Summary: How attraction to and choice of this world demonstrates the condition of the heart.

“Choking on the World”

Steve Hanchett, pastor

Berry Road Baptist Church

“Now, he who received the seek among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful."

-Matthew 13:22-

“But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first, said to him, ‘I HAVE bought a piece of ground and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ Still another said, ‘I have married a wife and therefore I cannot come.’ . . .For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.” - Luke 14:18-20,24 -

“But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

- 1 Timothy 6:9,10 -

“”For Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world” - 2 Timothy 4:10 -

One man once said, “We can’t really know whether or not we have put our trust in God until something is at stake, until something grabs us by the throat and reminds us that God and this world are really going in two different directions. As long as they seem to be going in the same direction, we can’t know whether we are following God or following the world.”

Being a follower of Christ really means that we have seen the eternal value and treasure of Jesus and we choose Him over and above everything this world has to offer us. Even if it means sacrifice in this world.

Moses was just such a man. Somewhere, somehow along the way God did a work in Moses life and as a result Moses had a different kind of heart. That became evident in the choices he made.

Some people want to have it all. They want to be able to say, “Well, you know I prayed to receive Christ and was baptized, so I don’t have anything to worry about.” But at the same time they want to hold ever so tightly to this world. They want to go to heaven to be sure. But they also want all the stuff this world has to offer. So how do you know whether or not Jesus has really changed your heart? How do you know whether or not your are really saved? By the choices you make.

Moses came to one of those moments of choosing. Before his eyes were all the treasures of the Egyptian kingdom. I know that even as I say that it seems like a fairy tale, a story for bed time with no significance to your life. But look at your life right now? What is before your eyes? What is out there for you to pursue? What kind of choices are you having to make?

I think it would have been real easy for Moses to justify a different kind of choice. I think he cold have easily reasoned in his heart that he could do more good for the people if he remained in power and had all that wealth. He could probably get their work load cut down, maybe get them a pay raise, possibly work it out where they could have insurance with dental and vision benefits. Just think of all the good he could do in the position he was going to be in.

Some folks are always thinking about how much good they could do for the church and the kingdom once they strike it rich. Once they get their business going, once they get that promotion, once they win the lottery. Just wait and see how much they are going to benefit the kingdom then.

The truth is, if you aren’t faithful now you sure won’t be then.

This world is like a powerful magnet that pulls and tugs at the hearts of men. It is so powerful that only those whose hearts have been changed and are attracted to a different treasure will overcome the allure of this world. One of the great tests of faith is whether or not you and I can overcome the drawing power of this world. Isn’t interesting that so often in Jesus ministry it was the little things that kept people from fully following Him. It was a wife, a team of oxen and a few acres of land. It was a family relationship, a field that needed to be plowed and the comforts of home. You know nothing has changed.

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