Summary: To point out that there are many worldly things we feel like we cannot live without, but the only true essentials are those things which affect our eternity
Title: “Can’t Live Without It”
Text: Matthew 19:16-22
Objective: To point out that there are many worldly things we feel like we cannot live without, but the only true essentials are those things which affect our eternity
I recently received a ‘Tivo’ video recorder as a gift, and I think it’s really neat. The shows I could never watch before are now recorded, and I can watch them whenever I get a chance. I jokingly said to Jennifer, I just don’t know how we ever got along without Tivo!
Of course I was kidding, but it got me thinking. Many people say, “I just can’t live without my ____” (i.e. TV, cell phone, credit card) and really mean it!
Their lives are so wrapped in the things of this world, and material wealth, that the accumulation of possessions becomes the focus of their lives.
***The man in today’s story had a similar problem. He had many great possessions – but he there was something he lacked: eternal salvation. He came to Christ and asked one serious question: “what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life”
Jesus took him through a couple of commandments, and then hit him where it hurt. Jesus said, “sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me”
But the rich man chose instead to go away sad. He chose his worldly possessions – his temporary happiness – over an eternity in heaven. His happiness was bound up in his riches, and he couldn’t imagine a life without them.
He chose a life separated from God, rather than a life separated from his possessions.
I want to show you today in scripture, two things we truly can’t live without – and neither of them are money! These are things that affect not our temporary physical life, but our eternal spiritual life.
I. We Can’t Live Without Faith
Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
a. Many of you have heard me speak about faith, and how it is best represented by a man jumping from a plane using parachute
i. But Christ is more than any mere parachute, because parachutes sometimes fail
ii. Joke: “When nothing goes right” A young paratrooper was getting his last minute instructions before his big jump. He was told (1) Jump when you are told (2) count to ten and pull the ripcord (3) In the unlikely even nothing happens pull the emergency cord (4) when you land a truck will take you back to the base. Well he jumped and pulled his ripcord and nothing happened. He pulled his emergency cord, and again, nothing happened. “Oh great,” said the young man, “I’ll bet the tuck isn’t down there either!”
iii. Though many things in our lives fail – Christ has never and will never fail
b. Some people misplace their faith in Christ
i. Did I say, ‘misplace faith in Christ?’ Yes I did
ii. They trust Christ for the temporary things of the world, without any consideration for the eternal
iii. Illustration: “Jesus and the Football Team” A group of players visited a church where the pastor was talking about how Jesus can turn losers into winners. All of the boys went forward to accept Christ at the invitation. One team member was later overheard saying, “With Jesus on our team, we can’t lose!” The pastor seemed happy with their apparent conversion. The next Saturday evening one of the boys was seen by one of the girls from the church drinking at a party. She confronted him and asked, ‘didn’t you become a Christian?’ He snapped back, “Hey, that doesn’t mean I can’t have fun. I am not letting anybody, even Jesus, tell me what to do!” During the season, the team lost seven of ten games. One by one the boys stopped attending church and youth activities.
iv. Wouldn’t you say that these boys had a misplaced faith in Christ?
v. All of their faith was in what Jesus could do in the ‘right now’, not in the ‘here after’
vi. Christ did not come to the earth and die on the cross to make sure the Jaguars go to the super bowl, or that you get to drive a jaguar – He came to save us from the penalty of having jumped into sin with no parachute
c. But can faith in Jesus turn a loser into winner?
i. Yes, but not in the way of the world’s standards
ii. Jesus said that the only way to win was to lose
iii. Matthew 16:25 “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”