Summary: This sermon is designed to challenge materialistic values and remind Christ’s followers that we have “better and lasting possessions.”
JESUS THE BETTER WAY:
JESUS PROVIDES BETTER POSSESSIONS
Do you have your cell phones with you this morning? I have a text question for you. The phone number and question are on the screen and I will refer to your answers later in the sermon. Here’s the question:
“WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MATERIAL POSSESSION?”
Please answer with one simple word … no need to for clarification, etc. … just your favorite item.
This is not a trick or a trap. Mine would be my motorcycle. I really enjoy riding, cleaning, and maintaining my Harley Heritage Classic.
What’s your favorite possession?
Have you ever noticed that you can tell what someone values – even what they trust in – by the way they spend their money? As I have said before; show me your checking account and I can give you a biography of your life. It tells me everything you value.
Have you ever spent time looking at your spending habits in light of your values? It might be a worthwhile use of your time. Try to do it from the vantage point of an objective bystander. What would someone who did not know you, assess about you by looking at your spending habits and money management?
In a manner of speaking that is what the writer to Hebrews does in verses 32-39. He makes an assessment of the Hebrews’ values by looking at how they manage their treasures and possessions. In doing so he is able to tell where their real treasures lie.
Listen to the Word of the Lord:
32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering.
33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated.
34 You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.
35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
37 For in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay.
38 But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.”
39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.
It is easy to get attached to stuff isn’t it? Even temporal stuff can cling to us if we never stop to scrutinize our loyalties. I cannot help but notice that the understanding the Hebrews had of their material possessions governed the way they lived their lives. They held on loosely knowing they had “better and lasting possessions” awaiting them.
They had obviously assessed the landscape and chosen to live in light of eternity. You see, this was a church going through hardship because of their faith. They had to make some real and immediate decisions that were certain to affect the remainder of their lives – both here and in eternity. They counted the cost. They are an example of a church that understood the gravity of John’s words: “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:15-17).