Summary: what is the good Life? Will we know it if we have it?
Years ago, the Saint Petersburg Times, ran clues to a treasure of two hundred dollars that had been buried some where in the Tampa-Saint Petersburg area. Two thousand people showed up in front of the papers offices on the day the final clue was printed. During the next thirty minutes several unusual things happened. A half dozen people were injured in automobile accidents. A number of women passed out in the crowd. Four people had to be rescued from waste deep mud. The stakes of a building were torn up from the crowd in its frantic search for hidden treasure. In retrospect the newspaper stunt was a huge success circulation increased by five-percent. The search for gold may likewise, become a mania. A popular American pastime is the effort to get something for nothing. The search for the good life is an all-consuming passion. Jesus saw men and women loosing their souls in search of things that did were only temporal mirages. In the Sermon on The Mount Jesus addresses this dilemma head on.
1. The Good Life is a life of wise investments vs. 19-23
The question shouldn’t be who wants to be a millionaire? Instead it should be “How Bad Do You Want To Be A Millionaire?” In 1990 James Patterson and Peter Kim wrote a book based on extensive surveys of the American Public, the book was called; “The Day That America Told The Truth.” Questions were asked concerning a wide range of topics from morality to work to family life. The results are really quite surprising. And while it’s easy to write off the results as being American I’m sure that many of the results would have been the same on this side of the 49th.One of the questions asked was “What would you be willing to do for Ten Million Dollars?” A follow up survey was done asking about 5, 4, 3 and 2 million dollars and the results remained fairly consistent. It was only under $2 million that they began to see a fall off in what people would do. So it would appear the price for many Americans was $2 million. Out of the ten questions asked 2/3 of the respondents agreed they would be willing to do at least one, and some several of the deeds. What were they? Would abandon their entire family 25%, Would abandon their Church 25%, Would become prostitutes for a week or more 23%, Would give up their American citizenship 16%, Would leave their spouse 16%, Would withhold testimony and let a murderer go free 10%, Would kill a stranger 7%, would change their race 6%, would have a sex change operation 4%, or would put their children up for adoption 3%.
You say that you have no interest in a million dollars, come on? At least be as honest as Mark Twain who said “I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.”
This morning we are looking at The Good Life
Collins Dictionary defines Greed: Excessive Desire, especially for wealth or food.
American Psychologist Eric Fromm said “Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.”
But not everyone agrees, Ivan F. Boesky said “Greed is all right, by the way … I think greed is healthy. You can be greedy and still feel good about yourself.” And Donald Trump said “The point is that you can’t be too greedy.” On the other hand Jesus Christ clumped Greed together with evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, eagerness for lustful pleasure, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. And said they are what defile you and make you unacceptable to God.” So with all due respect to Donald and Ivan maybe Greed isn’t all right. But it’s something that most of us have struggled with, that ever-consuming quest for more. After all most of us would agree with Woody Allen when he said “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.”Greedy for Stuff The Bible speaks a lot about money, but contrary to popular opinion it’s not opposed to making it or keeping it. After all Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Solomon, Job and many others in the Bible were very wealthy. However the Bible gives several warning concerning how we acquire our wealth, what we do with it after we have it and what it does with us after it has us.
2. The Good life is the life of dedication, not denunciation vs. 24
Hell is full of the Divine holiness; holiness
in the manifestation of justice; holiness in
its most glorious exercise.
How fearfully are the lost now learning this truth!
Think it not a trifling matter, unconverted reader,
to look into the bottomless pit, and to know that