Everyone is tuned in to radio station WIIFM: What’s in it for me?

If you can show people how the teaching today will benefit their life, you will have their undivided attention.

But, isn’t that appealing to selfishness?

The question reveals an underlying assumption. Allow me to reveal it in the form of several questions:

  • Is it good for us to follow God?
  • Is it always in our best interest to live the Christian life?
  • Is God good?
  • Is following God good for me?

If God is good. . .
If following God is good. . .
If obedience to God is always in my best interest. . .
If it is always good for me to follow God. . .

Then, there is no conflict. What is most glorifying to God is what is best for me. John Piper has a helpful quote from John Murray on this point:

There is no conflict between gratification of desire and the enhancement of man’s pleasure, on the one hand, and fulfillment of God’s command on the other…. The tension that often exists within us between a sense of duty and wholehearted spontaneity is a tension that arises from sin and a disobedient will. No such tension would have invaded the heart of unfallen man. And the operations of saving grace redirected to the end of removing the tension so that there may be, as there was with man at the beginning, the perfect complementation of duty and pleasure, of commandment and love.[1]

The introduction needs to spell this out. Reduce it to a sentence. Reduce it to a promise: if you really pay attention today, you will be one step closer to the abundant, John 10.10 life that Jesus promised.

[1] Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist. John Piper