. He saw Christ was in them. He saw Christ was growing in them.

Php. 1:4, 6. With all joy. Where does joy come from? Recognizing the grace of God. When I recognize the gift of God and how are these people the gift of God? Christ must have loved them so much and deposited his Spirit in them and it became Paul’s highest joy as well. In closing, the last point is this: God is a God of paradoxes. And what seems to be life is actually death and what seems to be death is life. Paul in a prison cell seems death but is life. Herod in his temple seems life but is actually death. When people see believers that are suffering but they are not suffering because they feel they have to earn favor with God, but suffering cause it’s so worth it. They are glorifying God. When Jesus came and he died on the cross, who did it glorify? His Father. It was his Father’s will. What did Jesus see that made it worth it for him to do the hard work? He saw us. He saw you and me. He said you are so worth it that this crucifixion I have to go through is so worth it because at the end the reward is so worth it. It’s you and I. That’s the Father’s love toward us. The Father is glorified in that. The world says I feel bad for those people. Ever see a missionary struggling and have holes in the shoes, no food, that we can feel bad. But I believe that a believer can say don’t feel bad for me. Do not feel bad for me. Everything I have lost is only for gain. I know that’s hard to say. I want to be careful saying that because I’m not saying sinful loss. There is sinful loss and then loss loss. You lose something precious. We can see the hardships people go through but when they can say it is worth it. Paul is saying come on now. Don’t feel bad for me. If I die, it’s gain. I get to experience my highest pleasure in life even more so. What does that mean for you and me? I’m not getting sawn asunder. Or stoned like Stephen. Maybe in the future. But what I’m saying where I’m living if these guys could go through what they did because they saw Christ. In my own life on a Monday morning the Spirit quickening me and opening my eyes to see things in the Word to see Jesus. I can say it’s all worth it. I can leave my sin behind. I can lose my life because Christ is greater.

Jn 12:25 you can’t follow me unless you lose your life. Keep following and you’ll see I’m so much better than your stupid little life. I created you. Follow me and get to know how great I taste. How beautiful I am. Find the pleasure you are looking for in me through the word in Jesus. Those things just fade away. I know you can say I have heard it before. I’ve tried it. How do I do it? If God has made you and he has given you a capacity and you are knocking, isn’t he going to open? Is he not going to open? I said this morning in closing, there is the parable in Proverbs the lazy man says there is a lion outside. I like to use it as a picture of a heart. The lazy man doesn’t introduce himself that way. I’m a lazy person. Laziness is a sin we try to cover up. All my shame I try to cover up. I use my mind and it develops and my heart employs my mind and develops ridiculous story lines. No lion outside. You are making an excuse. Our heart is so deceitful it fools our mind to believe our own lie. There are things in my heart my mind has an excuse for so I can spit it out to God Almighty. He says I’m not dealing with you on the level of your mind and the sophistication of your argument. I’m going to the source where you are living in your heart. You are lazy. Jesus, how dare you. Jesus didn’t deal with them up here but right here.

Let the Spirit come in and search the heart. Lord, search me. What is it I am holding onto that is more beautiful than you? What is more beautiful than you, Jesus? Okay. Now we’re talking. If I leave that. I don’t think I can leave that behind or have the same type of security or pleasure. What kind of pleasure can I find in a man with nail pierced hands leading me to a place I don’t want to go? The outside doesn’t look too good but you have to follow me and go to the depths of who I am. He is so worth it. It is hard in our heart. That’s why he is the good counselor. He sits in a chair and looks at me. Let’s talk about it. The Word you open and he is like sitting across the chair from me, talked to me Jesus. I’ll come up with these arguments to think you wouldn’t give me the satisfaction I am looking for. Sit with me and listen to my voice and enjoy me. I’ll tell you and you can get up and your heart can be so on fire for Jesus. What kind of pleasure do you find in that? Don’t feel bad for me. I found the treasure and can leave the earthly treasures behind to find the real treasure. That is Jesus. Jesus you are so satisfying. Even I can die because that is greater gain. God is glorified in that.



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