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All right. So we are going to be discussing value today and what we put our value in and what our value should be in. So it should be an interesting message. I hope that it is encouraging and helps us follow Christ more. So who here has ever seen The Price is Right? Raise your hands. Oh yeah. So most of you guys, most of you guys have probably been in the situation that I was in as a kid watching The Price is Right, being home sick, eating saltines and having to bear the agony of daytime television and drinking copious amounts of orange juice and watching The price is right. You know, maybe the theme song is going in your head right now. Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo. You know that. That’s a good. That’s a good jingle. Anyways, it’s really not that exciting. Just for. I’m sorry if you like, The price is right, but I don’t really find it that exciting. But the goal of the show is that they will show multiple items throughout the show and you’re supposed to guess the value of the item being shown and maybe it’s a car. Now, if anyone can guess the value of this car, I’m sorry I can’t give you the car or the money, but the value is around. Anyone want to venture a guess? Anyone brave enough to say it out loud? 65, 90. I heard. I looked it up. And a new Porsche 911 career is around $98,300.

So pretty expensive if you guys got it right. Sorry I can’t give you that money. I don’t have it. Who thinks that they would be good at the Price is Right? You know, different items popping on screen. Frank’s. Frank thinks he could do really, really well at it. But really, how good are we really at assessing value? How skilled are we at looking at something and saying, that’s how much it’s worth. I’m going to invest my life in that because that’s how much it’s worth. Take teenage me as an example. Oh, where did it go? Yeah. Yeah. If you guys haven’t guessed, this story is going to be embarrassing by the picture. You kind of assume by the very large blonde afro looking thing in the. If you could tell, I had gnarly sideburns as well because that’s the only facial hair I could grow. Somehow I thought that was cool. Anyways, teenage Lincoln was very lazy and enjoyed video games and sports way too much. Like way too much. And I put forth way too much effort into it as opposed to school, church, a job or anything that had any bearing on my future. One of my all time lows in high school was senior year, and as senior year was approaching its end, there was something called homecoming. I’m sure you guys are familiar with it coming around the corner and go to go to homecoming. It costs about $100 and I didn’t have a job like I already like I already said, because I was lazy.

I didn’t have a job. You know, I had to ask a girl. So I was like, hey, I don’t know if I want to do that. I didn’t have the discipline to save. I didn’t have the courage to ask out a girl, and I didn’t want to get a job to do it. And my parents were not going to pay for me because they would be like, If you want to go, you’ve got to save up the money to go. So that was out of the window. So instead I decided to stay home and conquer the world of Galadria Yeah, pretty embarrassing. The reason why none of you know what that is, is because that’s its value. That’s how much it’s worth. It’s worth nothing. So as my friends went out and, you know, celebrated this homecoming, this end of senior year, I was at home on the computer, expanding the swatting empire. So embarrassing saying that so many people. Anyways, I spent the whole night doing that, and I legitimately, during the time, thought it was a better use of my time and my money and my resources to do that than to go to homecoming. Yes, that was teenage Lincoln. I look back and regret and embarrassed by some of the things that I put value in as a teenager. And I’m sure most of you guys can empathize or sympathize with that. And there’s probably been a moment in your life that you look back and go, Man, I put way too much value into that, whether it was a relationship, a job, a sport school hobby, wanting acceptance, proving your worth as a man or a woman being popular or worrying about the future, you’ve probably put way too much value into something and realized later that your investment isn’t really worth it.

It wasn’t that important. Now, if this problem ceased the second that we turn 20 and we’re adults, you know, the second we weren’t teenagers, I would not be sharing this with you, at least from experience I can experience if I would just save this for refuge. But if you are someone who perfectly evaluates their life and spends all their time, resources and energy towards the things that truly matter, I am sorry because this sermon isn’t for you. For the rest of us, I call us human beings. I’m excited to share what God has been showing me. So if you guys can flip open your Bibles to Matthew 1916, hopefully that’s big enough on screen for you, says. Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, Teacher, What good thing must I do to get eternal life? Why do you ask me about what is good? Jesus replied. There is only one who is good. And if you want to enter life, eternal life, keep the commandments. Which ones? He inquired. Jesus replied, You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal, You shall not give false testimony.

Honor your father and mother and love your neighbor as yourself. All these I have kept, the young man said, What do I still lack? Jesus answered, If you want to be perfect, go sell your possessions and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me. When the young man heard this, he went away sad because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, Truly, I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Now I find this story incredibly interesting because the man who approaches Jesus often referred to as the rich young ruler, I believe was genuine in his seeking. I mean, he kept the commandments from birth that would have taken a life of discipline, an intense life of discipline. I mean, this guy might have just been you know, he’s he’s called rich young ruler. So he could have just been 20. But still one the 20. He kept all the commandments. That’s intense discipline. Not only that, but he showed initiative going up to Jesus and asking asking him this question as well as wisdom, knowing who to ask, going to Jesus and sincerely asking him this question. So I believe that his desire was genuine and sincere. So why would he walk away from something that he worked his whole life for? You know, he kept all these commandments and he was sincerely wanting eternal life.

But he walks away for it. And I think it’s quite simple. He valued what he had more than what Jesus had to offer. He valued what he had more than what Jesus had to offer. Now, if you’re like me, the first thing that pops into your mind is how foolish. What an idiot. I mean, seriously, how much more valuable is eternal life than living 100 years if that? He probably lived to, like, I don’t know, like 60 years with stuff. Especially looking back, that rich young ruler has been dead for almost 1900 years and all the stuff he owned is either gone or belongs to another person. In the ancient world, they would use a scale like the one on screen. And what they would do is to establish value, to establish a fair trade. They would put equal values on either side until they balanced out. So they would put either coins and perfume, silver gold food, and they would use that to establish a fair trade, maybe even a duck. Sorry, I was promised I wasn’t going to say that, I said. Now, if we could somehow use that scale to determine the value of what the rich man had compared to what he could gain, the scale wouldn’t even budge. His palace, his animals, his servants, his all the stuff he owned would be suspended high in the air as opposed to the value of eternal life. The weight, the worth of eternal life. And if he would have given up his possessions and followed Jesus.

He would have gotten this thing of much greater value. So why didn’t he? Because he was looking towards the rewards. Because he wasn’t looking towards the rewards of the future. Instead, his eyes were fixed on the present. Now we have a distinct advantage over this rich young ruler because we are completely separated from the situation. It’s not your stuff. It’s not your life. And we live with a greater view of history knowing that he’s been dead for 1900 years. But I have a question for us. How similar are we to this rich young ruler? Do we, with a sincere heart and disciplined life, put more value into this world than the next? Do we value the things we have more than what Christ has to offer? Take Daniel. He is 18 years old and is developing some feelings for Emily. Emily is this beautiful, smart, funny, witty, and the first girl that Daniel has ever taken interest in. And they are both smitten with each other. But Daniel has one reservation about her. She doesn’t know Christ. In fact, she tells him, I can’t believe that you believe in that. I mean, I just don’t. I don’t get it. And she tells him that he’s she’s not she’s not interested in church or doing that whole Jesus thing. And Daniel must decide what is more important to him in that moment or in the moments that come. What’s more important to him? His relationship with Christ or with Emily? John is 46, father of four, and a husband to a loving wife.

They attend a church and John is an elder at the church and is involved in several ministries. They live in a nice home, in a good neighborhood, and John gets offered a job promotion. And this promotion is to the big leagues. They could move into that dream house. They could get that sports car that John’s wanted since the age of seven. He could make that vacation, the family vacation to Hawaii, that dream vacation to a Hawaii, a thing that happened every year. But the thing is, with this promotion, he would have to travel a lot more, work a lot more, and we’d have to step down from his position at the church and his ministries and spend a lot less time with his wife and kids. And John is at a decision point in his life, and that impact will be for the rest of it. The Decider. What John values more? I know these questions and these examples are uncomfortable because they put responsibility on us for how we use the life we’ve been given. But I haven’t even mentioned Netflix, Instagram, video games or Facebook. Life is full of decisions, and whether they are not doing something or doing something, they are a direct reflection in what we value. And I want to be honest with everyone. I want to be transparent. I am by no means perfect.

I waste time. And the things that I mentioned aren’t inherently evil or they aren’t bad relationship money, movies, social media, they aren’t. But I think this is a discussion that we need to have, even though, I mean, I still have so much to work on, but it’s something that Jesus talks about again and again. And contrary to what we might think, I don’t think we waste our time or do these things because we desire too much. It’s because we are satisfied with too little that we are we don’t desire too much. It’s that we are satisfied with far too little. So why did I decide to preach on living a life of value? And it’s because Jesus isn’t silent on the idea of living a life of value. He teaches on it again and again, and I know myself and how much I struggle with this. And I’m not hoping but guessing that there is something that we all need reminding of. So for this next part, I want you guys to join in on an exercise with me. I know this is weird, so if you guys could all close your eyes, we’re going to do it together. So it’s not weird. So if you close your eyes and visualize with me someone who is successful. Now pretend that you’re not at church and now visualize that someone successful. All right. You can open your eyes now. What did you see? I mean, did you see someone with designer clothes? Beautiful or handsome spouse? Rolex watch, multiple degrees.

Diamond necklace, a beautiful home. Perhaps a summer home. Sports car. Ooh, a yacht. Every successful person has a yacht. Our culture exalts wealth and preaches the virtues of materialism, promising that value is found in the things you own and how rich you are, determining how successful you are. And Luke 1213 through 21, we find a story where this man interrupts Jesus’s teaching and asks Jesus to settle a dispute amongst him and his brother. So if we read in 13 through 21, it says someone in the crowd said to him, Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me. But he said to him, Man, who appointed me a judge or arbitrator over you? Then he said to them, Beware and be on your guard against every form of greed. For not even when one has abundance. Does his life consist of his possessions? He told them a parable saying the land of a rich man was very productive, and he began reasoning to himself, saying, What shall I do since I have no place to store my crops? Then he said, This is what I will do. I will tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I will store all my grain and all my goods, and I will say to my soul, soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come. Take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said to him, You fool.

This very night, your soul is required of you. And now who will own what you have prepared. So is the man who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God. Jesus says something radical, not just to 21st century Americans, but to his audience of first century Israelites, because this idea of success found in wealth, value in things and happiness in possessions isn’t exclusive to us. But it has been a lie that has been passed down throughout the ages. Paul writing instructions to Timothy, a young pastor in first century Ephesus. Roughly 30 years after Jesus writes, Jesus talks to this man. He writes to Timothy and we read in first Timothy six, seven through ten. For we have brought nothing into the world so we can not take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering with these, we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and snare a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evils, and some, by longing for it, have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. Jesus and Paul give us both unsettling news, and it’s something that we usually don’t care to think about. And it’s not something our society cares to dwell on. But it’s the fact that there are no moving trucks after hearses. There are no movers.

There’s no people carrying boxes of your stuff to your grave. And just like today, people in the first century viewed the wealthy as the successful ones, the wise ones, the ones that had made it. When Jesus said that it’s impossible for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of heaven, it says that all the disciples were shocked because they thought if someone would be able to make it, it would be then. And I think sometimes we forget how much Jesus talks about money, about wealth and about value. Spoiler alert. It’s a whole lot and it can be uncomfortable. Greed and its effects are taught repeatedly in the New Testament. But how aware of we are we of its effects? How many of you have ever been to a campfire like service? Like, you know, I’m sure more of you guys have. You know, everyone’s gathering around a campfire, and I’ve been to, like, ten different camps over the past, like, six years and, you know, retreats and whatnot. So I’m pretty familiar with them. And every every fireside service, usually they have a time of confession of people coming up and sharing what they’ve been struggling with, how the retreat or camp has helped them and what they’re committed to as going back. Now during these fireside services, I’ve heard lots of sins being confessed and tears shed and awesome moments, but I have yet to hear someone say I struggle with greed. I put way too much value into my bank account and not enough into my heavenly one.

I’ve heard counselors and pastors say that they’ve had people come up to them and confess to them every sin imaginable. But I’ve yet to hear someone say I struggle with greed. So why, if Jesus spends so much time talking about greed and about money and the way we use it, why are we so? Did he just waste his time if no one struggles with it? I don’t think that’s it. I think it’s because greed is a sin, unlike other sin, as it’s encouraged and accepted in the world. It’s something that is completely accepted and even encouraged and put on you to do in the world. And it’s I believe it’s because money is an easy substitute for God. It’s a good thing that can become a God in your life because it offers security, stability, sustainability, happiness and purpose. It can offer those things. It doesn’t. It doesn’t give you those things. It offers them to you. I want to make that clear. Now, Jesus doesn’t condemn greed because he wants you to live in poverty. I’m going to say that again. Jesus condemns greed not because he wants you to live in poverty. It’s not because he’s a cosmic killjoy, but it’s because he wants you to be rich. He wants you to be rich in the things that matter. He wants you to have a life and life to the fullest. He wants you to live for what truly matters and what is lasting.

He wants you to live for what will keep after the grave. Matthew 619 through 21 says Do not store up for yourselves Treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves. Treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust rust rough rust destroy and where thieves do not break in or steal. For where your treasure is there your heart will also be. First Timothy 617 through 19 Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future so that they may take hold of that which is life. Indeed. Imagine I emptied all my bank account and rented used my credit to rent the biggest house, most expensive car speedboat and everything else I could imagine, you know, just going crazy with my credit card for one month, living it up, doing whatever I wanted. But at the end of that month, I find myself, not surprisingly, in debt. Deeply in debt and unable to pay my debtors. And because of that, I’m forced to spend the rest of my life on the street homeless. If you had a son or a daughter, a friend or even acquaintance desiring to live like that or telling you about their month of they’re just going to do whatever they want for a month.

You would first call them foolish. What are you doing? You’re crazy. And then you would try to prevent them from throwing their life and future away. I have a question for us. How much longer in comparison is eternity? How much longer is that month to our life than our life to eternity? But God, what I believe is that God is trying to save us. Save us. I believe God is that loving Father who doesn’t want his son or daughter to waste their lives on things that don’t matter. But to live a life of significance for the things that have true value. What has true value? I think the two greatest commandments give us insight on what truly matters. When Jesus was asked about what What is the greatest commandment by this scribe, he asked and he responded by saying, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your strength and all your. I messed it up a little bit. But he says, he says, Love God and then he says love. And then the second is just like it. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. If you keep those two, you keep the whole commandments. And I think there’s a reason why Jesus says I mean, says those two things as the greatest commandments.

And it’s because both those things are lasting. God, people, they’re eternal. I mean, God is eternal. We’re, you know, last forever. It’s difference. But anyways, it’s because we matter and we have value because we last. And God wants us to invest in things that last. My hope and prayer is that I and this church would have the perspective and attitude of the apostle Paul, who writes in Philippians three seven through eight, and it says, But whatever things were gained to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be in, to be lost in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord, from whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish, so that I may gain Christ. I know this probably wasn’t the most comfortable sermon to listen to. It definitely wasn’t writing it. It was convicting and challenging. But I believe that it’s a conversation that we need to have. And my goal isn’t to guilt us into doing anything but to encourage us as believers to reach for the prize and run the race because we have something worth living for, something of value that won’t just go away as opposed to the world because the reward is eternity and is much more valuable than being comfortable and living for this life.