Summary: What are you willing to exchange for your soul? Jesus asked His Disciples that very question. In this continuing series from Questions Jesus Asked we will note it is not the gathering of things but the giving up of things where one finds value in life
Introduction: Today is Father’s Day and to be honest it does not carry with it the same endearment as Mother’s Day.
On Mother’s Day, Cards are purchased, Restaurants are filled to capacity and preachers preach sermons on how to love and honor one’s mother. According to “A Discover Card Survey” On Mother’s day the average amount spent on mothers is $41, the average amount spent on dad - $31!
Also on Mother’s Day, one sees the highest volume of long distance phone calls.
However, according to one expert children go through 4 stages of dealing with their fathers.
In stage 1 they call you dada.
In stage 2 they grow and call you daddy.
As they mature and reach stage 3 they call you dad.
Finally in stage 4 they call you collect.
While our culture may give preferential treatment to moms, make no mistake fathers you are essential to a healthy family.
Scores of research studies have documented the positive effects of involved fathers here is just a sampling of the benefits:
• The National Center for Educational Statistics reported that when fathers are involved in their children’s education, the kids were more likely to get A’s, enjoy school, and participate in extracurricular activities.
• Fathers who are involved with their children demonstrate "a greater ability to take initiative and evidence self-control." When these boys grew up, they were more likely to be good dads themselves.
But when fathers are isolated or uninvolved with their children, here’s the result:
• Their children have a higher rate of asthma, headaches, anxiety, depression, and behavioral problems.
• Teenagers are at greater risk of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use, and suicide
• Adolescent girls are 3 times more likely to engage in sexual relations by the time they turn 15 and 5 times more likely to become a teen mother.
MAKE NO MISTAKE DADS; YOU PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE LIFE OF YOUR CHILDREN.
As Father’s our goal should be to give our children ROOTS AND WINGS in Biology we learn roots do three things
• They give plants stability by holding them in place.
• They draw nourishment from the soil
• They store food and water.
For children, roots come from love for God, strong Christian values and a healthy self image. Roots give our children the ability to learn and grow as well as stability to face the storms of life.
Wings give our children the ability to fly – to make sound choices, overcome obstacles, maintain a positive attitude and reach the potential God intended for them.
IT ALL COMES DOWN TO ONE THING – THE VALUES WE PASS ON
Values don’t just happen they must be learned and lived. Values are not exclusively a “DAD THING” all of us must have values that we hold dear. In Matthew’s gospel Jesus teaches his disciples a fundamental lesson about values by asking them a pointed question found in verse 26 of the 16th Chapter - What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?
1. Jesus speaks of the enormous capacity of achievement within our reach
A. God has created us to be the crowning achievement of his creation.
We are not simply part of the animal kingdom; we did not evolve as the “survival of the fittest” We are made in the image of God. Our unique personhood afford us advantages our all of creation.
Jesus states we figuratively have the capacity for gaining the whole world.
B. The world is not our prize
The second part of the sentence carries with it the lesson for the disciples – YET FORFEITS HIS SOUL. There is the rub – while we have the capacity for great gain of worldly riches, prestige, status and honor it comes with a cost. We can lose our way. Jesus wanted his disciples to understand what the world sees as a success is not the most important aspect of ones life.
C. Understand the background of this text.
The disciples have been with Jesus now some 2 ½ years he is six months away from the crucifixion. His earthly ministry is almost over – he understands what is before him. What he wants his disciples to understand is his kingdom is not about wealth, not about status or power but about kingdom living, seeing the big picture of God’s kingdom in light of their daily life. Jesus gives a stern warning. One can gain the world – but you can forfeit your soul.
2. How does one forfeit one’s soul?
Scripture gives us several ways…
A. Drift away.
A Spiritual life does not just happen. If you are going to have spiritual values it is important that you are intentional about you faith.