Summary: In the life of Christ we learn what our relationship to God should mean to us.
INTRO.- ILL.- A man was driving home from work one evening when he suddenly realized that it was his daughter’s birthday and he hadn’t yet bought her a gift. So, the man rushed off to the nearest toy store and asked the sales clerk, "How much is that Barbie in the window?"
The sales clerk replied in a condescending tone, "Which Barbie? We have Barbie Goes to the Gym for $19.95, Barbie Goes to the Ball for $19.95, Barbie Goes Shopping for $19.95, Barbie Goes to the Beach for $19.95, Barbie-Goes-Night-clubbing for $19.95, and the Divorced Barbie for $265.00." The overwhelmed man asked, "Why is the Divorced Barbie $265.00 and all the others are only $19.95?" "That’s obvious!" said the sales clerk. "Divorce Barbie comes with Ken’s house, Ken’s car, Ken’s boat, and Ken’s furniture.”
Life is about relationships and some of them don’t work! This is why there are so many divorces in America.
ILL.- Rick Warren writes in THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE, “I have been at the bedside of many people in their final moments, when they stand on the edge of eternity, and I have never heard anyone say, ‘Bring me my diplomas! I want to look at them one more time. Show me my awards, my medals, that gold watch I was given.’ When life on earth is ending, people don’t surround themselves with objects. What we want around us is people – people we love and have relationships with.
“In our final moments we all realize that relationships are what life is all about. Wisdom is learning that truth sooner rather than later. Don’t wait until you’re on you’re deathbed to figure out that nothing matters more.”
Life is about relationships: marriage, family, children, work, church, etc. Consequently, we all need to do the best we can to work at these relationships. We need to work at building these relationships, not tearing them down.
I Cor. 8:1 “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.”
What does this tell us about how to build relationships with others? It’s not how much we know, but how much we do that builds relationships. WE MUST LOVE PEOPLE AS BEST WE CAN!
Job 4:4 “Your words have supported those who stumbled; you have strengthened faltering knees.” Have you supported anyone with your words?
Prov. 12:18 “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
The words that we speak to God can make a difference in relationships. In prayer our words can bless others and praise God. The more we pray for others and the more we praise the Lord in prayer, the better our relationship will be to Him and them.
God is deeply interested in His creation, particularly people. He wants a relationship to us when others might not. And He does all He can to create that relationship.
PROP.- In the life of Christ, we learn what our relationship to God should mean to us.
1- the call
2- the cost
3- the calm
I. THE CALL
Matthew 9:9-13 “9As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. 10While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. 11When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ’sinners’?" 12On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13But go and learn what this means: ’I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
ILL.- A middle-aged farmer felt the call to go into ministry and entered a seminary. However, as the months went by his studies became increasingly difficult for him. Finally he was called into the dean’s office for counsel.
“What ever made you think you should go into the ministry in the first place?” asked the dean kindly.
“Well, Sir, I was out in the field one day, and suddenly I had this vision. Up in the sky were two large letters: ‘P. C.’ I felt the Lord was telling me to go into the ministry to ‘preach Christ’ and so I came here to the seminary.”
“But not all of us have to go into the ministry to preach Christ,” said the dean. “Did you ever consider that those initials might also have meant to ‘Plow Corn’?”
God calls all people to Himself, but not always to preach. Whether we preach or not, God still wants all people to be saved and to serve Him in some form or another.
Matthew, the tax collector, was called to follow Jesus. The Lord is not a respecter of persons. He calls all people, regardless of their position in life or occupation. Tax collectors, the IRS, the rich (Bill Gates, Warren Buffet), the famous, (Hollywood actors and actresses. Even people like Madonna and others), the poor, the middle class, etc.