Captivated by joy (Preach notes)
The search for joy, and the discovery of something of great value is a foundational motivation for all people. In the parable of the treasure and the pearl (Matthew 13:44-46) Jesus tells a story about two men who find what they had always wanted, and they pull out all the stops and go to any extreme to get it. We notice that the exchange was not motivated by a threat, or motivated through a command. Rather in joy because of the great value, they made a great exchanged captivated by the vision to have the prize.
We receive Christ and His Kingdom in the same way, He shows us His beauty, value and worth and in comparison to what we behold in Him everything else looks comparatively less (Philippians 3:7-8 Loss compared To Christ). We embrace the joy, delight, pleasure of prizing, valuing the invitation to have the most Loving, kind, trustworthy person driving my 'car' (ruling over me, for me) for me. Jesus is of superior value because He invites us into His abundant limitless LIFE. As John Piper says "It’s as if a poor child entered a toy store and the owner said: you can have the best and most expensive toy in this store if you want it more than anything else".
The motivation for following Jesus is joy, and Jesus’ great value. Even if it did cost me everything the trade is not sad if I get Christ. The foundation is not sacrifice but His love. And Jesus does not motivate through control, punishment, or rules. Rather we see Him and get compelled, captivated and motivated by joy. He is Infinitely wonderful. And so we Abandon ourselves to Him and His love.
The Kingdom is not suppression of desire but freedom from slavery. Freedom from making something else our saviour that ultimately leads to feeling like this “If I don’t have that I’m nothing” Pretty much anything else you trust other than God will eat you alive and make you its Slave. Repentance is to say "I let go of that being my identity/saviour/validation in order to embrace freedom and joy