3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: An exciting sermon on lightening the loads in life:spiritual, mental, & physical. Live a simple live. Enjoy the simplicity of Creation.

· Have you ever been to an airport and seen the people’s suitcases? (some over 100 lbs!)

· Have you ever helped someone move and wonder why they have certain things?

· Maybe you’ve wondered why you have certain things? (Magazines, school papers, etc.)

People are burdened now more than ever: mentally, physically (material things), and spiritually (anger, grudges, bitterness, sin, guilt, etc.)

[Hebrews 12:1-2] Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. (every weight…not just sin can weigh us down from serving God more effectively.) And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. (is your load light enough to run with?) {2} We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, (are our eyes on Jesus?) on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God’s throne in heaven.

STORY: On April 14, 1912, 10:00 p.m. the Titanic crashed into an iceberg in the mid-Atlantic and four hours later sank. One woman in a life boat asked if she could go back to her room. She was given only three minutes to do so. She hurried down the corridors, already tilting dangerously, through the gambling room piled ankle-deep in money. In her room were her treasures waiting to be taken, but instead, she snatched up three oranges and hurried back to the boat. One hour before she would have naturally chosen diamonds over oranges, but in the face of death, values are seen more clearly.

A man died and went to heaven, and at the pearly gates he asked St. Peter if he could bring something into heaven. Normally this wouldn’t be allowed but St. Peter felt nice today, so he let the man return to earth. The man sold everything that he had and bought gold and filled a suitcase and went back to heaven. When he got to Heaven St. Peter was very curious what the man would value so much to return to earth to get. So the man opened the suitcase to reveal sparkling gold. St. Peter asked him why he brought concrete!

OBJECT LESSON: (Have a backpack filled with many things and things hanging off of it.) Life is kind of like backpacking in a tunnel. Imagine for a moment that I was backpacking in a tunnel, and the further I went the smaller the tunnel became. Eventually these (skis or whatever) would jam against the wall. I would have a decision to make, either stop and don’t go anymore, or take the skis off. In our Christian life sometimes things hold us back from getting closer to God, and they may be good things! We have a choice to make, are we going to stop, or are we going to cast those things off?

Jesus Lived Simply

Talk about how Jesus’ life was simple. Born in a stable, few possessions, parents weren’t royalty.

[Luke 9:57-58] As they were walking along someone said to Jesus, "I will follow you no matter where you go." {58} But Jesus replied, "Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but I, the Son of Man, have no home of my own, not even a place to lay my head." (Jesus didn’t have a home. It would seem that Jesus being God’s Son would have a home – like maybe a castle! But He didn’t; yet God still provided for him in every way.)

[John 19:23-24] When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided his clothes among the four of them. They also took his robe, but it was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. {24} So they said, "Let’s not tear it but throw dice to see who gets it." This fulfilled the Scripture that says, "They divided my clothes among themselves and threw dice for my robe." (Jesus only had a few clothes.)

[Luke 9:23-25] (International Children’s Bible for simplicity) Jesus went on to say to all of them, "If anyone wants to follow me, he must say ’no’ to the things he wants (Another translation says he “must put aside his selfish ambition). (Do we say “no” to the things that we want?) Every day he must be willing even to die on a cross, and he must follow me. {24} Whoever wants to save his life will lose it. And whoever gives his life for me will save it. {25} It is worth nothing for a man to have the whole world, if he himself is destroyed or lost. (Is it worth it to have everything that we could ever want, but not have done everything we could for God’s Kingdom?)

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