Friday, March 16, 2012

March 17, 2012

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field." Matthew 13:44

Perhaps you have seen this bumper sticker somewhere.

I doubt if you believe that, but the reason it gets a laugh is because there IS an element of truth in it. There are quite a few people who believe that happiness and contentment in life is the result of having lots of possessions.

This raises a legitmate question, "How much stuff does it take to make you happy?" I'll bet at some point in your life you have wondered about that.

I think the main point of this parable speaks to this very issue. Jesus is telling His disciples that real satisfaction comes not from having many things but commiting to the one main thing. That one main thing is the kingdom of God and the kingdom of God is God's reign and rule in your life.

Do you believe that? It runs counter to our materialistic consumer driven cultural norm and if you are not careful you can easily get sucked into that mindset. It happens almost unconsciously especially if you are not consciously guarding against it.
Jesus once encountered a young man who was confused at this point. He had a good education and everything that money could and money leftover besides. But he felt that something was missing so he came to Jesus to find out. Here's how it played out:
"As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’" “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth." Mark 10:17-22

This young man had many things but his love of those many things kept him from the main thing and suspect there are people like that in this room this morning. You have lost your first love because you have lost your focus on that one main thing and become concerned over many things. And the cares and concerns of those many things keep you from receiving God's CRAZY LOVE. Am I close?

According to Jesus, here is what it looks like:

Comfort = having many things
Commitment = having the one main thing

If you are not experiencing God's CRAZY LOVE could it be that you have been trying to find comfort in many things rather than committing to kingdom of God and allowing Him to reign in your heart and soul?

Are you willing to sell the many things in order to take possession of the main thing?

There are three groups of people in relationship to God's kingdom:

1) The Cop Outs - They are unbelievers. They refuse to seek God or acknowledge him at all.

2) The Hold Outs - They are believers who want to please God but are not committed to putting Him first. Like the young man who came to Jesus, they want Jesus but they want to love all their stuff too.

3) The Sold Outs - They are believers who possess the CRAZY LOVE of God because they are surendered to Him and have given up many things to possess the main thing!

Which group are you in today?