Richvale Church
July 19, 2020 (Actual presentation)
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        Men's Bible Study

        June 30, 2020 - 6:30 AM - 6:30 AM
      • Download

        Men's Bible Study

        June 30, 2020 - 6:30 AM - 6:30 AM
        Via Zoom
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  • Good morning welcome to our service - If you are joining us online we so glad that you are with us today..
    We are in a sermon series entitled, “The Greatest Stories Ever Told,” and we are looking at the Parables of Jesus..
    This morning we are going to be looking at two short parables… The parable of the Hidden treasure and the parable of the pearl of great price… Both these parables are about focusing on Christ and his kingdom…
    A few weeks ago Pam asked me to look after the children she takes care of… just for five minutes… while she ran an errand to the office... And so, I said no problem and stood with them watching them play… and then next thing.. I get a text and started to respond to the message ... It could have been more than 30 seconds and then I look up and the kids had opened up the facet and had created a small dam of water… and not only was there water everywhere they were soaked from playing in the water..it happened that quickly.....
    To be honest... I am not sure how Pam manages here kids so efficiently every single day... pretty amazing... The point is that it is easy to get distracted from the things that are in front of us...
    ... One of the problems with distraction is that it can keep us from what is really important...
    We live in world where we constantly distracted..
    Statistics tell us that the average person spend 5 1/2 hours a day with digital media and more than half of that time is on our mobile devices.
    In one recent survey, students at Baylor University reported using their cell phones an average of ten hours a day … . we check our phones 221 times a day—an average of every 4.3 times a minute
    In fact is this study they also said they though this number actually may be too low, since people tend to underestimate their own mobile usage …
    One of the Challenges we face today is being distracted..at many different levels..
    When I started out preparing for this sermons series...My thoughts began with this the question ---
    if Jesus was peaching to the Church during these uncertain times of Covid 19?
    What would he be saying to us?
    It is important to know what God is saying…to us in these days..
    The book of Hebrews tells us that in the past God spoke through the prophets but in these last days… He has spoken to us through His Son… Whom God has appointed heir of all things..
    .. God has spoken to us in the past through prophetic writings.— Spoken through divinely inspired words of the prophets.. but everything in Scripture is fulfilled in the life and ministry of Jesus…
    And so we need to ask... What does the ministry and teaching of Jesus communicate to us today...
    Jesus ministry officially began after the arrest of John the Baptist — who was the forerunner to Christ.. John message was one of baptism and repentance .... He was also the was first to point our that Jesus was the promised Messiah… John declared - that Jesus was the lamb of God who was sent to takes away our sins… The ministry of Jesus would be one that would involve a sacrifice.. There would appropriation for sins.. meaning He would take on the punishment of sin… and satisfy God’s Holy and righteous demands..
    That … on the cross Jesus being a perfect sacrifice would fully atone for mankind's sin… Not only does the death of Jesus speak to us today… but also the life he lived..
    Matthew summarizes the Jesus ministry with the words, “And he went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people”
    His ministry involved teach, preaching, healing people …there was… no disease that is beyond his ability and power to heal… But more than his healing ministry was this was the message…
    He was proclaimed the Gospel… good news of the Kingdom of God..… The Gospel of Mark tells us that there was a two fold purpose of his Gospel.. it was bas both a message of the Kingdom and a message of repentance.
    Jesus ministry was announcing the breaking in of the Kingdom of God …and the message of Repentance.
    We need to not forget that the central message of the church is a call to repentance… Repentance is basically a turning --- turning away from and a turning towards God.. .
    … let’s read our parable.…
    Matthew 13:44–46 ESV
    44 “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. 45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, 46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
    What we learn from the parables is the centrality of the Message of the Kingdom of God.. That Kingdom of God often Hidden and needs to found… So..
    T/S How Do we pursue the Kingdom of God?

    1. By Being Awakened to the Kingdom of God..

    This idea of the coming Kingdom of God was an important element in early Christian thought. Throughout the NT and first few centuries it was anticipated Christ’s Kingdom to come with expedience....within a generation or two… Jesus taught that his return was imminent … but he never put it on the calendar… as a result people have done a lot of speculating — what we know is that every date setter has been wrong so far...
    It is only when you get to the 3rd Century where you have the church father Augustine and others… begining to articulate the Kingdom of God was a supernatural entity…that we are living in this age between the first and second coming of Christ… There is this mystery connected to the Kingdom of God --- Because the kingdom of God did not come in this spectacular form… but rather came in a hidden form… that has to be discerned, sought after and discovered…
    John Stott gives this illustration of lightning and thunder...
    : We see the lightning, and seconds afterward we hear the thunder. Both refer to the same event. The interval is caused by the fact that light waves travel much faster than sound waves. We are living in such an interval. Christ of the already and the Christ of the not yet… which comes with Thunder...
    In our parable..
    The kingdom of heaven is compared to treasure that are hidden in the field.
    First of all it was not at all unusual in the ancient world to hide a treasure in the ground…they didn’t have Wells Fargo or First National Bank of Jericho to deposit their valuables in their safe deposit box. They hid their money by digging a hole in the ground. If a person died before recovering the treasure, then years later a man could be working in the field and unexpectedly uncover a treasure chest.
    In the parable this man stumbles on some old treasure.. This man was probably a farm laborer, engaged in his daily work of ploughing a field. And then, suddenly, his ploughshare hit a box. He dug it up, opened it, and precious jewels cascaded from it! He was thrilled to bits, and quickly hid it again until he could go and buy the field.
    In those times if you found treasure your could keep it.. but in this case the treasure would have belonged to the owner of the field… So instead of lifting the treasure — he covers it back up in order to avoid any disputes.. He is going to do every in his power to hold on to the treasure...
    The man in our parable wanted to make sure that it remained hidden… The analogy of re-hiding the treasure suggests a couple of things..
    First of all we need to know that Kingdom is a great find… it is highly prized and valued… The reason we need to be awakened to the Kingdom of God is....
    I think that sometimes as believers we have forgotten the awe of living in His Kingdom in this present world… When we come to Salvation we are not only become new creation in Christ… We have entered into the Kingdom of His Son....
    Colossians 1:13–14 ESV
    13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
    This is awe inspiring…
    Jesus wanted his followers to Understand His Kingdom..
    Jesus constantly taught on the kingdom… He taught on it so much that one point he actually asks his disciples are you starting to get the idea of the value of the Kingdom..
    So first Hidden treasure speaks of the immense value of the Kingdom of God..
    Second, It speaks to how easily the Kingdom can be missed… The whole time this treasure had been in the ground.. Think of the thousands who may have crossed over that same field…
    Here we see that the Kingdom of God can be present and not yet perceived… And the reason is the Kingdom of God does not overwhelm the world… not does it overcome resistance to it… The only way to understand the Kingdom is through it being found… discovered...
    Here is the thing when a person discovers the Kingdom their is an awakening…there is this overwhelming sense of Joy.
    In order to be awakened to the Kingdom of God we have ask..
    b. What is the Kingdom of God?
    The key to an understanding of the kingdom of God is that the basic meaning of the Greek word basileia, rule, reign, dominion.
    We frequently find in the OT the expression “in the year of the kingdom … of a given king… Josiah, Uzziah.. number of times..
    In the OT the kingdom spoke to a realm or sphere over which he reigns…
    So the world “kingdom” (basileia) does not primarily refer to a geographical territory but to sovereignty and dominion.
    Psalms tells us about the Sovereign Reign and realm of God.
    Psalm 145:13 ESV
    13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. The Lord is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works.
    Psalm 103:19 ESV
    19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.
    The Scripture tell us that God is over all of His creation… there is not one part of his creation that is not subject to His rule..
    When we understand the Kingdom in these terms Dominon and rule.. it helps us understand that Jesus was not talking so much of physical Kingdom… but rather Spiritual Kingdom.. A Kingdom that is under His rule and reign..
    In other words the Kingdom of God is not just something we are going to experience in the future.... Geographically ....but a realm of HIS power that is available today…
    In God’s realm where the Power of His Holy Spirit Dwells… When the Holy Spirit indwells us a believers we experience.. His goodness, his love, His joy, His healing, there is abundant life...
    So one of the most common questions about the sovereignty of God — is why he doesn’t exercise his power if everything is under his Rule and reign...
    Why is it that we have so much pain and suffering in our World?
    The reason why we have Sickness, diseases, disasters death in our world is because the physical world is still suffering from the fall of man....
    Because of the Reign of Sin in our world---Creation is not fully under the Reign of God..…
    When Jesus came 2000 years ago... it was the begining of the great reversal.... He came with the purpose to redeem his creation from the curse of Garden of Eden… This redemption is both present and future… … Paul tells us in the book of Romans..
    Romans 8:19–21 ESV
    19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
    The Kingdom of God is present but not fully realized in the physical world…But rather we seek the Kingdom of God (His Rule and reign) through His People and through His Holy Spirit…
    J. I. Packer, Growing in Christ
    God’s kingdom is not a place, but rather a relationship. It exists wherever people enthrone Jesus as lord of their lives.
    In the parable of the Hidden treasure— Both these men come to this awakening that Kingdom of God in Here now… The implications are Huge… Even though things are out of order —
    We can pray his kingdom Rule… We can pray the Lords prayer where we can pray His Kingdom come — His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven… We invite Christs Power and Dominion over rule and reign in situations…
    Glen H. Stassen, in his sermon ....Living the Sermon on the Mount
    When you pray that the will of God be done on earth as it is in heaven,
    Envision conflict being resolved, marriages and families healed, truth told and people faithful to one another, initiatives that break through the vicious cycles of retaliation, and love that creates new community among people through forgiveness, reconciliation, and peacemaking.
    What powerful application to living in the Kingdom of God.
    T/S How Do we pursue the Kingdom of God?
    1. By Being Awakened to the Kingdom of God

    2. By Being Awaken to a kingdom of Grace.

    Jesus tell us that the Kingdom of God is like this man who stumbles upon a field and finds treasure that is buried in the ground … .
    Eugene Peterson message bible tells us that this man was trespassing when he stumbles upon the treasure
    This is a parable about God Riches… or God’s grace… Here is a man who stumbles into grace unknowingly....
    He is passing over a field that does not belong to Him…
    This is a reminder of where we were before we stumbled into grace… before we found Christ our treasure---We were trespasses..and we were dead in our sins.. Paul tells of our condition in..
    Colossians 2:13 ESV
    13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,
    What does it mean to be a trespasser..… To trespass means to be step out of bounds…
    We have all seen those private property signs with the letters in read .... no trespasses..
    If you cross that line.... you have over stepped the boundaries.. Before Christ we trespasses of God’s laws and covenant… but Like this man - who had not rights to this treasure… We had no rights to the Kingdom of God… Paul tells us that in the book of Ephesus.
    Ephesians 2:12–13 ESV
    12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
    We were we outside of Covenant before we stumbled upon the message of God’s grace…
    When this man in the field finds the treasure he buries the treasure to keep it --- then we are told that
    “Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
    So the man goes and with joy sells everything he has to buy that field, knowing that it is worth more than everything else he has put together.
    People coming up to him, saying, “You’re crazy.” But he wasn’t crazy to sell everything he had; he was wise and happy, because he knew he had found something worth losing everything for.
    The scholar
    Eduard Schweizer adds a little interest comment .. He notes that there is also a missed opportunity in this parable where there is son - who sold the field — not knowing that His father had buried a treasure there…
    It is interesting observation that we can be sons and daughters in the kingdom… and still not understand the reveal value of the field… that represents the Kingdom of God..
    There is joy that comes when we awakened to Grace of God… This is an easy transaction for this man ---
    It is with Joy that he sells all that he has because what he is obtaining has superior value… When you go to the car dealer with your old car… with couple 100 0000 miles a few dents and scratches and you exchange that car for something brand new… There is no sadness.... there is only joy… Why because even though you maybe giving something up --- You are receiving something even more valuable....
    When we come to Christ there is a total Joy in the transaction…
    Kingdom priority is not additional to your life... Jesus taught that our Christian Faith was not a hobby for the weekends. Our faith was more than something that we added to our lives...
    Rather it was everything... That is how radical the call of discipleship.... Being a follow of Jesus involves a cost... it means putting down our personal agenda's and priorities and seeking first the kingdom of God... But we need to know that it is a joyful exchange... it is trading up... The message bible says that he is ecstatic... The Kingdom is a joyful exchange from the old to the New.
    And this is the point: The kingdom of heaven is something worth losing everything for.
    There is great reward in submitting to the redemptive rule and reign of God in Christ; it is greater reward than everything this world has put together.
    See the worth of having God rule over you, knowing that He will work all things, even the toughest things, together for your good.
    Even amidst earthly pain, you can know that He is working all things for your eternal joy. Paul said in Philippians 3, “I count all things as loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I suffer the loss of all things in order that I may gain Christ.”
    T/S How Do we pursue the Kingdom of God?
    1. By Being Awakened to the Kingdom of God
    2. By Being Awaken to a kingdom of Grace.

    3. By Being Awakened to Kingdom of Christ

    In the parable of the pearl of great Price.. The Kingdom is described as a merchant who is on this quest to find the finest pearls… then he comes across this one pearl that supersedes any of his previous discoveries....
    It is so valuable that not only does he sell his entire collection of pearls, but he sells all that he has to buy this one pearl...
    The parable of the Hidden treasure and the pearl of great price are twin parables.... but there are differences between the two parables… In the man in the parable of the Hidden treasure stumbles upon the treasure where the merchant has dedicated his whole life to searching out treasures.
    People find the kingdom in many ways. Some come upon it by accident, some after a long and patient search…
    Merchants in those days would travel with their merchandise form place to place… bartering and making trades… This merchant is on the hunt for the finest pearls... he is a treasure hunter. He is always looking for the best pearl... remember that pearls in the ancient world were more prescious than gold...
    Then One day he finds what he has been looking for - that One pearl of great value… And what an amazing find it was… The
    pearl was so lustrous, so exquisite that all the rest of the pearls in his collection faded into insignificance.
    The man said, “I have to own that pearl,”. He sold his whole collection of jewels, his whole business, so that he could have that pearl of great price.
    This story is similar to this true story of a gem dealer who was strolling the aisles at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show when he noticed a blue-violet stone the size and shape of a potato.
    He looked it over, then, as calmly as possible, asked the vendor, "You want $15 for this?" The seller, realizing the rock wasn't as pretty as others in the bin, lowered the price to $10.
    The stone has since been certified as a 1,9 -carat natural star sapphire, about 800 carats larger than the largest stone of its kind. It was appraised at $2.28 million.
    Here is this merchant trading in pearls he immediately saw the inherent value of the pearl and he traded in everything... all his belonging and including the kitchen sink... because He had to have that pearl...
    Now Jesus is using a hyperbole and exaggeration to make a point… It is unlikely that the merchant would sell everything… he had in order to buy one single pearl.. But in the case of the kingdom, once you have discovered the treasure Christ Jesus… it calls for this restrained response in absolute discipleship.
    Jesus is speaking to disciples here who would lose much for following Christ; most of them would lose their lives. But they were following a King who promised, “There is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time and in the age to come eternal life.”
    We come to Christ because He is great reward. He’s better than the best things of this world put together, and He’s worth letting go of all things in order to take hold of Him as the one thing.
    What are the implications of these parables?
    The first is that the Kingdom of God is a priority for Christian we need to ask ..
    We need to regularly audit our value systems to see whether our values line up with the values of God
    Whether we recognize it or not ---
    We are always seeking something in this life... We have goals that we have made... or maybe this idea of our idealistic life... Jesus challenges us to live for the Kingdom.
    a. What are we dedicated to?
    b. What are we seeking for
    c. What do we with the Kingdom?
    Archbishop William Temple said if you want to know what you really worship, if you want to know what you really treasure, if you want to know what your real god is, where does your mind go during solitude when you don’t have to think of anything else,
    when there’s nothing that’s making you think of something? When your mind can go wherever you want it to go, where does it go? What do you fantasize about effortlessly? What do you worry about effortlessly?
    Conclusion:
    Distractions have consequences — Just the other day.. I was talking to Pam on the phone and missed an exist… fortunately, I could take the next exit.. and get back on track… What happens if you get distracted… and you don’t take the exist… You are going to keep of driving further and further away from God’s Kingdom purposes…
    We are living at a time where we need to keep the Kingdom of God front and central… There are so many emotions out there in our world… There is confusion, there is anxiety, there is anger… How we going to deal with all those emotions in our World… It comes down to His Kingdom Reign… His reign starts with our own hearts…
    The Bible tells us to let the peace of God…and the world of God… Ruling.
    Colossians 3:15–16 ESV
    15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
    There can be things out of order arround us and we can still experience the rule and reign of Christ… we can still have Christ word dwelling Richly. Spurgeon said that having the word of God dwell in us means more that reading and hearing truth.. “It has enter you.”
    you must believe it; you must live upon it; you must drink it in; You have to allow truth to soak into your heart.. And once the word is in you — You need to continue … it dwells in us Richly.
    When your life comes in contact with the /real Kingdom of God… Both men in our parable came to the Kingdom in two different ways but the result and response was the same… ‘They both made this exchange...” temporal for the eternal… When then the Kingdom of God becomes a reality to us ...
    it will utterly change your life, top to bottom… left to right… inside out..in every way.
      • Matthew 13:44–46ESV

      • Psalm 145:13ESV

      • Psalm 103:19ESV

      • Romans 8:19–21ESV

      • Colossians 2:13ESV

      • Ephesians 2:12–13ESV

      • Colossians 3:15–16ESV

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