Occasion: Sunday Worship 25th January 2014
Introduction: Which is more valuable a 2cedi bag of sachet waters or a135,000 cedi 2013 Toyota Land Cruiser? Before you answer this question in your head, think about the following scenario. You were on a tour bus in northern Mali, and your bus broke down. After 3 days of intense Saharan heat, you are presented with the same question. Has your perception of the value of the water changed? The truth is that crises in life teach us what is the most valuable.
Text: 1 Peter 1:23-25
Purpose: Peter is drawing his suffering audience’s attention to recognize the value of God’s word. He does this by comparing the nature of God’s word to the nature of the things we tend to live for in life.
Proposition: God wants us to live for the things He emphasizes in His word.
Interrogative: How can we do this?
Doctrine 1: All human strength is temporary: 1:23-24 We were born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible…All flesh is as grass…
- Physical strength: Most people treasure their bodies. They want to look attractive, be healthy, and have physical strength, but no diet, exercise program, or cosmetic surgery can add a day to their lives.
- Educational: Most responsible people care about their education. The average doctor, lawyer, or university professor will spend over 20 years in school, but going to school every day of your life cannot add a day to their lives.
- Financial: Most people fear poverty. They labor to earn money and carefully plan for the future, but becoming independently wealthy cannot add a day to their lives.
- Security: Most people care about their personal safety. They put bars on their windows and doors, pay watchmen to watch their house, build walls around their homes, and even install cameras and lights, but none of these things can add a day to their lives.
Doctrine 2: All human glory is temporary: 1:24 All the glory of man is as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away…
- Honors by society: We all desire honor from our peers. It is natural to boast our own praises, seeking to get honor from men, but any honor we receive from men in society, cannot add a day to our lives.
- Honors by education: When we work hard in school, we want people to take notice. Some of the most honoring days of our lives are the days we graduate from school, but no honor received for skill in the classroom, can add one day to our lives.
- Honors by money: Rich people are honored and respected. We think rich people have everything in the world going their way, but no riches and the honors that come to the rich, can add one day to our lives.
- Honors by religion: Many people live for what people will at their funeral. Sadly, they often spend more time thinking about their funeral, than the events that will follow for eternity. Doing good and being faithful to the church impacts people’s perception of the departed, but no acts of kindness or religious commitments, can add a day to their life.
Doctrine 3: God’s word and the fruit it produces in the lives of men is eternal: 1:25 But the word of the LORD endures forever…
- Man’s salvation is eternal: 1:23 We have been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever…
- The saint’s righteous position before God is eternal: 1:22-23 You have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit…you have been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God.
- The saint’s growth into Christ-likeness is eternal: 1:14-16 As obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, Be holy, for I am holy.
- The saint’s future inheritance is eternal: 1:3-5 God has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God.
- Man’s rewards from faithful applications to God’s word: 1:17 The Father without partiality judges according to each one’s work, therefore, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear…
- It is good and right for us to enjoy the good gifts of God as gifts from His hand and for His glory.
- It is wrong for us to enjoy the good gifts of God in ways that He has forbidden, or to live for them in place of Him.
- It is right for us to manage the good gifts of God in the way that most glorifies Him and advances His Kingdom.
Matthew 25:14-30 The kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.
Illustration: It is your final class in your final term before graduation from university. You have been diligent, and purpose to finish strong. Your teacher gives a ten page description of requirements for your final project, which you purpose to read and diligently follow. However, in order to pay for school, you got a new job which took most of your time and energies. After a few weeks, a new phone caught your eye, and then you started another job to pay for it. You worked so much that by the time the weekend came you were too tired to give careful attention to your project. Soon friends got you interested in a football club, and you still had to get your washing done, cook on the weekends, and spend time with friends. To make matters worse, because you took too much on, you were not taking good care of your body and got so sick you could not work for two week, leaving you in debt. Then, you had to take on more responsibilities to pay off some items you really did not need. Once you got the phone, your brother dropped it into a gutter, and spoiled the screen. Before you knew it, it was the final day of the semester and you had not completed your project, nor have you even read what your teacher is requiring you to do. The only excuse you give your teachers when he sadly gives you a failing grade is…I ran out of time. The problem was not a lack of time, but rather a poor stewardship of that time. We as Christians are like the young man in our story, overwhelmed by the wrong things. Rather than investing our time, energies, gifts, and minds in the advance of God’s Kingdom, we invest these things in things that are fading away, rust, and spoil. May God give us the grace to recognize what we are doing with our lives and the grace to live as wise stewards!
- We are the stewards/managers of God.
- Everything that we have belongs to God, and He has given it to us not to waste, but to manage for His glory and the advancement of His Kingdom.
- Sadly, we often waste His gifts on things that have no value and even to indulge our own sinful lists.
- How am I managing the good gifts of God: mind, money, strength, training, time of godly mentors, education, freedoms, and opportunities.