Summary: "What good thing must I do to get eternal life?" What good stuff do I got to do to go to heaven? Jesus responds with: "Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only One who is good."
The High Cost of Freedom
INTRODUCTION: It was once said, "We gain freedom when we have paid the full price...." A mother of a young soldier leaving for Vietnam never to return told his mother as he departed: "Freedom has a price, but whatever that price is, we must be willing to pay it." Freedom never comes cheap. The freedoms we experience here in America didn’t come cheap. The freedom you have to assemble here or choose not to, didn’t come cheap. Face the facts, our freedom here in America cost close to a million lives before 1900; 117 thousand lives in WWI; almost half a million in WWII; 37 thousand in Korea; 58 thousand in Vietnam and many more in wars and conflicts since. Freedom results from commitment. Our nation is committed to freedom. Our soldiers are committed to maintaining freedom. The fact of the matter is: freedom without commitment isn’t really freedom at all. Vietnam Veterans have a saying: "All gave some, some gave all." True freedom requires true commitment. This same commitment carries over into the spiritual realm.
That brings me to this thought: "Are you a pig...or are you just chicken?" How committed are you to your faith? One way to make that determination is to decide if you are a chicken or a pig. A chicken & a pig went for a walk around the farm one morning. As they passed the farmer’s window they noticed a wonderful breakfast prepared for the farmer & his wife sitting on the table. A closer peek revealed ham & eggs on the plates. They were silent for a moment as they allowed the impact of what they saw to sink in. Finally, looking at the eggs & prideful of her contribution, the chircken said, "now that was a sacrifice!" The pig, still staring at the ham on the plate, piped up and said, "Yes, for you it is a sacrifice, but for me it requires a total commitment!"
So, how committed are you? Are you a pig...or are you just chicken? Is it just a sacrifice for you or are you totally committed?
TEXT: Matthew 19:16-21
"What good thing must I do to get eternal life?" What good stuff do I got to do to go to heaven? Jesus responds with: "Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only One who is good."
Jesus sets out to emphasize a point....
I. GOOD IS NEVER GOOD ENOUGH
A. Doing is the wrong question because there is nothing anyone can DO to earn a relationship with God. Ro 3:23 - "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
B. Jesus emphasizes obedience to the commandments. The man says which ones? What’s the least I can do? Always falling short of a full commitment. Always attempting to get by with as little as possible.
C. Jesus sees the man’s heart - sees his love of money - tells him to go, sell & give. The man walked away.
APPLICATION: The guy was willing to make a sacrifice like the chicken but he just couldn’t bring himself to total commitment. How about you? Are you a pig....or are you just chicken?
What it all came down to for this guy was this....
II. WHAT ARE YOU HOLDING ON TO
A. Jesus looked into his heart - He saw his love of money - He saw the thing that would prevent this man from a total commitment.
B. If Jesus looked into your heart what would He see? What are you holding on to? Or better, what is holding on to you? Money, stuff, cars, job, career, other activities, friends, boats, fishing, hunting, partying....What’s #1 in your life?
ILLUSTRATION: Monkeys are taken by hunters in Africa by simply tying a gourd filled with fruit to the ground. The monkey sticks his hand in, grabs the fruit but can’t get his hand back out. He will pull all night but refuses to let go. The hunter returns, the monkey goes spastic but still refuses to let go. The hunter whacks him on the head and throws him in the bag. Why did this monkey die? Because he refused to let go.
C. What are you holding on to? What is it you got that you think is making you happy? Jesus has something far greater for all. But we must let go and let God! So how committed are you? Are you a pig....or are you just chicken?
D. Many would love to let go but just can’t find the strength to do it. We try in our own way to make God #1, but before long stuff is controlling us again. GUESS WHAT? You are not alone.
If it seems impossible to let go....
III. IT’S ONLY POSSIBLE THROUGH GOD