Improve your sermon prep with our brand new study tools! Learn all about them here.
Sermons

Summary: Whatever we think we possess can be lost. God gives it to us for only so long as we need it, but after that it becomes an idol. We must choose to give away time, talent, treasure for things that do last, and for life itself.

  Study Tools

Almost nothing that you and I count on to be permanent really is permanent. Almost everything that we think will last forever, it turns out, can be destroyed. Anything we have we can also very easily lose.

We live in a monumental city. Capitol Hill, the monuments, the Federal Triangle, the White House -- it’s all been there for a long time and it all looks very permanent. We count on having Washington just about the way we’ve always had it.

The only trouble is that I’ve lived here almost twenty years, and I get more lost today that I did twenty years ago! Everything has been moved, or really removed. Maybe not the monumental things I just listed, but a lot of other landmarks are just gone. Most of downtown is either new office buildings, new hotels, a convention center, or a hole in the ground. And if I get off 16th street and venture either into downtown or into West End, I don’t recognize anything any more. What we had and thought was permanent, we lost.

Almost nothing that you and I count on to be permanent really is permanent. Almost everything that we think will last forever, it turns out, can be destroyed. Anything we have we can also very easily lose.

And if you think that maybe this city is different; if you think it is just our throwaway society; if you suppose that it is just that we Americans have no consciousness of history, then I invite you to travel with me in your mind’s eye to the great capitals of the ancient world. And you will see much the same thing.

Stand with me in Jerusalem at the site held sacred by Jews, Christians, and Muslims; stand at the site of the Temple. And all you will see is one wall, the western wall, still standing. The rest is gone. A building built to honor God and be the center of life for God’s people -- and it is gone.

Climb with me the acropolis in Athens, where stood temples and altars and monuments and palaces. Built of the finest marble, adorned by the most practiced artists, the best that Greece could construct -- and today it is a jumble of pediment and pedestals, broken columns and weather-beaten steps. The glory that was Greece is mostly a boneyard of marble fragments now.

So also the grandeur that was Rome, and the majesty that was Carthage, and the splendor that was Thebes in Egypt. All dust, all gone.

Almost nothing that you and I count on to be permanent really is permanent. Almost everything that we think will last forever, it turns out, can be destroyed. Anything we have we can also very easily lose.

And that means we have to make some choices. That means we have to make some decisions about what we will do with our resources and our energies. Most of all, that means we are going to have to choose what we will give our loyalties to. If something is only temporary, I can choose to spend some time and money and energy on it, and that’s all right, as long as I understand that it is temporary. But if I can find something that is not temporary, if I can find something that will last, if I can find something that will be eternal, doesn’t it make sense to choose that?


Browse All Media

Related Media


Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion