Sunday, February 17, 2019

The Commands of Christ – Part 5: Lay up treasures in heaven, seek God’s Kingdom, judge not, do not cast pearls

The Commands of Christ – Part 5:
Lay up treasures in heaven, seek God’s Kingdom, judge not, do not cast pearls
HOFC - Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

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Matthew 28:18-20
 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nationsbaptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Part 1 – Make disciples, baptize them and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you
Part 2 – Repent, follow Me, rejoice and let your light shine
Part 3 – Honor God’s Law, be reconciled, do not lust and keep your word
Part 4 – Go the second mile, love your enemies, be perfect and practice disciplines in secret
Part 5 – Lay up treasures in heaven, seek God’s Kingdom, judge not, do not cast pearls
Part 6 – Ask, seek and knock, do unto others, choose the narrow way and beware of false prophets
Part 7 – Pray for laborers, be wise as serpents, fear not, and hear God’s voice
Part 8 – Take my yoke, honor your parents, beware of leaven, and deny yourself
Part 9 – Despise not little ones, go to offenders, beware of covetousness and forgive offenders
Part 10 – Honor marriage, be a servant, be a house of prayer and ask in faith
Part 11 – Bring in the poor, render to Caesar, love the Lord and love your neighbor
Part 12 – Await my return, take communion, be born again and keep my commands
Part 13 – Watch and pray, feed my sheep, baptize my disciples
Part 14 – Receive God’s power and make disciples

Part 5 – Lay up treasures in heaven, seek God’s Kingdom, judge not, do not cast pearls

Jesus is giving this command, to Preach, Baptize and Teach, to everyone who is a follower of Christ Jesus.  Then to the disciples, and today to His disciples.

       I.            LAY UP TREASURES IN HEAVEN
a.      Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth
                                                             i.      Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, 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)

                                                          ii.      It is pointless to store up treasure where it will be stolen, ransacked, destroyed…like placing your life savings in the front yard on the ground.
1.      Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. (Matthew 24:35)

                                                       iii.      When you have treasure, you place it where it cannot be touched by unwanted hands…a “safe”

                                                        iv.      Jesus says, even the entire earth is unsafe for your treasures, because in the end, it too will “pass away”. Why is your treasure location so important? Because that is where your heart will be.

                                                           v.      Treasures on earth enslave your heart to material things, while treasures in heaven are purely spiritual in nature and keep you focused on spiritual things.

                                                        vi.      Therefore, keeping your heart spiritually minded.

                                                     vii.      “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16

b.     The eye is the lamp of the body
                                                             i.      “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Matthew 6:22-24)
                                                          ii.      Sorry prosperity preachers. Material prosperity comes by God’s hand alone, through the Will of His Spirit alone.
                                                       iii.      You, mere man, CANNOT control God with your “steps” to financial blessings. You cannot take principles from scripture and create for yourself doctrines of God.

c.      Principles are not Doctrines
                                                             i.      To teach that you can guarantee if someone does (works) A, B and C, you will make God (control Him like a genie) bless you financially, is preaching a gospel other than Christ!

                                                          ii.      But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God's curse!” Galatians 1:8

                                                       iii.      Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.” Romans 9:18

                                                        iv.      You do not, and cannot, control God with your little rituals or magic prayers.  You do not and cannot control the power of the Holy Spirit.
The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit” John 3:8

                                                           v.      All these are the work of one and the same Spirit (Spiritual Gifts), and He distributes them to each one, just as He determinesI Corinthians 12:11

1.      Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.” I Corinthians 12:27-31

2.      You “May desire” Spiritual Gifts, however, you will ONLY receive what the Spirit of God determines, not “what you want because you want it.”

3.      You cannot take a “principle” from scripture and turn it into a doctrine, it is either a doctrine or it is not. You do not, and cannot control God or His Holy Spirit, regardless of what works you do or words you say.

   II.            SEEK GOD’S KINGDOM
a.      Seek first the kingdom and His righteousness
                                                             i.      But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:33)

b.     God will provide
                                                             i.      The Lord promises to take care of us, but we need to look at His promises in the context of His word, not our understanding of “being taken care of”
                                                          ii.      I knew a “high maintenance” woman once, her definition of “being taken care of” was a lot different than mine.
                                                       iii.      Context is key.  And so is knowing the scripture to help you understand that context!

                                                        iv.      But God wants me to have a few mansions
1.      “Jesus replied, "Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." Luke 9:58

2.      But God wants me to have limousines and jets
a.      Jesus and the disciples walked everywhere

3.      But God wants me to have this $2,000 suit, gold chain and rings because I am a child of the Living God!
a.      “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:2).
b.     “Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf” (Proverbs 11:28).
c.      “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” (Matthew 16:26).
d.     “The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature” (Luke 8:14).

4.      Can you truly see Jesus walking around with a Rolex watch, $2,000 Gucci glasses, $5,000 sharkskin suit, so on and so forth?

                                                           v.      THIS is NOT what the Gospel teaches! READ the Bible, and SEEK GOD’S KINGDOM!

                                                        vi.      I am not saying God doesn’t bless some people with wealth, what I AM saying is, His decision to do so is NOT controlled by you, your words or your steps and deeds!

                                                     vii.      Proverbs 19:21Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.”

III.            JUDGE NOT
a.      Do not judge or you will be judged
                                                             i.      “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”  (Matthew 7:1–5)

b.     More people need to read PAST verse 1
                                                             i.      Vs 5FIRST take the plank out of your own eye, and THEN you will see clearly to REMOVE THE SPECK FROM YOUR BROTHERS EYE.”

c.      The judgments we can and cannot make
                                                             i.      “My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins. James 5:19

1.      A friend argued with me once, using “Do not judge” verse.
a.      I said, “So if you see someone heading for trouble with God you do nothing?”
b.     His answer, “No, if you see someone is having troubles, you help them.”
c.      My answer is this verse, and the question, “How do you know they are “in trouble” if you do not judge them?

                                                          ii.      We ARE to judge those claiming to be followers of Christ IN the church!
1.      Paul said in I Corinthians 5:12-13 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”

2.      Clear, black and white scripture…judge those IN the church, and if they are wicked (i.e. refuse to repent or continue to live in sin although they know better) then you are to “kick them out of the church!”

                                                       iii.      The judging we CANNOT do, is judge whether someone is going to heaven or hell!
1.      “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” Jeremiah 17:9-10
2.      For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” Romans 10:10
3.      Only God knows mans heart, and God decides based on the heart whether one is “saved” or lost.
4.      We can “judge” outward actions, the “fruit” of their hearts and act accordingly (i.e. wicked people expelled from church), but this judging in no way decides heaven or hell for anyone.

a.      “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matthew 7:6)
                                                             i.      Scriptures show that the dogs wandered about in those days just as wild dogs do now. Sometimes when they do not find enough to eat, they become very fierce and cruel, so that you would be afraid to meet one of them.

                                                          ii.      This verse is saying, not everyone truly wants the wisdom of God, although they may act as they do, they will not find what they are hungry for in your words of truth, they will become cruel and fierce, and turn on you.

                                                       iii.      Swine do not ask for your wisdom, joyful in their bliss of ignorance.  If you share the pearls of the scripture with them, they will trample them underfoot, burying them in their own filth and refuse never to be seen again.

b.     We must follow the Spirits leading
                                                             i.      Jesus said the Word of God is like seed, cast out among the world, much will be lost, few are those who are fertile ground for the seed.
                                                          ii.      The workers are few, therefore we must look for fertile soil!

c.      Watch for dogs and swine
                                                             i.      The dogs are looking to fight if you do not say what they want to hear, and swine love their sin, and do not want to hear anything.

                                                          ii.      If there is no fertile ground, move on! Do not waste your time with dogs and swine.

                                                       iii.      Matthew 10:11-15Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person (judging) and stay at their house until you leave. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving (judging), let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.”

                                                        iv.      The Lord knows the workers are few and the crops many, do not waste your time on those who do not want to hear the truth…there are others who DO!

Matthew 28:18-20
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Jesus promises His us, while we are obeying His commands to preach, baptize and teaching others to obey His commands, He will be with us to the end of this age!

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