So, in my last post, I talked about what I was preaching about tonight. But I didn’t do it. For some reason, I changed fifteen minutes before Fusion started. I just wasn’t feeling it. I prayed and prayed and just felt God leading me to Malachi 1. So I went there. Fusion was fun tonight getting back together. I got to meet some really nice people that reminded me why we do Fusion. There are a lot of pictures up on 20-something.org that you need to check out. Thanks to Brian for the food and the cow.
Well, I never actually type out message thoughts, but I did for this one. Maybe that’s why it didn’t work out. Since I did all that work, I thought I would at least share my notes, and maybe it could help someone out there. If you can make any sense of it…
The most important thing about you is what you treasure.
I got married back on June 12, 2004. We lived in a tiny trailer. So when I was getting ready to move her stuff in, some stuff had to change. I had to start going through my home and seeing what was valuable enough to keep. Go to the closet. I had t-shirts hanging up that were taking up place. T-shirts that didn’t even fit anymore. How many Fat Albert t-shirts does a guy need? I had a massive CD collection. I occasionally listened to the Kiss Unplugged CD, but did I really need it? My Star Wars collection. My wife didn’t ask me to give any this stuff up, we honestly just didn’t have enough room, and I tried to fathom, will she really want to snuggle under a blanket with Darth Maul’s face on it?
It wasn’t only the stuff I had though. It was also some tendencies I had picked up along the way. Laundry was always on the floor. I ate Ramen noodles every night. I didn’t have a dish washer, so normally I would just eat out of the pot I cooked something in. I never changed my sheets, I never even made up the bed. Not only cleaning, but what about decorating?
You may be thinking – man, I don’t want to get married! But you forgot the best part, I actually got to be married. The treasure was worth the sacrifice. I gave it up joyfully.
You’re at the same place in your relationship with God. Let’s say that Jesus was about to move into your apartment, your house, your dorm room. But there’s one catch, you have to make some room for him to live there. And you have to decide if its worth the trouble to be able to abide with Him.
So, if Jesus moves in, does that mean I got to start watching the religious channel all the time? Well, it definitely means I will have to change the channel on some of those shows I watch if I’m with him.
What about my relationship with my boyfriend or my girlfriend? If Jesus saw the way they encourage me to compromise in my purity, would he approve of it?
“Everybody’s going out.” Don’t you love when people say that?! Well, if everyone is going out, is Jesus a part of that everyone? Cause I don’t think he would mind going to the club we’re going to, but would we approve of the mixed signal I am giving others by what I’m doing on Saturday night making me unable to worship with others on Sunday morning.
Is Jesus going to be OK that I don’t have time to read His Word and talk back to him but I find time to read and respond to my friends on Facebook 8 hours of the day?
Is Jesus going to be around when I act religious at Fusion on Tuesday and I act like I don’t even know him around another set of friends tomorrow?
Is he going to be mad that I join in on the nasty jokes? What about listen to them?
Is he going to get upset that I seek for other people’s approval more than I do his?
Those aren’t the most important questions. The better question is this, is he worth it?
The most important thing about you is what you treasure.
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. -Matthew 13:44
In Jesus’ time, it wasn’t safe to keep money in a financial institution like we know it today. People didn’t put their money or their expensive belongings in a bank, they would dig a hole out in a field somewhere and keep it there as a secret.
This man wasn’t unethical. Jewish law said that if you stumbled across a treasure, it was yours. Finders keepers.
It was with JOY!
You find the treasure. You are all excited about it. But then you have to leave it there in the field and make the trek back home to get all you finances straight to come and buy the field. Along the way, you begin to struggle. You mean I’m going to have to sell this to get the treasure?
Sell my boyfriend…my gossiping back-biting way…my dream of being famous…my dream of being the sibling that my parents are most proud of…my dream of getting those Greek letters on a t-shirt…
The scary thing is this – some of you sold all that stuff but you missed one thing, you didn’t sell it with joy. And if you didn’t sell it with joy, then its truly not a treasure in your life. And if its not your treasure, then something else is. And God is a jealous God and he does not fancy seeing trifles take his rightful spot. Some of you honestly think God is your treasure, yet when was the last time you saw your life with Him as true, passionate joy? You weren’t going kicking and screaming to change things in your life, you thought if this means that I can get close to Him – it is worth it!
Have you ever been around someone that you felt like they were just trying to be nice? And you wanted to yell and say just leave me alone. I can tell you don’t want to be here with me, obligation does not flatter me. Desire does.
There’s a moment in the Passion of the Christ that ruined me. It was Jesus began crawling to the cross so that He could cling to it. Hebrews 12:2 said that He looked at the cross with joy – because we were His treasure.
I used to think that Christianity was all about a set of rules. A list of do-nots. But then I actually started reading the Word when I got to college. I went over to a people who didn’t know the name of Jesus to utter to them for the first time. And then I realized that making Jesus my treasure was the only thing that worked.
There’s a phrase we use around the church called “competing systems.” Its when two things compete for resources, time, money, etc. I had a friend who was getting ready to get married, fiance wanted the wedding one way, his mother wanted it another way. Someone is going to lose here.
What I’m scared about is that there are competing systems in your life. And someone is going to lose.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.