Sermons

Summary: THIS IS THE FIFTH OF A SERIES ON CHOICES WE MUST MAKE AS CHRISTIANS. FAMILY LIFE FOR THE CHRISTIAN IS A DRAMATIC MODEL OF THE LOVE CHRIST HAS FOR THE CHURCH. WE MUST CHOOSE TO BE THE BEST MODEL OF CHRIST'S LOVE WE CAN BE.

I CHOOSE TO LOVE MY FAMILY FIRST

LUKE 12:13-21

LAST WEEK WE LOOKED AT CAPACITY CHOICES INVOLVING FORGIVENESS OF OTHERS AND TRUST. ESSENTIALLY WE ARE GOING TO TRUST AND LEAVE OUR FUTURE IN GOD’S HANDS, OR WE ARE GOING TO TRY TO MANAGE OUR FUTURE IN OUR OWN POWER. SINCE WE CANNOT CONTROL OUR FUTURE IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR US TO CONTROL IT IN OUR OWN POWER. WE NEED TO DEPEND ON GOD AND PUT OUR TRUST IN HIM.

OUR NEXT CATEGORY OF CHOICES ARE CLOSELY RELATED TO THESE CATEGORY CHOICES, AND ARE PRIORITY CHOICES. CAPACITY CHOICES SHOW US THAT WE HAVE LIMITED CAPACITY TO DO THINGS, AND OUR CAPACITY LESSENS AS WE AGE. PRIORITY CHOICES ALLOW US TO LIST AND DO WHAT WE FEEL ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS WITHIN OUR LIMITED CAPACITY.

WHETHER OR NOT WE REALIZE IT, WE MAKE PRIORITY DECISIONS ALL THE TIME, AGAIN SOME MAY BE MINOR AND SOME MAJOR IN NATURE. SOME OF OUR PRIORITY CHOICES WILL BE GOOD AND OTHERS QUESTIONABLE. AT TIMES WE MAY CHOOSE THE PROPER PRIORITY, BUT IF THE INTENTION IS WRONG, THEN THE DESIRED GOAL WILL NOT BE ATTAINED.PRIORITY CHOICES ARE MOST IMPORTANT AND VISIBLE WHERE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GETTING THEM RIGHT OR WRONG IS MOST APPARENT

TWO CHOICES THAT I WANT TO CONCENTRATE ON ARE:

1. THE CHOICE TO LOVE MY FAMILY FIRST

2. THE CHOICE TO BE AUTHENTIC

GOD USES THE FAMILY IN THE BIBLE TO SERVE AS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW OUR RELATIONSHIP SHOULD BE TO THE CHURCH AND TO OUR IMMEDIATE FAMILY. WE REFER TO EACH OTHER AS BROTHER AND SISTER, AND PAUL GIVES US THE PRIMARY REASON WHY WE MARRY IN EPHESIANS.

EPHESIANS 5:32-33:

32 THIS IS A PROFOUND MYSTERY—BUT I AM TALKING ABOUT CHRIST AND THE CHURCH. 33 HOWEVER, EACH ONE OF YOU ALSO MUST LOVE HIS WIFE AS HE LOVES HIMSELF, AND THE WIFE MUST RESPECT HER HUSBAND.

HERE PAUL IS TELLING US THAT THE MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIP, IS A PHYSICAL EXAMPLE OF THE LOVE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CHRIST AND THE CHURCH. THE WAY THAT CHRIST LOVED THE CHURCH, SACRIFICING HIMSELF FOR IT IN LOVE AT CALVARY, IS TO BE THE EXAMPLE FOR CHRISTIAN MARRIAGES TODAY. HOW’S THAT FOR SETTING THE BAR HIGH.

OUR SCRIPTURE READING TODAY IS A PARABLE ABOUT A MAN WHO SET HIS PRIORITIES. AS A PARABLE I WANT YOU TO REALIZE THAT ALL OF THE FACTS OF THE STORY ARE NOT GIVEN TO US, ONLY THOSE THAT ARE NEEDED FOR JESUS TO PROVE HIS POINT.

JESUS HAS BEEN APPROACHED BY A MAN TO SETTLE A DISPUTE ABOUT AN INHERITANCE. WE DON’T KNOW THE SPECIFICS OF THE DISPUTE, AND HIS CLAIM MAY HAVE BEEN LEGITIMATE, BUT JESUS USED THE QUESTION TO TEACH ON THE ISSUE OF PRIORITIES.

THE MAN IN JESUS’ PARABLE WAS VERY WELL OF. FOR SEVERAL YEARS HE HAD BOUNTIFUL HARVESTS, WITH THIS LAST ONE BEING THE BEST OF ALL. HIS LAND PRODUCED SO BOUNTIFULLY THAT HE HAD NO PLACE TO STORE HIS CROPS.

WE ARE NOT TOLD WHAT HE DID WITH HIS CROP, WHETHER HE SHARED IT WITH PEOPLE OR NOT. WE ARE TOLD THAT HE BUILT BIGGER BARNS TO STORE THE CROPS, AND THAT HE HAD ENOUGH FOR HIMSELF TO LAST SEVERAL YEARS.

THE KEY TO THE RICH MAN’S ATTITUDE IS FOUND IN VESE 19.

LUKE 12:19: AND I’LL SAY TO MYSELF, “YOU HAVE PLENTY OF GRAIN LAID UP FOR MANY YEARS. TAKE LIFE EASY; EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY

THIS ATTITUDE DISPLAYS SELFISH PRIORITIES. NOTE THE MANY PERSONAL PRONOUNS USED IN THE PARABLE. HE BUILT HIS LIFE ON WHAT HE COULD DO AND POSSESS.

THERE ARE RICH MEN TODAY WHO’S ONLY PRIORITY IS THEIR MONEY AND FAME. THEIR ONLY GOAL IN LIFE IS TO FINISH THE DAY ONE DOLLAR RICHER THAN THEY WERE AT THE BEGINNING. ALL OTHER THINGS, FAMILY, GOD, THEIR HEALTH, TAKE SECOND PLACE TO THE MIGHTY DOLLAR. IT IS LIKE THIS UNTIL SOMETHING HAPPENS THAT MONEY CANNOT FIX.

WHEN JESUS SPOKE OF THE MAN’S UPCOMING DEATH, HE SHOWED HOW WRONG THE MAN’S PRIORITIES WERE. HIS MONEY COULDN’T HELP WHEN IT CAME TO ETERNAL CHOICES. THE OLD SAYING IS TRUE, “THERE ARE NO U-HAULS IN BACK OF HEARSES.”

THE ISSUE HERE IS NOT THAT IT IS WRONG TO HAVE NICE MATERIAL THINGS, BECAUSE IT ISN’T, BUT NOT TO MAKE THE ACQUISITION OF MATERIAL THINGS THE ONLY PRIORITY IN YOUR LIFE.

MATTHEW 6:19-21:

DO NOT STORE UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES ON EARTH, WHERE MOTHS AND VERMIN DESTROY, AND WHERE THIEVES BREAK IN AND STEAL. 20 BUT STORE UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES IN HEAVEN, WHERE MOTHS AND VERMIN DO NOT DESTROY, AND WHERE THIEVES DO NOT BREAK IN AND STEAL. 21 FOR WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS, THERE YOUR HEART WILL BE ALSO.

WE NEED TO SET OUR PRIORITIES FOR OUR LIVES, BASED ON THE WORD OF GOD, SET THEM AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE, AND STICK WITH THEM.

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