Summary: 1st of 4 sermons on the stewardship of Life: God’s Prevailing Power creates freedom and opportunity. In God’s plan for your life you become successful in life beyond belief – having all you need to do more than you could ever imagine.
God’s Prevailing Power Will Set You Free
photo of hand holding a rock
God’s Prevailing Power creates freedom and opportunity. In God’s plan for your life you become successful in life beyond belief – having all you need to do more than you could ever imagine.
On the way in this morning you were given a rock
I’d like you to pick it up and hold it through the entire message. You can switch hands. You can put it in your laps but you can’t put it down and you can’t give it to someone else to hold. You can’t throw it either – especially at me!
If it drops on the floor and rolls down a few rows get up and get it. If you get embarrassed about your rock becoming such a public thing, well that is the way a burden in this life works.
We all have worries and concerns. Some are bigger than others. They all weigh us down. Sometimes they become visible to everyone.
Some people make them into pets! In fact, Gary Dahl sold Pet Rocks in 1975 for $3.95 each. They came nested in a little straw in a box with air holes along with a book on the care and training of your pet rock. In six months five million pet rocks (which cost about 1 cent) were sold all over the United States and Gary Dahl became a millionaire.
Some people still make their burdens into life long companions.
This morning we are going to look at the words of Jesus in Matthew. These are things he taught as part of what we call the “sermon on the mount”. If you will hear and obey these words they will set you free from your burdens forever!
Not only that you will begin to unleash the prevailing power of God in you and in his church! Let’s read together Matthew 6:19-21 first.
The Problem: People Invest their Treasure in the Wrong Things
19 “Don’t store treasures for yourselves here on earth where moths and rust will destroy them and thieves can break in and steal them. 20 But store your treasures in heaven where they cannot be destroyed by moths or rust and where thieves cannot break in and steal them. 21 Your heart will be where your treasure is.
What is treasure?
Most people think of treasure as a chest full of gold doubloons, diamonds, rubies, and emeralds.
Some think of huge piles of greenbacks, bank accounts with six and seven digit figures posted to them, or portfolios populated with massive amounts of Fortune 500 company stocks.
Let me suggest a simpler definition: Your Treasure is what you willingly give your life to obtain.
Pirates in the sea faring days of old invested their lives in chests of gold and gems that they later buried in secret places.
Today, most people in our world invest their lives in the accumulation of various kinds of wealth. We build up our bank accounts; accumulate stocks and bonds; invest in land, buy houses, cars, and vacation condos – in other words we exchange our lives for lots of “Stuff”.
Money is not bad. Money is not good. Money is the simply the means by which we save, exchange, and give our life in ways and capacities that we cannot do so by any other method.
Every morning you go to work and either you sell your life by the hour (Minimum wage of $6.25), exchange your unique God given and man’s educated skills by the job, or you sell the knowledge you have to another as a writer, teacher, attorney, physician, or counselor.
Now there is nothing wrong with this. The fact is that money is a rather marvelous invention. It is the only way we have to save, store, transfer, and purchase life – yours and others.
If we didn’t have money we’d have to invent it.
But we must return to the problem: Worry about stuff sucks the life out of life!
All of this kind of treasure is easily and eventually lost. Everything is eventually gone. It all rusts and decays. Moths destroy it all. This isn’t news to you. You know this about stuff! That’s why you worry about it! That’s why stuff becomes a burden. Because it is ALL EASILY AND EVENTUALLY lost – the people who have made this “stuff” their treasure are constantly burdened by it.
They worry about getting it; they worry about keeping it, they worry about how to get more of it; they worry about having enough of it; they worry about enjoying it; and they worry about how and when they’ll lose it.
Hold up that rock – that represents the stuff in your life. That rock is your car that didn’t start last week. It’s your new home theater system that suddenly lost 3 out of the five channels. It’s your computer that keeps crashing. It’s the pile of bills that arrived in the mail yesterday. It’s the checking account that bounced a couple of checks.