Treasure Beyond Measure
@ r aylor
Alright, today I’d like us to look at a one verse parable that Jesus told in Matthew 13:44. Here's what he said:
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Today in our world there is much anxiety… High levels of fears of sickness and even death… and for our loved ones… loss of job and paycheck… decline in the Stock Market.
Today I want to talk about things that are more a-kin to happiness and pleasure and delight…
How many of you have ever played Monopoly… you know, the board game? Actually it would be a great game to pull out of the closet to play with your family during these times of social distancing… and maybe a good way to see an analogy in this parable of Jesus
You begin to gain money and you buy property right? Then… when you find something else that is better you gladly sell the property you have in order to buy… oh I don’t know… Boardwalk right? You have a big ole grin on your face when you sell all you have to buy that property….
But an even better analogy I think would be that if after you bought Boardwalk you became wealthy and began buying more and more of the property on the whole Monopoly game…
And then one day you drew a card and read it.. which tells you about something worth more than all the property in the world. It's the best treasure in the Universe above all things physical and spiritual both.
You see, in the real world, that’s Jesus… And God opens our eyes to see Jesus as good news for our sinful hearts… and he uses his word and the Holy Spirit to do that. All of a sudden we see him as beautiful… as the greatest treasure in the Universe… worth trusting, worth delighting in… and so we un-clinch our fists from the treasures of the world so we may embrace him for the rest of our life. He is our treasure worth selling all for. And like our text says Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Paul said it like this:
Philippians 3:8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ
So yeah… the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus... did you get that… that's joy.,, It's like he has a big ole grin on his face as he does what Jesus parable says… He counts all as loss that he might have Christ.
The world is against us… its like a giant Carnival where callers call out saying you can win big…. but you don’t… and if you do its just a poor quality big ole stuffed animal that is coming apart at the seams. Oh, the sounds and smells and music and bright colors and lights pull on your heart strings.
One day when I was about 17 I spent pretty much an entire paycheck at a Carnival in Dodge City… I think I did get a little cheap toy or something that was probably broken before I got home. The world is like that; everything is broken… and it will break you.
Like Paul says it’s "rubbish”.
He counts everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus.
So what are some of the things in life promise pleasure and satisfaction?
A Carnival?… yes, but it doesn’t satisfy… you spend all you have and don’t get a great treasure but just brokenness.
Drugs? Yes, for sure! They make big promises but they are not all they’re cracked up to be… Notice the pun? They have ruin millions of lives.
Food tempts our taste buds!
* Give me liberty or... OOOooo... A jelly donut! - Homer Simpson
* I love a good all you can eat buffet but the truth is it doesn't really satisfy… I have to be careful because after I get full I may just keep eating… I know Im not satisfied because... I want to keep going back. If I do keep eating it just makes me sick… I might even throw up. Thats the same thing Carnival rides do to me...
Nothing in the world satisfies… Even a beautiful sunset cannot not satisfy but instead just before the darkness settles in it points us to the beauty of the Creator who wants to give us great joy.
Perhaps the biggest promise of the world is money.
The world is a rich persons buffet and like the food buffet though they’re full of stuff they keep looking for joy in the world. The end of the promises of wealth always end in disappointment.
You may remember the rich young man or rich young ruler in Mark 10. He came to Jesus asking what he must do to have eternal life… I suppose that he might somehow earn it. The young man indicated that he had kept Gods commandments but Jesus knew his heart. He had failed in that right off the bat because the first commandment and the greatest is "You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3) and he had made this one thing his wealth to be his god above the Lord. Also he did not recognize Jesus as God and seemed to seek righteousness through his own work instead of Jesus’ work. But regarding the promises of wealth...
Mark 10:21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
Do you think this young mans wealth bought him great joy and satisfaction. No, verse 22 says: 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Jesus is infinitely greater than all the treasures of the earth combined. And look, we don’t get to have two great treasures in our life… only one.
Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
So if the world is your Carnival, Drug, Buffet… if you seek to find joy in wealth or possession… I pray today you see Jesus as the greatest treasure in the Universe… Delight, Joy, Happiness, Peace… Up against Jesus everything else is rubbish.
There are many “-ism’s” in the prism of schisms,
Like egotism, feminism, legalism and criticism,
But today, won’t you listen, to my optimism,
And the wisdom of Christian Hedonism.
Take the best endeavors of the human life,
There’s something far better than all their delights,
A treasure past measure like what day is to night,.
A pleasure fully suited for mans appetite.
Wikipedia has officially registered Christian Hedonism,
Compared now, all else might be called Dung-ism,
People locked in prison by things that glisten, Rubbish-ism,
Lust-ism, smut-ism, the whole world is in derision.
Because Jesus lived, died and now has risen,
He is my precious, my riches, my vision,
My fortune, my mission, for now I’m forgiven,
My treasure, my pleasure, my true Hedonism.