Summary: An Easter sermon that directs its hearers to the one, most important alliance we all need - the eternal one Jesus has made with us!
MAKE AN ETERNAL ALLIANCE!
Most of you have probably heard of the TV show "Survivor." Millions of people across North America tune in their TVs each week as a group of castaways attempt to survive in the wilderness of the Australian Outback on little food or water. Not only do they have to survive the elements, but also the will of the "tribe." The tribe of castaways votes one of its own out of the tribe each week. The final survivor wins a million dollars. The object of the game is to "Outwit, Outplay, Outlast." It’s been so popular, this is the show’s second season already - the first season was on an island. Who’s watching? You can admit it; we’re among friends. Who do you think will win? I was hoping Rodger would.
The key to winning has been made quite obvious: Make An Alliance! Last season, Richard Hatch made an alliance right in the beginning and rode it all the way to a $ million. After Rudy, one of the last to go, was voted off the island, in his final interview, he made this observation: "My advice for anyone who plays this game is to form an alliance and stick with it." In the current show, it’s being made very clear how important it is to have an alliance, and how devastating it is when that alliance fails! In this TV show, you need alliances to survive.
In life, you also need the right alliance to survive. In the next few weeks, we’re going to talk about "How To Be A Survivor." If you want to be a survivor in life, if you want to survive conflict, financial problems, work, and parenting, you need the right kind of alliance. Have you found the right alliance? What alliances have you made in life? By the dictionary’s definition, an alliance is "a connection based on kinship, marriage, or common interest; a bond or tie." Isn’t it true that our alliances in life are where we are spending most of our time, energy, and thoughts? Where are your alliances? What ones have you made?
We’re social creatures, aren’t we? We make alliances with friends. Friends bring us happiness. They’re a blessing. We enjoy spending a lot of our time with friends. It’s never a perfect alliance, though, is it? Friends often bring conflict. Pain. Sadness. They often disappoint. But more often, they help! Friends do make a good alliance. However, is that alliance enough to get you through life? If we fill up all our time with our friends, will that fill up all the empty space and loneliness in our lives? Or is there something more?
We need other things for security, too, don’t we? We need financial security to survive in life. Would you agree that we make alliances with our financial situation? We spend a lot of time thinking about it, banking, trading, investing, saving, planning, dealing with taxes, and trying to improve our bottom line. Some of you may have such a close alliance that you know right where you are sitting financially. You might be more familiar with your portfolio’s report card than your child’s report card! But - is this alliance trustworthy? If your financial alliance is at all tied in to the stock market, that’s a pretty easy question to answer right now! If this was our most important alliance, we would be in complete panic! Markets crash. Interest rates go up. Houses don’t sell. Our financial alliances betray us constantly!
Where else do you spend a lot of time? At your job, right? Have you made an alliance with work? We’re busy, today, aren’t we? We’re working long hours. We pour ourselves into our work! It often brings satisfaction. But does it give us true happiness? Or is there something more important? Does work give us security? Or could we be laid off? What if our health fails?
There are more important alliances than work, like the alliance we have with our families. Many of you have made a marriage alliance. That is a wonderful blessing! Many of you have children - more great alliances! Stick with these alliances! Spend quality time with these alliances. They are very important, and bring blessings into your life. I wish they were perfect, though. But you see, there can even be trouble at home. These alliances can sometimes bring our deepest pain and disappointment. You know why? Because they end. Some end in sin, separation, and divorce. The ones that don’t will eventually end in death. That is the problem with earthly alliances. We are all sinful. And that messes everything up. Sin always ends in death. It separates us from God and from anything truly good. Isn’t there something more? Isn’t there an alliance we can make that will last? One that isn’t tainted by sin? Something that we can count on 100% forever?