Stuff, Stuff, Stuff or I need, I need, I need. Larger buildings to hold our stuff or we rent rental units to hold our stuff. Storage units have become big business.
We need, we deserve, and we have to have. More Stuff, More Food, More Insurance.
It’s not all our fault. Commercials entice us, Car Commercials, Food Commercials this one is my favorite.
Mayhem a perfect way to frighten us to protect or try to hold on or stored up treasures here on earth. Mayhem.
We continue this morning, in the book of Matthew chapter 6, Sermon on the Mount, Red Letters, Jesus speaking. The series entitled, He (meaning Jesus) said what? It’s been tough, these last few weeks-oh it doesn’t get better today. Because we are talking about treasurers
Do not store up treasures on earth-but in heaven. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be. The eye is the lamp of the body. No one can serve two masters.
You could actually see the people look at each other and say……He said what?
In 66 books of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, God talks about the topic of money and possessions over 2,000 times. 2,000. Why does God talk about this topic so much? Let me give you something to think about….
Those of you who are parents, think back to when you had your first child, they were perfect, and every other kid paled in comparison. And then something happened-just around 18 months to 2 years…. They grab a toy from another kid… and the worst 4 letter word comes out of their mouth, “Mine.”
Selfishness. Why did he talk about possessions over 2K times? God knows that the number one thing competing for your heart is money, and stuff, treasures. We can be selfish.
One of the worst things that’s ever happened (from me anyway), is two day free shipping or even worst…..one click buying. Oh so easy to buy stuff, it’s delivered to your door. You don’t even have to go out. Click- one click and it’s yours. Wow (cars delivered – what happen to the new car smell) Anybody else with me?
I love it when scripture teaches scripture. In just six pages…..Jesus practiced what he preached and showed us. He shed some light on this sermon of serving two masters.
Six pages – Matthew 14:7 The feeding of the 5 Thousand
A little on the back story hear – because he didn’t actually feed 5,000. He actually fed, more like, 15 to 20 thousand. In those days, Jews, whenever they counted crowds, they would only count adult men. So this count did not include children, or the women or wives. So the reality is that Jesus preached to, and is about to feed, the equivalent of an NBA stadium, a NBA arena. That’s the number we are talking about.
In verse 15, the disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a remote place, and it’s already very late.’ “Send the people away, so they can go to the surrounding country side and villages and buy something to eat.”
You see, the disciples were focused on- “So that they could buy themselves something to eat.” Jesus flips this. Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. “You give … ”
The Sermon on the Mount in the gospel of Matthew is well known for its teachings on a variety of subjects, blessings, love of neighbor, prayer or enemy and the challenges of a life of discipleship.
Up until this time, Matthew has narrated Jesus’ teachings by using a motif of opposites- example, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:43-44).
But, now we see a change in teaching. Jesus used pointed polarity. He intensified the effect with wording. He calls for us to see treasurer in a different light, explaining how it could become our master.
Pointed polarity….treasurers on earth, treasures in heaven; treasures and your heart; and the health of your body…..who are you serving; you cannot serve both God and money. Pointed sermon!
Now, back Jesus feeding the 20 thousand plus….
Jesus didn’t say a word about what the disciples were going to have to go buy…. he simply said “You give …
Jesus….are you kidding- 20 thousand people – that’s going to take more than a half year’s wages and you want it to come out of our salary.
Then Jesus asked this question? “What do you have?
Go and see.” And so they did. They found a little boy that happened to have five loaves of barley and a couple of fish.
You see, the disciples’, their mindset was “not enough”.
Jesus viewed this through a completely different lens. He viewed it through the lens of abundance. More than enough. Now fast forward and scripture says that they all ate and were satisfied. That’s not the end- the disciples picked up 12 baskets full of broken pieces that were left over.
Jesus said, “You give…. (12 full baskets of lefts overs – doggie basket!)
Bethia you understand this principle of “You give….. I’ve seen you do it over and over and over again. ”
You see someone operating at a mindset of lack…. is consumed with the thought of “What can I afford?” An abundant thinker asks, “What do I have?
A mindset of lack…stores up more and more and more.
A mindset of abundance….opens up their hand and as Jesus said, “You give…..
I alluded to this last Sunday- a few weeks ago I was called to do some pastoral care just over the Carolina line. As I was leaving, the pastor introduced me to Kim. Later he shared that Kim, a widower-mom of two. She has not slept in a bed for four years. She owns a bed but because of the death of her husband sold some items to help with finances. She had a bed – her kids sleep in that bed. She had made her bed on the couch for four years. Just a few months ago, through smalls groups that had just started in their church-her small group found out about the need.
A couple said, “What do we have? We have a guest room and that bed is almost never slept in, that’s a need we can meet. They loaded up the truck and they delivered the bed to Kim’s house. But when you are an abundance thinker, you upgrade. This couple had a table and six chairs that was stored and not used. Kim had sold her table. That night she got to sleep in a bed for the first time in four years. Then an upgrade … they got to sit at a table, as a family, since the death of her husband.
God takes our addition and multiplies.
You see…..Kim called the couple to thank them and she say “I cannot wait to be in a position, financially, where I can do for someone else what you did for me.”
“Kim, that day is today. God has given you…time, prayer, maybe something in your house, a stored up treasure that you haven’t used in years. And in that moment she realized, “I have a neighbor, two doors down, who just had a baby and she doesn’t have a rocking chair, to rock that child to sleep. My kids are older. So that day, Kim took the rocking chair and gave it to her neighbor.
God takes our addition and multiplies.
He SAID WHAT! Jesus completely redefines what can be done with a little. Who do we serve? Who do we believe?
The Gospel of John, 10: 10, “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that you may have life and have it more abundantly.
Everything about the nature of God is more than enough. We serve an abundant God.
This maybe your “Aha” moment. Matthew 14:19, scripture says that Jesus gave thanks and broke the loaves. He gave the loaves to the disciples and said…. You give….The disciples gave to the people. In order to feed 15 to 20 thousand people, there would roughly need to be the equivalent of three trucks loads full of bread.
This was told in all four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. And not a single writer of the Gospels said anything about this amount of bread the moment Jesus said “Amen”.
It said, that He gave it to the disciples, for them to distribute to the people. The miracle happen when it left the disciples hands. YOU GIVE…..
He takes our addition and multiplies.
Everything about being a follower of Jesus is completely counter intuitive to the world that we live in. Jesus said, “if you want to find your life … “You have to lose it.” Well that doesn’t make any sense. But, it does in the kingdom. We find our life through surrender -to the one who’d gave his life for us. “If you want to be great, you’ll be the servant of all.”
Army Ranger Pat Tillman, who walked away from 3.9 million to play in the NFL because he felt he had an obligation to serve this country wearing a different uniform.
He believed that serving his country in a time of crisis was of greater importance than a nearly 4 million football contract. His selflessness and bravery served as an example of what it looks like when someone makes a difficult decision after seeing the bigger picture.
As Christians, we have the same challenge. We make daily decisions that affect our own lives and the lives of others. Big or small. That’s where having the right perspective can make all the difference. Serve only one master.
Army Ranger Pat Tillman-made a choice, a bold choice. “If you want to be great, you’ll be the servant of all.” A choice that cost him his life. Tillman was killed combat.
“Where is your treasure, your heart will be also”………..his heart was serving you and I, His God and our country. You can only serve one master.
In the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.