Please remember that sermon notes are meant to act as a guide and may not be exactly what was preached.
There is a longing in the human heart for something outside itself, something transcendent, something “other” beyond us. This is often referred to as the God-shaped hole. All too often mankind has sought to fill that hole, to fill ourselves with something else other than God. We are like an empty jar that needs filled.
…that those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. – Romans 8:5-9
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit. – Ephesians 5:8
And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. – Acts 4:31
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. – John 6:63
What are you being filled with on a daily basis? What is it that needs put to death in your life? The real question is – What is a relationship with Christ worth to you? What is being a disciple in the Kingdom worth to you?
Matthew 13:44-46 The central point of these two parables is that the Kingdom is of such great value that it is worth giving up everything else to be in the Kingdom! It does not matter that you stumble onto it, like the treasure the man found, or that you are actively seeking it, like the man after the pearl of great value. The point is, it is worth everything to enter into it, to be in the Kingdom, to be a part of what the Lord is doing here in the world.
Many do not seek first the Kingdom of God they/we stumble upon it through its citizens who are out in the world showing compassion, kindness, forgiveness, mercy, and love.
And then there are those of us who are seeking something better, seeking spiritual understanding, and when we find and comprehend the Kingdom as a present reality, fully comprehending its worth, we give all to be in the Kingdom.
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 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 – Philippians 3:7-8
In order to gain Christ you must give up the reality of this world and walk in the reality of the Kingdom of God! You must be born again. Jesus said, “unless one is born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
There has got to be such a great change, such a great turning form the world, such great surrender, that Jesus told Nicodemus He had to be born again, born of the Spirit!
Luke 14:25-33 – count the cost of being in the Kingdom…friendships, family, inconvenience, time, resources… these two (Matthew 13:44-46) realized the value of what they had found. Do today’s congregations?
There are many who attend a church service that are not of the church, who are not Christ followers, who are not in the Kingdom! (Matthew 7:21-23)
What is it that occupies your time? Deny it! Repent of it!
What is it that separates you from Jesus and His Kingdom? Are you willing to surrender all to Jesus today? Is it I surrender some or all? If it’s some, stay where you are. But if you are willing to surrender all…
- What has filled you? What takes your time, talent, and resources?
- What are you willing to surrender to be in the Kingdom?
- How is the kingdom of God first in your everyday life? (Matthew 6:33)