Summary: Sermon for Ladies’ Ministry Seminar
Ladies, we have heard the Word this weekend. We have also from heard ladies for whom God has done great and mighty things. The Lord has truly spoken to our hearts. At this time I would like to give you some final words of admonition and encouragement. Let us stand for the reading of the Word.
Jesus has just been talking about the hypocrites who fast with disfigured faces in such a way that they will gain the respect of men. Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart. Jesus saw the secret places of their hearts and knew what they were about. He knew they sought not to please God, but only to gain a name for themselves. But Jesus warns the disciples to do their good in secret and not to seek the praise of men. He says when we do this, we shall be rewarded openly. He goes on to say, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on the earth.” That is what the hypocrites were doing. They valued they praise of men. They coveted the praise of men, and that’s what they got. That was their only reward. If you value the things of this world, when you get them that is your only reward. But our Lord went on to say, that for Christians, we are to value heavenly things. The things of this world have absolutely no eternal significance. They are created things. They are things which moths and rust can corrupt, or things that thieves can break in and steal. But we are to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven. Our heart is to be concerned about the kingdom of God. We are to seek to do his will. We are to seek to love God wholeheartedly and to love others as ourselves. When we wake up in the morning we should have Jesus on our mind. When we lay our head to rest at night, we should have Jesus on our mind. And all throughout the day He should consume our thoughts. He should be what we value most. Most of us would say that God is the most important thing in life -but it can not just be lip service. We need to put action with our words. He should be what we devote most of our thoughts, our time, and our energy to. We should be able to say “Just as the deer pants for the water brooks so my soul LONGS after you Lord.” He should be our treasure. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” If He is our treasure, then He has our heart. If He is what we value most, then he has our heart. If we find ourselves more occupied with the things of this world, or the things around us, then THEY have our hearts. “For where your treasure is there will your heart be also.”
Let’s take a look at some guys whose treasure was in heaven. Turn over a few pages to chapter 4, verse 18.
When Jesus came along, Peter and Andrew were just doing what was natural for them. They were fishermen so they were working with their nets. The gospel of Luke tells us that they had been fishing all night and had caught nothing. Do you ever feel like that? Like you are laboring and toiling at the things you have to do and it seems like you’re not getting very far? That’s where these men were. But Jesus had shown his power to Peter and Andrew. Luke tells us that Jesus came along and miraculously filled their nets with fish. Peter had said, “Lord we’ve been there and done that. We’ve worked in vain, we’re tired, we’re weary. But if you say so, Lord, we’ll do it your way.” They threw in their nets again and they filled with fish. When Jesus was part of the picture, when Jesus was in the work, it was profitable. And they didn’t have to toil and strive all night as they had done before. His yoke was easy and His burden was light.
So, Peter and Andrew, as well as James and John had seen the Lord’s power. Not only that, but they had heard his words. He had borrowed Peter’s boat to go out upon the water and teach the people there on the shore. And these guys caught a vision of who this man Jesus could be, so much so that Peter fell down on his knees and said, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” He had begun to see into something eternal, this treasure, this man Jesus, and he realized that he was not worthy to be in His presence. Peter and all that were with him were astonished, the Bible says. But Jesus reassured them, “Fear not,” Luke records. “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Jesus gave them a higher calling. He introduced them to the kingdom of God. They were going to be a part of building the kingdom of God by fishing men. So Jesus laid the kingdom before them. And they caught the vision. These guys valued the treasure set before them, and IMMEDIATELY they laid aside their nets, IMMEDIATELY they laid aside their nets, they left their ships and followed Jesus. They pursued their higher calling.