God: The Greatest Treasure

Intro

The Parable of the Hidden Treasure

44 “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.

The Parable of the Pearl of Great Value

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, 46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it (Matthew 13:44–46).


Illustration

Mind

  • What are these parables trying to tell us about the Kingdom of Heaven? What is it like?

Motive

What motivated the man in parable to sell all that he had? What was he feeling?

“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 (Matt. 13:44).


  • What does that motivation tell us about the way we should see the Kingdom of heaven?

  • Do you see God’s Kingdom with such value that you would give any earthly thing away to have it? Why or why not?


"God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him."– John Piper

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” – C. S. Lewis

Memory Verse

11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).



Mission

Everything you know or love in this world was made by God. You can appreciate things, and even love certain things in this world, but you must trace them back to their source. We must love God as ultimate, not what he makes. Here’s how Romans 1 says it:

20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen (Romans 1:20–25).

C.S. Lewis gets it right in his “Meditations In A Tool Shed” when he says,

I was standing today in the dark toolshed. The sun was shining outside and through the crack at the top of the door there came a sunbeam.

From where I stood that beam of light, with the specks of dust floating in it, was the most striking thing in the place. Everything else was almost pitch-black. I was seeing the beam, not seeing things by it.

Then I moved, so that the beam fell on my eyes. Instantly the whole previous picture vanished. I saw no toolshed, and (above all) no beam. Instead I saw, framed in the irregular cranny at the top of the door, green leaves moving on the branches of a tree outside and beyond that, 90 odd million miles away, the sun.

Looking along the beam, and looking at the beam are very different experiences.

We usually just pay attention to what the sunbeam is shining on, but we need to let our eyes travel up the beam to look at the source.

  • Is there anything that you need to give up today so that you can buy the pearl or the field?

  • What is holding you back from having your whole joy in Christ?


Worship


Prayer

Ask God to help you see His unmatched majesty. Ask him to give you a heart that would joyfully give up anything if it meant having Christ.

Further Study

  • John Piper Sermon: https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/the-kingdom-of-heaven-is-a-treasure


Where Moth And Rust Don't Destroy

Intro

Treasure In Heaven

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19-21).


Illustration

castle.jpg
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Mind

  1. What is Jesus drawing our attention to by saying that moth and rust can destroy the things we love?


  2. Where do you, and how do you, store up treasure that cannot be stolen or ruined?


Motive

  • According to Jesus, what do the things we treasure tell us about ourselves?

21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21)

  • If our heart goes where our treasure is, and Jesus calls for us to put our treasure in heaven, then where must our hearts be?

Money: “a fog which always obscures reality” – G.K. Chesterton

Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. There is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of its filling a vacuum, it makes one. If it satisfies one want, it doubles and trebles that want another way. That was a true proverb of the wise man, rely upon it; “Better is little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure, and trouble with it. – Franklin

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” – Jim Elliot

Memory Verse

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 (Matt. 6:24).



Mission

God isn’t after our money - He doesn’t need it. He is after your heart. As a good father should, he won’t let you spend your life chasing down a meal that will never satisfy you. He will chase you instead, and command that you come to him alone if you are thirsty or hungry (John 6:35). The Bible says “taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8). Today, take God up on his offer of satisfaction. Look at your heart; your money; your calendar, and see if you are running hard after something that isn’t going to last.

Have you placed your ultimate hope on things that can be taken away?

God isn’t calling the things of the world bad (after all, he made them), but He does tell us that we will never be whole if we place our trust in them. Time and time again we spend our time, money and energy chasing things that promise more than they give. Turn to Christ for your wholeness. Place your trust and treasure in Him and you will never live to regret it. This is what faith looks like. Give it a try.


Worship

Prayer

Ask God to forgive you if your heart’s treasure has been in the wrong place. Ask today for a heart that sees and feels the supreme value and worth God.




Further Study

The Rich Fool 1 - Luke 12:13-21

Intro

The Parable of the Rich Fool

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” ’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:13-21)

Illustration

Mind

  1. What is the parable about?

    15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

  2. What is our life about? Have you ever thought about why you exist and what it is you are supposed to do today? What is it?


Motive

  1. Is Jesus saying that wealth is bad, or is he saying something else?

    19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” ’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

  2. What did the man in the parable do with all of his wealth? Why was he a fool?

“If money be not thy servant, it will be thy master. The covetous man cannot so properly be said to possess wealth, as that may be said to possess him.” – Bacon

“After hypocrites, the greatest dupes [fools] the devil has are those who exhaust an anxious existence in the disappointments and vexations of business, and live miserablty and meanly only to die magnificently and rich. They serve the devil without receiving his wages, and for the empty foolery of dying rich, pay down their health, happiness, and integrity.” – Colton.

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” – Jim Elliot

But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. 1 Timothy 6:6-10

Mission

Do you have a lot of treasure stored up in barns while others around you are in need? Consider giving something away this week. It might hurt, but pay attention to why it hurts. Are you putting too much love and trust in your time or treasure? Pick a way to give yourself generously and sacrificially this week.

Prayer

Ask God to forgive you if you have been trusting in yourself or worshiping stuff [idols]. Ask him to help you be rich in him above earthly riches.

Further Study