Summary: This sermon deals with our commitment level to follow Jesus Christ. How much are we willing to give up for Him?

Sell Out, Or Sold Out

7/28/2002 Genesis 26:1-11 Luke 14:25-33 Matthew 13:44-47

If somebody asked you, on a scale of one to 10, with one being very low and 10 being the highest rating you could have, “how sold out to Jesus are you”, what number would you give yourself? Now if the same question was given to Jesus about you, would Jesus give you a higher number or a lower one.

What keeps us from being sold out to Jesus, is that all of us are tempted to sell him out. Have you ever put confidence in another person, and just knew they were going to come through for you only to have them sell you out in the end? What feeling did it leave you with inside? Do you think Jesus ever feels that way about us?

We saw what was a sold out situation turn into a sell out. Rebekah was one fine and good looking sister. When Isaac first saw her, there was not a happier man anywhere around. He was sold out on his wife. Then one day, a famine came to his country and he went to the land of the Philistines. He was tempted to go down to Egypt like his father Abraham had done many years earlier. But God told him, “Do not go to Egypt. I will take care of you in this land. Stay in this land for a while and I will bless you. Because of a promise I made with your father Abraham, I will make your descendants to many to count.”

Now with a direct word from God like that, you would have thought Isaac would have been sold out to God. He was in the place that God had told him to be. Yet, the temptation to sell out God was still there. Isaac got to thinking, “ok, God I’ll do what you told me to do, but I’ve got to have some room to fix this thing up.” Isaac looked at his wife, and how beautiful she was, and decided, he loved her, but he loved his own life a little more.

When the men asked him, who was that fine looking woman traveling with him, he would say, “that’s my sister.” He was afraid if he told them that was his wife, they would kill him in order to get to her. But to save his own skin, he put his wife at risk of being raped or kidnapped by the men of the community. His fear of what might happen to him, turned him into a sellout rather than being sold out for God and his wife. If you were Rebekkah, how would you have felt about this? How do you think God felt?

The thing Isaac thought God couldn’t handle, the moment it became known that she was his wife, God touched the king’s heart to give special protection to Isaac and to Rebekah. This was God’s plan from the beginning, but whenever we choose to sell out, we miss out on God’s best for us.

Let’s look at a couple of parables that Jesus told to his disciples about the kingdom of heaven. The first is found in Matthew 14:44. It says in Matthew 13:44 "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

Jesus uses the familiar experiences of his hearers to get his point across. Now not many people would have found a treasure, but the people did know a lot about the practice of hiding things of value in the ground. People did not have banks and safes to keep their wealth in, so they would protect their valuables in a secret spot in the ground.

Whereas when we need money, we go to the ATM machine, when they needed money or decided to sell or trade some jewelry or other item, they would go the place at night, uncover the jar or storage box, take out what they wanted and rebury the rest.

Since Palestine was a constant battleground for foreign armies for hundreds of years, families would often bury things to keep the enemy from finding them. Many of the treasures remained buried and their location was unknown if the owner died suddenly or was forced off his property and deported to a foreign country. The treasure would then be forever lost unless someone accidentally discovered it.

In the story, the man may have accidentally trip over something sticking out of the ground, or maybe a severe storm had come through and the water had washed away some of the dirt that was covering it. The man dug at the site and discovered a great treasure.

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