Summary: This Sermon Deals With The Rich Man And Lazarus.
Investing For The Future
Easter 4/10/98 Eccl: 11:7-10 Rev. 20:7-15 Text Luke 16:19-32
I’m asking you the question, "What do you want in life?" Your answer to the question today is going to determine what your future is going to be. Right now
the stock market has gone wild. But I don’t keep up with the Dow Jones Record
for the same reason most of you don’t. I didn’t invest in any stocks back when it
was low, so I haven’t made any money from it rising real high. But if I had of
invested, I would be happy to see some money in my bank account now.
There is no use praying to have something better tomorrow if you’re not willing to make some investments today. If you’re praying for better children, what investment are your putting into them. If you’re praying to get a husband or a wife, what investments are your making. If you’re praying for a better job, what investments are you making. If you’re praying for a better wife or a better husband, what investments are you making. If you’re praying to grow in God, what investments are your making.
Mary decided to become a better student in school so she gave her heart to the Lord. Mary was flunking Social Studies which she hated. Each night before the exam, Mary would pray, Lord help me get an A on the exam. She failed the first one. She got a D on the second one. and She got an F on the third one.
Mary went back to God and said "listen God, I spent an hour and a half praying for you to help me on the exam, and all I got was F, a D, and another F. How long do I have to pray to get an A." God says, "Mary your problem isn’t that you your prayers are not long enough, you’ve got to read the Social Studies book first and study it before I can help you remember what you studied. We can try to let prayer become a substitute for work ,but God doesn’t let us get away with it.
There are some people who intend to pray their way into heaven. They will say in a minute, "I know I don’t do this, and I should do that, but God knows my heart. And I do pray To God each night. Prayer does not make up for disobedience.
I want you to journey on a story with me for a moment. Let’s go back to the first century in Jerusalem. I want you meet da man. The brother who had made it big and had it all together. The brother had a house you wouldn’t believe. It looked like one of those huge mansions in Shaker Heights, with a fence around it only a little bigger. When the brother got dressed, he got dressed. He had to have on his Armoni suits just to walk in his flower garden, and he had a suit for each day of the week. His children had their Jordans delivered directly to their home before the new ones reached the stores.
He was a highly successful businessman. He occasionally went to church, but mainly for image purposes. He made donations to hospitals, political campaigns, and the like. People really liked him, because he knew how to throw a party. He had made some investments and they had truly paid off for him. Everybody wanted to be a friend of "the man".
One of his businesses included construction of new homes. One day he was surveying one of his new constructions and he didn’t like the way the weathervane on the top of the building looked so he told the foreman on the job, send one of the guys up on that roof to straighten the weather vane. The foreman, yelled hey Lazarus, go up there and straighten out the weather vane, but be careful.
Now Lazarus was just your honest laborer. He was barely making it from week to week. He had some losses in life, and was pretty much in the world on his own without a family. But one thing he did have was a relationship with God. God was real in his life. The name Lazarus meant "God is my helper."
In confidence Lazarus, went up to straighten the weathervane, but he was not as careful as he should have been, He lost his grip, and the next thing you heard was him screaming as he fell off one roof onto a lower one and then onto the ground. Now the Man saw what had happened, but he had to get to his next appointment. He gave the foreman some money to give to Lazarus to pay for his medical bills and as compensation for his injuries. You see there was no insurance or worker’s compensation back then.