This morning, we’re going to continue our message series that challenges us to rise up and to take our place in the history of faith; setting the example for the generations to come and passing along generational blessings.
Last week, we learned of the great opportunity and responsibility that we have to tell the next generation of the great deeds of the Lord and to share our salvation with everyone. We learned how it’s our responsibility before the Lord to reach out to the next generation and to set the example for them in how to reach their next generation. We have the opportunity to start a great move of God with great momentum to bless the generations to come. This morning, we’re going to be challenged to reflect on how much we really value all that God has so freely and graciously given us; to value it!
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
How can we measure the value of the kingdom of heaven? Think about it, from the kingdom of heaven, God simply spoke and everything that exists was created. His kingdom must then, be far beyond anything and everything of this world. Nothing that we could gain, even all the wealth and belongings of the entire earth, can even begin to compare to the riches and glory contained within God’s kingdom.
Who are we? Are we deserving to dwell in such a kingdom and be given anything from it?
2 As for you (that is, all of us), you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
We need to remember this fact. Before we accepted Christ’s salvation, we were just the same. We did whatever we wanted to do and whatever we thought was best. We were dead. Like zombies, the living dead, our bodies and flesh was alive and well, and we did whatever pleased us. However, our spirits were dead and we were so lost in our sinful nature that we were well deserving of the wrath of God. Let’s not forget this fact, however, let’s continue to find that praise be to God, we didn’t remain this way!
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions —it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
This salvation that we have been freely given by the grace of God through our faith is an awesome mystery. It’s of such value that even angels, who have seen with their own eyes the kingdom of heaven, long to look into. Through this salvation, we are inherited into the family of God; brothers and sisters. We will receive a great and wonderful inheritance from our father, who is God Himself that is so valuable that it cannot be purchased or earned through works.
1 Peter 1:3-12
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire —may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Wow, can you imagine what that day will be like? That day when Christ returns, blows the trumpet, and calls all of His own by name to enter into His glorious kingdom? Just like childbirth, the pain and grief of the trials that we face here on this earth will all fade away as we are made new, raised up and given our imperishable and glorious bodies which will never experience pain, tears, or death again!
8 Though you have not yet seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.
We should be filled with inexpressible and glorious joy when we realize the fullness of what we have been given as a free gift! Angels have even eagerly anticipated and longed to see these things which we now freely have received. It is something of such rich value that over the course of thousands of years, many men and women longed for, worked for, and even gave their own lives for the glories that we get to experience today. They did it not for themselves, but for us!
32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.
39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
These great men and women of faith knew the great value of the kingdom of God that we enter into by faith in the salvation provided through Christ’s death and resurrection. The question, however, is this:
How much do we really value the kingdom of God?
How much do we really value eternal life?
How much do we really value the salvation freely given to us by Jesus?
How much do we really value the rich inheritance which we’ve received from God?
I believe that the measuring instrument by which we determine how much we value these things is that of our worship. I believe that there is a direct correlation between how much we desire and spend time in His presence and how much we value what we’ve been given. Our worship is a display of our gratitude and thankfulness to Him for all that He has done for us, which is a direct result of receiving such an incredible gift. It fixes our eyes on the goal of our faith; on the finish line of the lives that we are called to lead.
Worship is far more than just singing praise and worship songs or hymns, but is rather a lifestyle. True worship is a lifestyle that gives honor, glory, and power to the Lord in all that we say and do because He alone is worthy of it. It is a life that is sold-out for the Lord. It is a life that lays down self in humility so that the king of Glory (Psalm 24) might take His rightful place in our lives. This lifestyle proclaims the mighty deeds of the Lord and His great gift of salvation to any who know of it; even without using words.
Living such a lifestyle of worship gives us the privilege of carrying the very presence of God wherever we go and to bring forth the kingdom of God on earth even as it is in heaven. We see type of occurrence when Moses enters the presence and goodness of the Lord and is shown the glory of the Lord in Exodus 33-34 and he had to wear a veil to cover the radiance that shone from his face from just being in the presence of the Lord.
10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:
11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being.”
Are our lives lavishing on the Lord the honor, power, and glory that He is worthy? In Isaiah 43, the Lord poses the question of whether we are doing this or rather simply lavishing on Him our sins and offenses? Because of His salvation, we have been given power and authority in life, not sin can overpower us except the ones which we choose to allow!
In Matthew 6, Jesus preaches the sermon on the mount about this type of worship lifestyle which brings glory to God. One where we choose to be generous, pray, fast, and leave the rest up to God, which frees us from worry. We also learn that even though this lifestyle boasts in God alone and not in oneself, that we still gain and store up for ourselves great treasures in heaven.
Giving to the needy
1 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Treasures in Heaven
19 “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.
22 “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.
Do Not Worry
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 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.
In this life of worship, we trust in God alone. He has given us more than we could ever even imagine or hope for and so our response is one of thankfulness and gratitude. Because He has given and done so much for us, we freely give and do for others as well, all to glorify Him and to lead others to receive His salvation as well.
As we value all that we’ve been graciously given displayed through this lifestyle of worship that gives God all praise, honor, power, and glory that He’s worthy of, we naturally proclaim the good deeds of the Lord to the next generation and set the example for them. In light of anything that comes your way throughout your days, whether good or gad, remember that it doesn’t even begin to compare to His glorious riches that He desires to lavish on us; value it!