Summary: What are you sacrificing in exchange of obedience? Do you make spiritual deals such as: Buy Now - Pay Later! Or Low-Interest-Refinancing Available! Or Lease To Own?
OPTIONAL SERMON OPENER ---------------
Buy play money or go to http://www.hasbro.com/monopoly/pl/page.treasurechest/dn/default.cfm
and print off monopoly money (free). Print off one page then you can use your church’s printer for the rest.
Have ushers give one bill to every person who comes into the sanctuary, right when they come in. When you’re ready to play, call some people up to the front - suggestion: 3 people for every 100 people.
On, “Go!” your three volunteers run out in the crowd and grab as much money as possible - the crowd lifts up their monopoly money.
Set a time limit. The one who runs back to you with the most money wins.
Have the one with the most money make a choice between three covered boxes… two cheap prizes and one nice one.
Today’s message is entitled Let’s Make A Deal...
I would like to start out by making you an offer...
MY FIRST OFFER...
1. I will give each of you $100,000 for your car right now!
Would anyone turn this offer down?
I doubt it; but before you spend the money, I have another deal to offer you
MY SECOND OFFER...
I will give each of you $1,000,000 for your car, but...
a. You must give me back the $100,000 I just "gave" you
b. You must wait one week for the money
c. You must leave your car where it is parked right now until next week
d. You must be back here next Sunday to receive the money
2. Would anyone turn this second offer down? I doubt it...
I suspect everyone would be willing to exchange $100,000 for
b. Not even the conditions would stop you; somehow you would:
1) Get back home (even if you had to walk home!)
2) Get along all week without your car
3) Get back here next Sunday, no matter what--to get that million dollars.
LET’S ANALYZE THIS...
1. The first offer sounded exciting at first, but didn’t even come close to the second offer…
In the first offer…who would wouldn’t want $100,000 for their car?
But then that offer wasn’t as exciting compared to the second offer because:
1) $1,000,000 is worth a lot more
2) Even if you have to wait a week to receive the money
3) Even if you have the inconvenience of no car for a week
By accepting the second offer for $1,000,000 you have turned down the first offer for $100,000:
So you turned down an offer for free instant money costing you nothing but your car.
Now you accepted a larger offer for $1,000,000 that now requires more effort on your part and some personal sacrifice.
You turned down something FREE that required nothing of you, for a greater offer that now costs something of you in return…remember that, while you turn in your Bibles to Judges chapter 2…
To set the scene, somewhere around the year 1200 B.C., Joshua, one of the great leaders of the people of Israel, died at the age of 110 (Judges 2:8). "And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all of the days of the elders who survived Joshua, who had seen all of the great work of the Lord which He had done for Israel" (vs. 7).
In the course of time, however, "there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet know the work which He had done for Israel" (vs. 10).
As a result of this, "the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals, and they forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed themselves down to them; thus they provoked the Lord to anger" (vs. 11-12).
For the next several generations the Lord’s dealings with His people would be in a cycle in nature.
First: The people would sin, turning from their God to engage in the evil practices of the peoples around them.
Second: God would severely punish them by giving them into the hands of their enemies (Judges 2:14 -- "And the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and He gave them into the hands of plunderers who plundered them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies around them, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies.").
Third: The people would cry out to their God in their distress, repenting of their evil
Fourth: The Lord would raise up a deliverer for the people of Israel who would deliver them from the hands of their enemies and bring peace.
Fifth: The judge would eventually die, and the people would return to their evil ways. This cycle repeated itself time and again throughout this period,