Matthew 7:24 NET "
Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them is like a wise man who built his house on rock.<br />Have you ever wanted something so bad you would give anything to get it? Maybe it was a new iPod? A hot new video game that just came out? Maybe it was a new pony that had just been born down the road? A motorcycle or 4 wheeler you saw for sale? You just ached almost in tears because you wanted it so badly! You would do or give anything to get it! Jesus tells a couple short stories about two people who wanted some things so badly they sold everything they had so they could buy what they wanted.<br />A person found a treasure, hidden in a field so he hid it again in the field but in a different place where no one else could find it. Then because of joy he went and sold all that he had and bought that field.<br />We don’t know what that treasure consisted of. It could have been money, it could have been gold, it could have been diamonds. We just don’t know. But we do know that it was so valuable the person sold all they owned so they could have it. It was definitely worth more than what they already had. The person could probably buy much nicer stuff than he had before. I’m sure the person would be set for life.<br />In the next story a merchant is searching for fine pearls. When he found a pearl of great value, he went out and sold everything he had and bought it.<br />Can we relate to these stories? These two people found something they valued & wanted so badly they sold everything they had so they could buy what their hearts desired. Would you do that? If you found something you wanted so much because it was very valuable to you, would you sell everything you have so you could have your heart’s desire?<br />Let me read to you about something so valuable we all should give everything we have to obtain it.<br />Revelation 21:1-14 NET Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and earth had ceased to exist, and the sea existed no more. 2 And I saw the holy city — the new Jerusalem — descending out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: "
Look! The residence of God is among human beings. He will live among them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist any more — or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the former things have ceased to exist."
5 And the one seated on the throne said: "
Look! I am making all things new!"
Then he said to me, "
Write it down, because these words are reliable and true."
6 He also said to me, "
It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the one who is thirsty I will give water free of charge from the spring of the water of life. 7 The one who conquers will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 8 But to the cowards, unbelievers, detestable persons, murderers, the sexually immoral, and those who practice magic spells, idol worshipers, and all those who lie, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. That is the second death."
9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven final plagues came and spoke to me, saying, "
Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb!"
10 So he took me away in the Spirit to a huge, majestic mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. 11 The city possesses the glory of God; its brilliance is like a precious jewel, like a stone of crystal-clear jasper. 12 It has a massive, high wall with twelve gates, with twelve angels at the gates, and the names of the twelve tribes of the nation of Israel are written on the gates. 13 There are three gates on the east side, three gates on the north side, three gates on the south side and three gates on the west side. 14 The wall of the city has twelve foundations, and on them are the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.<br />Revelation 21:18-27 NET The city's wall is made of jasper and the city is pure gold, like transparent glass. 19 The foundations of the city's wall are decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation is jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 And the twelve gates are twelve pearls — each one of the gates is made from just one pearl! The main street of the city is pure gold, like transparent glass. 22 Now I saw no temple in the city, because the Lord God — the All-Powerful — and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because the glory of God lights it up, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk by its light and the kings of the earth will bring their grandeur into it. 25 Its gates will never be closed during the day (and there will be no night there). 26 They will bring the grandeur and the wealth of the nations into it, 27 but nothing ritually unclean will ever enter into it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or practices falsehood, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.<br />Revelation 22:1-5 NET Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life — water as clear as crystal — pouring out from the throne of God and of the Lamb, 2 flowing down the middle of the city's main street. On each side of the river is the tree of life producing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month of the year. Its leaves are for the healing of the nations. 3 And there will no longer be any curse, and the throne of God and the Lamb will be in the city. His servants will worship him, 4 and they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 Night will be no more, and they will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, because the Lord God will shine on them, and they will reign forever and ever.<br />Revelation 22:12-17 NET (Look! I am coming soon, and my reward is with me to pay each one according to what he has done! 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end!) 14 Blessed are those who wash their robes so they can have access to the tree of life and can enter into the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the sexually immoral, and the murderers, and the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood! 16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star!"
17 And the Spirit and the bride say, "
And let the one who hears say: "
And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wants it take the water of life free of charge.<br />Now let’s read the two stories I told you in the beginning as they are written in the Gospel of Matthew. Notice the people who cause others to sin and the sinners, lawbreakers and the difference between those who do right, the righteous.<br />Matthew 13:41-46 NET The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather from his kingdom everything that causes sin as well as all lawbreakers. 42 They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. <br />Did you notice what happens to those who cause sin & the lawbreaking sinners themselves? They are thrown into the fiery furnace, that is Hell! What about those who are righteous? The righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. That’s the Kingdom of God, our Heavenly Father. Now the two stories.<br />The one who has ears had better listen! 44 “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure, hidden in a field, that a person found and hid. Then because of joy he went and sold all that he had and bought that field. 45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. 46 When he found a pearl of great value, he went out and sold everything he had and bought it.<br />These two parables teach the same truth: The kingdom is of such great value that we should be willing to give up all we have in order to gain it. Jesus did not imply that one can purchase the kingdom with money or good deeds. No! The goal is you stop living for yourself & start living for Jesus. What is it Jesus wants you to do?<br />John 14:15 NET "
If you love me, you will obey my commandments.<br />Matthew 6:19-21 NET "
Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But accumulate for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.<br />What good will the things you have here on earth be if your goal is obeying Jesus & being welcomed into Heaven? The only good they’ll be is if you use them to serve Jesus while on this earth. Let me tell you a story to explain what these two short stories are really saying.<br />KERUX ILLUSTRATION DATABASE ID Number: 1468<br />David Holwick Collection<br />SOURCE: Improving Your Serve: The Art Of Unselfish Living<br />TITLE: Releasing Our All To God<br />AUTHOR: Charles R. Swindoll<br />PAGE: 35<br />ILLUSTRATION: <br />With a bit of sanctified imagination, one man offers this dialogue to illustrate just how much is involved in releasing our all to God so we are free to serve others:<br />"
I want this pearl. How much is it?"
the seller says, "
it's very expensive."
But, how much?"
we ask.<br />"
Well, a very large amount."
Do you think I could buy it?"
Oh, of course, everyone can buy it."
But, didn't you say it was very expensive?"
Well, how much is it?"
Everything you have,"
says the seller.<br />We make up our minds. "
All right, I'll buy it,"
we say.<br />"
Well, what do you have?"
he wants to know. "
Let's write it down."
Well, I have ten thousand dollars in the bank."
Good--ten thousand dollars. What else?"
That's all I have."
Well, I have a few dollars here in my pocket."
<br />We start digging. "
Well, let's see--thirty, forty, sixty, eighty, a hundred, a hundred twenty dollars."
That's fine. What else do you have?"
Well, nothing. That's all."
Where do you live?"
He's still probing.<br />"
In my house. Yes, I have a house."
The house, too, then."
He writes that down.<br />"
You mean I have to live in my camper?"
You have a camper? That, too. What else?"
I'll have to sleep in my car!"
You have a car?"
Two of them."
Both become mine, both cars. What else?"
Well, you already have my money, my house, my camper, my cars. What more do you want?"
Are you alone in this world?"
No, I have a wife and two children..."
Oh, yes, your wife and children, too. What else?"
I have nothing left! I am left alone now."
<br />Suddenly the seller exclaims, "
Oh, I almost forgot! You yourself, too! Everything becomes mine--wife, children, house, money, cars--and you too."
<br />Then he goes on. "
Now listen--I will allow you to use all these things for the time being. But don't forget that they are mine, just as you are. And whenever I need any of them you must give them up, because now I am the owner."
<br />What is Heaven & the Love of God worth to you? I hope & pray you will be ready to give all you have to serve & glorify Jesus. We can’t buy our way to Heaven by selling all we have. But we can give all we have, deny what we want & do what Jesus wants. <br />Matthew 16:24 NET Then Jesus said to his disciples, "
If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.<br />I ask today if you are willing to do that? You are never too young to start molding, shaping, your life, into what Jesus wants it to be. Let’s take in what Jesus taught us in these two stories & live it out by giving all we have for the treasure of being with Jesus in Heaven.<br />