Sermon Illustrations

Being Committed to Christ

Matthew 4:18-25 , 1 Corinthians 1: 10-18

Last summer Becky and I visited the Biltmore mansion in Ashville North Carolina. It is the single largest home ever built in America. Let me tell you it is something to see. It proved so large and so expensive to maintain, that even the Vanderbilt’s millions could not sustain it. It had gardens, lakes, 16,000 acres of land, an indoor swimming pool, a gym and even a bowling alley. It employed 140 people. This was a monument to the “Gilded Age” that gives the stories of men like John D. Rockefeller, Commodore Vanderbilt, and Andrew Carnegie. It is amazing to see how these men were driven to build and amass unheard of fortunes. Their whole lives where consumed in money and power. They stepped on many lives to get it. Nothing mattered much to them except getting more and more. Their singular goal was to be the richest man in the world.

And I think it is funny that at the end of each of these men’s lives, when they realized their dreams, they decided to give all that money away. Why? Because they realized that they can’t take it with them. So they immortalized their names by giving their money to start Universities, Libraries, and to help all kinds of Charities around the US. Money is no good in the afterlife.

So, I ask you, to what is your life committed? For a multitude of people today it could be summed up in one word, like the “Men who Built America”, money. Even Christians are bowing before the god, Mammon. We do this even though we know we can’t take it with us.

Let me ask the question again. To what or whom is your life committed? Today’s reading from Matthew’s Gospel is about a group of men who were called by Jesus to be his disciples. It is about Simon and Andrew and James and John, four fishermen, but it is also about you and me, because we have been called to be disciples as well. We have been called to be committed to something that is larger than all the money in the world, something that is eternal. What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? Let us learn by looking at the attributes of these men.

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