Summary: A sermon about coming to understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe God.
“Raise Your Hand If You’ve Got Too Much Stuff”
In Ephesians 1:19 the Apostle Paul says, “I…pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him.”
I want to understand that incredible power more than anything else in the world, how about you?
Paul goes on to say that this same power which is available to those of us who believe is the very same power that “raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.”
Again, I want to understand the incredible greatness of that power.
Because coming to understand that that power is the only way we can even begin to come to love unconditionally; serve without expecting anything in return; not repay evil for evil; not gossip; be ministers of God’s truth; be the persons God created us to be; live in community…
…love ourselves and be loved…
…and live into the way of life Jesus describes in our Gospel Lesson from Matthew Chapter 6!
Understanding the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe is the only way to be free!!!
It is the key!!!
And I don’t know about you, but just when I think I’ve finally arrived…that’s when I find out just how far away I am from understanding the incredible greatness of God’s power!
…that means it’s time to learn again and move forward—for we are all persons living with ‘Messy Lives’!
And key for persons living with ‘Messy Lives’ is for us to continually get back up, wipe the slugs off our faces and keep on trying to understand the power available to us through Jesus Christ our Lord!!!
Jesus tells us, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear…
…Do not worry…
…Do not worry…
…Do not worry.”
Raise your hand if you have gotten to the place where you “do not worry.”
The New International Version of the Bible reads: “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
I prefer how the New King James Version puts it a bit better: “You cannot serve both God and mammon.”
And the word mammon means money, but it also means: STUFF!!!
We can’t serve both God and STUFF!!!
Now, raise your hand if you have too much stuff!
I most certainly do.
We are all walking around with great big backpacks and suitcases which are just filled and overflowing with STUFF!
Many of us have so much STUFF that we cannot stand-up under it…
…it threatens our very existence!!!
Many of us are about ready to drown in our own STUFF!!!
We rely on self rather than God.
We are insecure.
We want to protect our STUFF!
We don’t trust others with our STUFF!
We don’t trust God with our STUFF!
And we all suffer for this.
Jesus beckons to us in Matthew Chapter 11: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Most of us probably know that passage by heart.
I’ve probably read it more than a hundred times…
…but do I…
…do we really understand the power of it?
Do we have any idea what Jesus means?
I was talking with a friend the other day and said, “You know, I have been saved since 1986.
That is 22 years!
And over those 22 years I have come upon truck load after truck load of STUFF that I didn’t even understand or realize I was carrying.
It’s been 22 years and I continue to come upon truck loads of STUFF that I didn’t realize I had or was still holding onto…
…and I am sure there are full convoys chocked full with stuff headed my way this very moment that I neither understand or am even aware of…
…it’s something I expect to deal with my entire life.”
It is one of the things that makes the Christian journey so exciting, because the more stuff we recognize we have…
…and the more stuff we finally hand over to God…
…the more we grow and the more strong we become and the better able we are to understand the “incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him.”
I just wish I didn’t fall flat on my face so many times!!!