How Do You Know You Value the Kingdom? | Part 3

Treasure

Maybe you have called yourself a Christian for a long time, but how do you know you value the kingdom?

The Parable of the Householder

The Parable of the Householder not only tells us what Jesus’ disciples should do, but what those who value the kingdom will do.

And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” (Matthew 13:52, ESV)

Jesus not only compares His disciples to the Scribes – the learned teachers of the day – but also to a household master. He pictures the master bringing out and showing off his old and new treasure.

The old treasure represents the familiar teachings of the day, while the new treasure represents the teachings Jesus revealed to the disciples.

What’s Jesus point?

Jesus’ point is that His disciples are to teach the people how the old and new truths He revealed integrate together. Jesus’ message doesn’t wipe the slate clean. It doesn’t replace the old. It fulfills it, and it is the disciples job to show how that’s the case.

Why Spread Jesus’ Message?

Problems will arise, if Jesus’ disciples carry Jesus’ message to the people. People will reject and hate them. Life will not be easy. Knowing that, why spread Jesus’ message?

The value of the Kingdom should cause Jesus’ disciples to spread His message.

You see, those who value the kingdom will tell others about it. They will talk about it, no matter the cost.

That’s because we talk about those things we value.

How do you know if you value the kingdom?

(1) Is Jesus apart of your conversations with others?

Do you talk about Him with you friends, family, neighbors, and even strangers?

We talk about those things we value. You can know if you value the things of God, you can know if you value the kingdom, you can know if you value Jesus, if you talk about Him.

How else can we know if we value the kingdom or the things of God?

(2) Do you read God’s Word?

If you value the things of God, you will want to learn more about Him. The way to do that is to read His Word.

(3) Do you pray?

If you think God is valuable, you will set aside time in your day to talk with Him.

(4) Do you seek to live according to God’s Word?

If you think His wisdom and commands are valuable, you will want to live by them.

(5) Do you give your money, time, and resources to kingdom work?

Those things we value, we invest in. Do you invest in the kingdom by giving your money, time, and resources to it?

(6) Do you put Jesus first in your life?

The things we value get first priority in our lives. So is Jesus first in your life, or is He 2nd or 3rd, or even at the bottom of your list? We give first priority to those things we value. So is Jesus first in your life?

Questions for Reflection

  1. Do the questions above reveal you value the Kingdom or not? Why or why not?
  2. What other questions would you add to the list of six above?

Resources

Post adapted from my most recent sermon Why Should You Want to Follow Jesus?

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Why is Jesus’ Kingdom So Valuable? | Part 2

Treasure

Jesus’ Kingdom is the most valuable thing in the world and you should want to give up everything to follow Him. But why? What makes His Kingdom the most valuable thing in the world?

(1) Jesus’ Kingdom is valuable because those who are apart of it have a restored relationship with God and eternal life.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Mt 13:47–50)

Jesus compares the fishermen picking out the bad fish with the angels work when Jesus returns. The angels will separate the evil from the righteous. The evil will face God’s punishment, while the righteous enjoy a restored relationship with the Father and eternal life.

Those who are apart of the kingdom, those who follow Jesus are no longer enemies of God. They enjoy a restored relationship with the Father because Jesus paid the price for their sins, taking the punishment they deserve.

How great is that? How valuable is that? It’s worth more than anything this world could ever provide.

(2) Jesus’ Kingdom is valuable because it will never fail us.

It’s the best investment we could ever make. It is guaranteed. It is no risk because Jesus follows through on His promises. He promises us eternal life. We get it. He promises us joy. We get it. He promises us acceptance. We get it.

On the other hand, the world promises us all kinds of things, but doesn’t come through. And if it does, it’s not lasting.

The World Promises Joy

You might find joy in a new car or home or phone. The joy, however, it provides is only momentary. It’s easily taken away. A car wreck. A dropped phone. A house fire.

The World Promises Satisfaction

You might find satisfaction in your job. What happens, however, if you are fired, disabled and can’t work, or if old age has caught up to you and you are forced to retire?

The World Promises Success, Fame, and Wealth

Take fame for instance. People chase fame all their lives, but it is fleeting and short lived. Think about all the sports stars, actors and actresses, and musicians who are now labeled “has beens.” They were famous for a while, but eventually grew too old or a new rising star stole the spotlight.

Fame is short lived. The same with success and wealth and whatever else the world promises.

The world is always going to fail us. Jesus, however, will never fail us. The kingdom will never fail us. It will be there for all eternity.

Conclusion

Jesus’ kingdom is valuable because:

  1. It provides us with a restored relationship with God and eternal life.
  2. It will never fail us.

With something so valuable, why would you ever want to go after anything else?

Questions for Reflection

  1. Can you think of other reasons Jesus’ Kingdom is the most valuable thing in the world?
  2. Do you believe Jesus’ Kingdom is the most valuable thing in the world?

Resources

Post adapted from my most recent sermon Why Should You Want to Follow Jesus?

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How Do We Live Like the Elder Brother?

In my last post, I made some observations from the parable of the prodigal son. In doing so, I highlighted the Gospel as the third way to live, with the other two ways to live being the way of the Relativist and the way of the Moralist. You can read my post here.

In the parable, the younger brother represents the Relativist, and to him everything is about self. The elder brother represents the Moralist, who lives outwardly for God, but inwardly his heart has not changed. In an effort to help us see how we live like the elder brother, so we can correct our thinking and actions, I want to ask and answer the question: How do we live like the elder brother?

We Act Like The Elder Brother:

When we believe we are saved by our works

  • This manifest itself in the following ways
    • We do this so, so we get salvation type thinking
    • When we do not think of our sin as being offensive to God.
    • When we think we are not that bad saying, “Sure Christ died for me, but I really was not that bad.”
    • Comparing ourselves to others saying “I needed God’s grace, but not as much as this person over here does. Look at their sin and look at mine.”

When we believe our works earn us favor with God

  • This manifest itself in the following ways:
    • We show up to church every time it is open thinking if we miss a service we are not in God’s favor.
    • When we believe we may get in a car wreck, or lose our job, or fail a class, or that one of our kids will not turn out right, if we are not consistent with our quiet times because somehow God will pay us back for not spending time with Him.
    • When we believe God will not use us or bless us if we are not reading His Word or doing Christian type activities often.

When we believe we must pay Christ back for our salvation

  • This manifests itself when we say things like: 
    • Christ died for you, witnessing to others is the least thing you can do for Him.
    • Christ suffered for you, the least you can do is read your Bible and pray to Him everyday.
    • Christ went to the cross for you, the least you can do for Him is go on a missions trip, part with some of your resources in order to help the church, or show up to services on Sunday.

When we believe God owes us for being such a good Christian.

  • This manifest itself when:
    • We do not receive the recognition we thought we should have received at church for helping with a ministry project, serving the church, attending regularly, and we get mad about it.
    • When we get jealous when another person who obviously has not done as much as we have gets recognized or asked to help with another ministry/task even though we said we wanted to serve as the chairman of that committee, teach that class, or serve those people.

The Christian disciplines mentioned throughout this post are good, but they can become corrupted when we believe they: 

  • Earn us salvation
  • Earn us favor with God
  • Become a way to pay Jesus back for what He has done for us
  • When they are done because we want to gain things such as recognition, or opportunity.

Should we stop coming to church, serving the body, doing our quiet time, praying, teaching a class, etc? 

  • No, we should not. The reasons we do them though should change.