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The One Thing

By Stuart Mains

July 16, 2023

Obrigado por conferir este sermão. Se você se comove com o que ouve e está na área de Boston, considere visitar pessoalmente!

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Church, it's great to be together with you. It's been a couple of weeks. It's good to be back together. My name is Stewart. For those of you that don't know me and along with my wife, Ashley, we help lead this congregation here. We are so grateful you're here. If you're visiting with us, this is your first time, we want you to know you came to a special place. If you couldn't tell already from the worship and the fellowship, you definitely could tell this is a special place by that Communion and by what Lucas shared and the impact that God through this community has had on their family and his life. There's a piece of good news I wanted to share. We had an engagement in the pros ministry. Scarlett Oakley and Josh Buske got engaged. You guys would stand up. Josh, can you stand up? Scarlett, will you stand up?Thank you, guys. I don't know if you've seen the ring yet, but Josh did a good job. He has some good helpers there. I don't know. Men are great at picking them out, but you did a great job with that one.

So that was good stuff. But let's say a word of prayer as we get into it for the Subs, for the future Buskeys, and for today's sermon. Dear God, thank you for this time. God, we're grateful. God, we're grateful to be able to come and worship you. God, we truly are a family. And in family, you have times of sadness and grief as we feel the loss of the Subs moving to Seattle, God, we pray that you'd be with them as they move on. God, we pray that you would allow them to have an incredible impact in that church. God, I pray that this would be the greatest move for their family, for their spiritual walk. And as they arrived, it would just be so obvious why you led them there. God, I pray that you'd be with Josh and Scarlett as they got engaged. Thank you for the joys that we get to share as a family. We love them, so grateful for them. God, we pray that you'd be with them on their future journey here, getting married. God, thank you for today and for looking at your word, singing praises to you, and reading your scriptures.

Really, the only true and sound thing that we can put our hope in is your words. God, we're so grateful that each week we can come together to read them, meditate on them, sing songs about them, and recenter and refocus our minds. We love you in Jesus' name, Amen. The title of today's message is The One Thing, for your life to be complete, what is the one thing you need? For you to be complete, not lacking in anything. What's the one thing you need? I suspect that if I were to open up the parameters and say, what are the things that you need to be complete or what is in your life incomplete or that you need to change, you could write pages and pages and pages of things that need to be changed in your life? You may say, well, I don't know. I'm actually pretty good. Well, then just ask your spouse, what do you need to change? What's something to complete your life, to help you to be perfect in the biblical Greek version, not lacking in anything? What do you need to change? If you asked your colleagues or your best friends, your children, or your wife, you would be able to come up with many, many, many things.

But as we look throughout Scripture, oftentimes Jesus boils it down when he interacts with people to one thing. When people come to him, they have a lot of issues. He's God in the flesh. He could bring up many things, but oftentimes it's the one thing that he does that has a cascading effect on all the other things in their life. Whether they're blind or they're demon-possessed or sick or inability to move or walk or they have theological questions that need answers. There's a domino effect to helping that one thing changes everything. I don't know if you've ever seen this video. This is by a band that I actually don't listen to. I just like the video called OK Go. They did this music video. It's a Rube Goldberg machine. You may go, what is a Rube Goldberg machine? Well, you've never heard of it, probably, but you know what it is. It's basically where when you press a domino and it starts going and then other things start taking place. And because of that one chain reaction, other things happen and it keeps going on and on. We'll watch it right now for you to see what I'm talking about.

You can turn down the volume on it. We don't even listen to the song. It's an okay song, whatever. But as he starts the chain reaction, you see all the different things that go into effect here in this Rube Goldberg machine. It's a trickle-down effect. They spent four months working on this four-minute video. They spent hours and hours of man hours. They created and recreated all these different mechanisms. They brought in engineers from MIT to help that one thing fall into place the way it needed to. They designed and redesigned this table, and they did this actual act when they got in there and they built it all 83 times before they got it right. The reason the singer looks so exhausted is because the final take when they got it right was at 2:30 in the morning. They finally got it right. This thing goes on and on. Look at all of the intricate problems that could arise if one thing was out of place. You can cut the video off. If you want to watch it on your own, go ahead. You can watch it. But if any one of those things stopped working, the whole rest of the machine didn't go.

There could be many problems or just one problem, but the entire thing would break down if there was just one thing wrong with the machine. Companies know this. One decision, one deal can change everything. Who has seen the movie Air about Michael Jordan and Nike? Okay, well, one of you. Very good. It's now free on Prime, I think. But the whole movie, it's been asked like a Matt Damon. And it's all about how Nike used to be a running shoe company, and it was about to close its entire basketball division. They weren't going to have a basketball division at all anymore. One guy said I saw Michael Jordan. That's who we should sign. They put him through the rigor and the role of, I don't know, should we? I don't think so. Maybe I should fire you. This is a stupid decision. But he finally convinced them to sign Michael Jordan to a deal that had never been done that seemed like it was a bad deal for Nike initially. And because of that one decision, last year in 2022, Nike made off the Jordan division $5.1 billion. The year before that was $3.7 billion.

It's billions and billions and billions and billions of dollars that changed when you think of Nike, oftentimes you don't just think of sports or even running in the same way as you think of Jordan and basketball. One decision changed everything. Netflix pitched to Blockbuster in 2000. Blockbuster said no, and they went bankrupt in 2010. Ten years after saying no to Netflix, Blockbuster turned down this deal. Netflix was only saying, Hey, please buy us for 50 million. He said, No, there's no more Blockbuster. All the stores are closed by 2014. Netflix is now worth $195 billion. One decision one thing, one deal all boiled down to the entire fate of Blockbuster. How many of you guys even remember what it felt like to go into Blockbuster on Friday night? I mean, you walk into Blockbuster. That's an hour's endeavor trying to figure out what movie you're going to get. You finally pick the right one with your crew and then it's out and you can't rent it. What the heck is this? That was an entire culture shift because of one decision. Oftentimes, Jesus helped people and he made the issue. Even again, if there were many issues, the Samaritan woman, the woman at the well, said, Really, the issue is you rely on men as being this living water that's going to fulfill you.

You've had five husbands and now the man you're with is not your husband. Stop trying to look for love in all the wrong places. Find it in me in a relationship with God. To the woman caught in adultery, lead your life of sin. For others, the issue is faith or hypocrisy, greed. Jesus would get to the core issue of what was the one thing. If Jesus was standing before you, what is your one thing? What is the one thing that will have this domino effect? Is it a belief that must change? Is it a relationship that must be broken off? Is it a decision? Is it an addiction or a habit as Lucas was talking about? What is the one thing that is preventing you from being complete or perfect, not lacking anything? Turn your Bible to Matthew 19. We come into a story here where Jesus is on the way to Jerusalem to be crucified. He's on his journey as he's going back. He knows what's going to happen. He's doing some teaching along the way and interacting with people. We come in on Matthew 19, verse 16, which reads, 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. If you want to enter 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, or in the Greek, as we've said, complete, mature, lacking nothing, go sell your possessions and give to the poor and you will have treasures in heaven. Then come follow me. When the young man heard this, he went away sad because he had great wealth. In Luke 18, the same parallel story says he was extremely rich. Jesus is approached by this man and he's asked a question that I think many of us if we were faced with interacting with God in the flesh, with Jesus Christ, would ask the question, what good things must I do to get eternal life? First, Jesus draws him back to the commandments. He draws him back to the things that were written.

The man says, Yeah, I've done that. But he follows it up with, What do I still lack? When you're someone that's spiritual and around God's word, there is a sensitivity to what you lack, to where you're off. God's Word describes many of those who are not spiritual as being dull or aloof, or staggering towards their own demise and they're never even realizing it or knowing it. But if you engage with Scripture, it illuminates the issues. It illuminates the one thing in your life. Jesus cut straight to the heart. If you want to be perfect, there's one thing that you lack. Go and sell your possessions and distribute them to the poor and follow me. This man was extremely rich and so to do this would have been a tall task, not just for the repercussions of his life, his security base, to be able to go and sell all these possessions, but that would have been time-consuming. There have been a lot of listings on eBay that took some time to be able to get the work done to sell everything. Do you ever try to sell your car? It's a pain in the butt.

Imagine that time to all your possessions. This was not an easy task, but Jesus called him to do the very thing that he knew was the biggest issue in his life. As we read this passage, it's hard not to think about what Jesus would say to us. What would Jesus' response be to me if I asked this question, what is the one thing that I lack? We're going to look at three questions that can help us identify and deal with our one thing. The first question is, will you ask the right person? Will you ask the right person? This man was a ruler. He was wealthy, he was young. He came to the right person, Jesus Christ, to ask about these issues. And Jesus' response, even as he interacts with him, seemed a little bit odd, maybe to you. But as he was coming and calling him a good teacher, Jesus was testing him a little bit, going, Do you know who you're talking to? Why do you call me good? Why exactly do you think I'm so good? Do you know who I really am? Maybe Jesus believed that if he truly understood that he was talking to God in the flesh, it may change the outcome of the ending of how he would go about the direction that Jesus gave him.

But Jesus continues on asking, do you know what you need to do? And he goes through the commandments. He describes them. The boy goes, yeah, I know those things and I've done those things. But the one thing that he lacked was giving up his entire life, giving up everything in his heart, giving up all the things that he was holding on to, and ultimately that he was making an idol in his life. If you truly want to know one thing, you've got to ask the right person. You've got to ask the right person. I don't know if you've ever interacted with or been in a hospital for a sustained period of time or been around a lot of doctor specialists. When my daughter had her health challenges, we saw 11 specialists to help Savannah out as a newborn baby. And what I learned very quickly is it's very easy to make a doctor feel foolish. If you ask them a question that's outside of their specialty. And so you would have these doctors come in and they would think, or they'd come off very confident. And so at the very early stages, as I was in the PICU, the Pediatric ICU Unit with her, I would be asking the same questions to all kinds of doctors.

And then I realized, no, they're introducing themselves for a specific purpose because they only know about this one area of Savannah. And so you have a doctor that knows all about the kidneys and the bladder. Don't ask them about her hip dysplasia. That's a different doctor. If you have some eye problems, don't ask the doctor about the bones to know about the eyes. And so for the first couple of days, I'd be asking questions and that doctor to me was a doctor. And so they come in and I go, So when are we going to know about this? I don't know. I don't know what you're talking about. I'm strictly dealing with, does she have a genetic abnormality? Oh, that's useless to me at this moment. But okay, go ahead. Check out whatever you need to check out. I'm asking about this medicine or this question or this. They are all so specialized. In fact, they are actually much like us, normal folks when it comes to a lot of other areas. Savannah would have to put on this apparatus that was for her hip dysplasia. She would lift her legs up and so she would be like this all the time.

She had to be in it 24/7 for 12 months. We have all these cords on her, getting all her vitals. They got IVs in her. Then we got this apparatus and we would have to train the doctors on how to take off the apparatus and put it back on. Why? Because they had never seen one of these before. Because that's not their specialty. There are specialties in the medical field, just like there are specialties of the heart. There are specialties when it comes to your spiritual life. For me, as I was growing up, I grew up in the church and we call ourselves kingdom kids. I was definitely a kingdom kid and I was also a preacher's kid. My dad was in the ministry. As a preacher's kid, I was very challenging to parent. My parents have told me this. I was not an easy kid. I was challenging my spirit, my attitude. I was combative. I was constantly questioning. I was constantly not the go-with-the-flow kid. I was in their face about anything and everything that I could be about. What started to become the narration from my parent's slash I think Satan used it and manipulated it to say you are not very good.

You are a disaster in many areas in your life and you need people in your life to be able to help train you and teach you. And if you do not get people in your life to help train you and teach you, you are going to be a disaster for the rest of your life. Now, you can biblically support what I just said. And if you understand the concept of, yes, we need people in our lives, but not any one person is a specialist for all the things that you need in your life, then what happens is you start to turn to God as the true specialist and you use different people for different things in your life to help your character out. But instead, what started happening is I would start to elevate the people in my life that I felt like I loved and I wanted to imitate and be like, which, again, innately is not bad, but it got to a place where it circumvented my relationship with God. Now people became specialists in my heart versus God being specialists in my heart. As I start to go about my journey, it was very clear, very quickly, even to this day, decades later, after making Jesus the Lord of my life, I constantly have to bring up in mentoring times that I'm battling or I'm wrestling with not just doing whatever you say versus taking it back to God and allowing him to do the work, allowing me to have my own opinions about things because in my nature, I can have that tape of I'm just such a disaster.

Do what these other people tell me to do. I read this book. It's called When People Are Big and God is Small. The whole concept of the book was the idea of we are so prone to looking after what people think of us, to making people in our lives big and huge and dangerous, and their opinions of us matter more than anything else in our lives. God gets this, the leftovers of our heart versus God being the front and foremost perspective, Him being the specialist on what's going to be the truth about our lives, our spiritual lives. And people yeah, they supplement and help illuminate what God, the specialist, wants you to hear. I think for many of us, we look to the wrong people to teach us what we need to do in our lives. What you value as a good teacher says a lot about you. What you value as something that is good, this man came to him and he started off really good. He comes and he says, You are a good teacher. What you value as a good teacher matters. Is your good teacher some random podcast or some random perspective, some random preacher that you've never vetted or even understood totally what he believes?

It's a good teacher that you prescribe to his way of thinking, some author that you really respect but actually don't understand and know his background or his life, or even if the things that he said to do actually bring about a greater life or not. We, as a church, have got to recognize who is the right teacher, who's the good teacher. The truth of the matter is it can't be just preachers. We are sinful dogs like the rest of us. And yet if we can illuminate what God's Word is saying if we can try to expose the scriptures to you and help them jump off the page to you for you to know that's the book of life, not my words, but God's Word is the book of life, that that's the right teacher to prescribe to, then and only then will you be able to see the right one thing. The right thing doesn't come from inside of you. You don't manifest the one thing that you need to change. You're not that smart and you're not that in tune. The idea that you think that you could solve your own problems internally is foolish.

In fact, it's beyond foolishness. It's heresy. It is sinful. It is a sinful belief that you have something so great inside of you that's just got to come out of you. That's not true. The only thing if you're a disciple of Jesus Christ that's good about you is Jesus living in you. And we've got to draw that teacher out. We've got to focus on who we are prescribing to in our way of thinking. Who are we subscribing to in our teachings about what we need to do in our lives that God's Word illuminates? God's Word shows us in James 1 verse 22, it uses the metaphor that it is a mirror for us. Read with me, do not merely listen to the Word and so deceive yourself. Do what it says is. Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in the mirror and after looking at himself goes away immediately forgetting what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continues in it, not forgetting what they have heard but doing it, will be blessed in what they do.

Look at the message version here in Verses 23 and 24, Don't fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but. Letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear. Those who hear and don't act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are and what they look like. That's his version. Sometimes it smacks you across the face. It's a little slap. God's Word is the perfect mirror. You are not. People around you are not a perfect mirror. They are specialists in seeing parts of your character. We need people in our lives but do not substitute Jesus' teaching with people's teaching. People must be small compared to God in our lives. Are you allowing yourself to see the reflection that only God's Word will bring about? In Psalm 139, Verse 23, this is a scary prayer that we're going to all pray together right now. The prayer, I'll read it first and then we'll read it together again. It says, search me, God, and know my heart. That's hard to even say out loud.

Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way, everlasting. The Psalmist is saying, expose me. Expose me. Tell me where I'm off. Test the different parts of my heart so I am not aloof any longer. So I know where I'm off. If you can't read it, pull it up on your Bible. We're going to say this prayer together. Read it with me. Search me, God, and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way, everlasting. You done did it now. You did it. God will not be mocked. He will do these things. I just trapped you into asking God to do this in your life. This idea, he likens the word to a mirror. He likens it to a lamp in another passage, for your feet, so you don't trip on all the things that could get in your way. He calls us to cry out to God to test. In Hebrews 4, verses 12 through 13, it says, for the word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword.

It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give an account. What is he describing here? He's describing a scalpel in surgery. What he's saying is that it is sharper than a double-edged sword. It comes in like a scalpel, and it penetrates in a specific way to identify. It goes on just like a surgeon. There's nothing that's hidden from a surgeon as they open you up. You can lie about your health, but when a surgeon sees what's inside, they see it all. He's saying, I'm going to expose what's going on inside your heart, and I'm going to deal with it through the Word of God. It's like a scalpel that's going to cut out the cancer that's killing you. It's like a scalpel that's going to deal with the things in your life. A good teacher speaks through his words. The good teacher speaks through the Bible. Is this how you read God's Word? Do you read God's Word saying, God, expose me and do surgery on me?

I know there are nasty parts in there. Deal with my heart, God. I'm giving it to you. I'm entrusting it to you. You deal with it. No one goes to the hospital and says, Oh, you're a leading surgeon in this area at MGH? Great. I'd love for the janitor to do the surgery on me. No one ever gives the scalpel to someone that is not trained for years and years and years, hours upon hours because they've got to be so precise because if they do it wrong, they will kill you. You stop giving teaching and the teacher role in your heart to people that should not be handling scalpels. I got four kids, don't give them a scalpel. They will kill you or themselves. You've got to give it to a trained expert and Jesus' words are clear. Will you ask the right person? Will you ask the right person? Are you currently asking the right people, the right person? Are you going to God before everything else? Are you running to the scriptures for Him to expose the truth in your life? Is He the one that you run to and cry out to? Or are you calling good things that are elementary, things that are not true, things that are not proven and just hoping it works out for your soul?

Will you ask the right person? This man asked the right person. The second thing is, will you ask the right questions? Will you ask the right questions? Now, you look at this. He asked the first question in verse 16, the man says to Jesus, Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life? In our culture, in modern Christianity, I won't spend a lot of time on this, but this idea of how you're saved has been so dwindled down. The teaching has been so, so it's made so milt toast. It's been made so palatable for the masses that the teaching that we hear so many times is more of this, you're saved by grace, you're saved by grace. Grace is saving power, and there's truth. There is grace in the Kingdom of God. Amen. We all need it. But nonetheless, it doesn't mean that it's unconditional grace. There are things we must do. And there is a teaching that is being pumped on our college campuses on YouTube, anywhere that you hear about the gospel saying grace is a free-will gift. You don't need to do anything to receive it. Just live your life however you want.

Sleep with whoever you want because grace is coming your way. That is not biblical at all. They take out the context of the passage in Ephesians 2 verses 8, and 9. This is a scripture that is written, a letter that is written to the church in Ephesus of baptized, saved disciples of Jesus Christ. It's dealing with an issue in the church where people were getting so puffed up by who they were. It would be like Alex Maul and Sam Finley and Sean Billido, our ushers and our welcoming team and Zach Teman going, I am going to heaven and receiving a lot of grace because I am working so hard in the church right now. And, man, I'm showing up early and I'm staying late and God needs me and I'm earning my salvation, if you will. I'm doing him a favor. This was teaching. So they were saying, My preaching, because of my preaching, I'm working toward salvation. Because of the spiritual gifts that I have, I'm working. Paul is going, No, you're off base. What are you talking about here? No, that's not what we're saying at all. He says in Ephesians 2, verses 8 and 9, For it is by grace you have been saved through faith.

And this is not from yourselves. It is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast. What he's describing to save people is that no, you're missing it if you're putting this idea of the works that you're doing are somehow earning your salvation. The idea is not that we earn our salvation. Grace means an unmerited gift, so you never earn your salvation. However, there is an understanding that we have things that are required of us. In fact, faith itself is a work. In John 6 verse 29, Jesus answered, The work of God is this, to believe in the one he has sent. The idea of being that you just have to do no work at all, there are no contingencies on the grace, then, in fact, it would mean that Jesus is saying you don't even have to have faith or belief. If that's taken to mean that there's no works or there's no conditions or there's nothing that's presupposing that we're going to receive this grace. That is a heresy teaching. That is an unbiblical teaching. The idea is that you are saved by grace and there are no conditions on the grace whatsoever when it comes to the things you need to do to receive it.

Jesus, as the good teacher, does not respond with him saying, Hey, good teacher, what do you need to do? He doesn't high-five them and go, Go do whatever you want. He says, Immediately, you know the commandments. Jesus responded with some action items of things that needed to be done. You still never earn it through the grace, the unmerited gift, the thing that we don't deserve. But yet there are conditions on how we receive it. He asked the first question, and we've got to be able to ask the first question. Some of you are studying the Bible right now, what do I need to do to be saved? You've come in with presupposing that you know and you're wrong. You're wrong. God's Word says it all over the place. Others of you are coming in, studying the Bible, and you're going, actually, I think I've done this right. But do you have the humility to ask the question and look at God's Word? We must be able to ask the right questions. The second thing he asked is, What do I lack? Now, this is a much more challenging question. This is a much more difficult question to ask.

This is a huge question. Where am I deficient? It's that Psalm 139 question. Where are the offensive ways in me? Asking the right questions is crucial. I don't know how you deal with problems in customer service, but when somebody does something wrong to me in customer service, I have one question for them. They'll say all kinds of things, Oh, we're so sorry. Oh, man, we messed up. Oh, we did this. I just go, I know it's not your fault. I usually start that way. I know this is the company's fault or this is the process's fault. This isn't your fault. But this is unacceptable. What can be done? Whenever I ask, What can be done? They always get a scared look on their face. This is a great thing for you to do in customer service. They go, Well, I don't know. What do you want? I go, What can be done? I just ask the same question over and over again. It makes them really nervous. Well, I don't know. I got to ask managers. Well, what can be done? And about the third or fourth time of me asking, what can be done? They get the idea.

I'm not moving off the question. And so they go and find something and they always give me more than I would have asked for. They're like, Let's give you a free night at the hotel. We messed you up. Okay, well, that sounds fair. Okay. They didn't give me enough chocolate on my bed, but okay. Yeah, one night free. That's fair. Okay. I ask for things all the time by just saying, What do you think can be done? When I was in school, I got 10 grades lifted in college by going into the office hours. I went in every day during the office hours that they had offered. I was pretty consistent on that, so they knew me. But then I'd go in at the end of the semester, and my phrase was always, I mean, did you see my grade? That is unacceptable, huh? And they would go, Oh, yeah, B minus. I'm like, So what can be done? I got 10 grades lifted by asking, What can be done? Because of this story right now, half of the room hates my guts, and the other half has now just gained ideas of how they're lifting their grade.

But you know, crucial questions, they matter. It matters the questions that you're asking. In fact, we oftentimes ask the wrong questions because we want a certain outcome. Do you ever watch those court shows? They're asking questions. They're trying to pigeonhole the person on the stand to say something that's incriminating or that will blow up in the case. They'll ask a question in a way, and what does one of the lawyers say that's defending them or whatever? They'll go, Objection, leading. What does that mean? That means that question is leading them down an answer that they have nowhere else they could possibly answer the question. It's not a real exploratory question. It's a leading question. It's a question that's going to get a specific answer. I think sometimes we go into our Bible study like that. We go, how do I know that I'm good and I'm going to heaven? Let me read the Bible for me to find out how I know I'm good and going to heaven. Objection, leading. What are all the good things that I'm doing? Objection, leading. What are the scriptures that help me know that I'm okay and that I'm going to heaven?

Objection, leading. What are the scriptures that make me feel like I'm really not in sin in my lifestyle? Objection, leading. You don't give Jesus questions that handcuff him to answer truly. You don't lead in your questions to the surgeon. You just ask what needs to be done, and you do it. You see the problem, you see the scan, you understand the issue, do the work you need to do. Who are you to question? What needs to be done in your heart? Are you asking leading questions? Are you asking questions that are going to lead to an answer that your itching ears want to hear versus what God's Word is trying to reveal in your heart? Jesus this time and time again asked really piercing questions. To someone who's sick or on a what, do you want to get well? What do you want me to do for you? Do you believe it? Who do you say that I am? Why are you so afraid when the disciples are freaking out in the middle of a squall and they're in a boat and they think it's going to sink? He goes, Why are you so afraid? I mean, for each one of these questions, why did you doubt as Peter was walking on water afterward?

Why did you doubt it? What happened there? Do you still not understand after he feeds the 4,000 and the 5,000 and calms the storm? Are you also going to leave me to the disciples when the majority of the followers that he had deserted him after hard teaching? Or what does the Scripture say? Or do you love me after Jesus disowned him three times? Jesus is an expert at asking the hard questions. Are you asking the right questions? Are you asking the right questions? As we continue on, this man, he actually did both of these things. He asked the right person and he asked the right questions. But he didn't follow the answer that Jesus gave him. That's the third and final thing. Will you follow the answer? Will you follow what the expert tells you to do? This man was given a very simple-to-understand answer. In verse 21, it says, Go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me. Jesus diagnosed the issue perfectly. He said, There's an idol in your heart, your money, your security, your self-worth is all wrapped up into that.

Get rid of that. Come follow me. In fact, he invites him to be one of his disciples. In another translation or another version, it says that when he asked that question, Jesus looked at him and he loved him. Jesus felt connected to this guy. He loved all the things that he was doing and the way that he was following him I don't think this interaction was of this really arrogant guy coming in and Jesus blasting him. I think, in fact, it was the opposite. I think he heard his heart, heard his humility, and wanted to have him follow him and yearn for that connection. He diagnosed the problem. But at 22, when the young man heard this, he went away sad because he had great wealth. Will you follow the answer? I used to live in California in Orange County, and Orange County is ridiculous when it comes to wealth. We had this really small little apartment and there was just money everywhere. I talked to my mom now. She goes, You can't travel in Orange County without seeing 30 Teslas everywhere. That's become the new car, or BMW Series 7s, or G wagons, or whatever.

There's just money coming out of our eyeballs. I was looking at a report. It said Orange County if it was a country by itself, would be the 23rd richest country in the world. Isn't that crazy? The number one export from Orange County at that time was consulting. They didn't have any raw materials. They just told people what to do, and they became the 23rd richest country as a county in the world. If you ask an expert, you can call these CEOs. If you're like $30,000. You can spend an hour talking to them on the phone, getting their input on your business, or whatever. If you get a call from one of the leading CEOs in your industry and he tells you exactly what to do, would you listen to him? Yes, you would. You'd go, Okay, you'd be scrambling, taking notes. You're recording a voice memo on your other phone. You're trying to make sure I don't want to lose anything this person says. This is the expert. I want to know what's happening and what I should be doing and why I'm problematic and where are my issues. I want to know it all.

People bend over backward to get advice. You have a direct line to the creator of the world that has the exact keys to life. Your marriage issues, he can solve them. Your parenting issues, he can solve them. Your relational issues, your loneliness, he can solve them. Your mental health issues, he can solve them. Anything that you're facing, any problem that you're going through, he has the answers and it's written in his words. And yet too often we won't follow it. And why do we not follow it? Because it doesn't make sense to us. The idea of penicillin and antibiotics, you know where it came from? Moldy Bread in World War I. They found out that if you ingest it, it would do some work on your body. It'd kill the bacteria. And that's where they found penicillin, the first antibiotic in World War I in moldy bread in the bunkers. Who was the first guy that tried it out? Who was the guy that said, Oh, my throat, I have strep, it's swollen, I've got a fever? They go, Moldy bread, bring it to him. Eat up. I don't feel too good. I don't think I should be eating that.

No, promise, eat it. It's going to help. There must have been some trial and error there. How much bread to eat? How much mold do you want to get in there? But somewhere along the way, they found the way. I believe God's answer for you, whatever the one thing is, it probably doesn't make sense to you right now. It probably doesn't make sense. Why do I have to break up with my girlfriend or my boyfriend? It doesn't make sense. Isn't God love? John 1, he is love. Isn't that who he is? Why would I have to break up? This is love. Jesus says This is what I require. Give up that relationship. Maybe it's something that doesn't make sense when it comes to your career. Maybe it's something that doesn't make sense when it comes to naming it in your life. Jesus called this man to sell all his possessions. That's not a great retirement plan. Jesus said, Come, follow me. They all, except for one, were murdered for their faith. One killed himself, Judus, and John, they tried to murder him, but he jumped out of the boiling oil. Okay? So the idea of following me did not end well in human terms.

It didn't make sense on the outside, but what Jesus was calling him to do made perfect sense when it came to his eternal destiny. Too many of you are arguing with the answers. You've got the answers. You actually, many of you know the one thing. You can identify it. From the very moment that I said, What is your one thing? You said, Yeah, I know. I know what my one thing is. I know my issue. I know what's going on. I know what my problem is. And maybe throughout the talk, you've been trying to deviate and go, well, maybe it's not that one thing. Maybe it's something else. Maybe the one thing is a little bit something different. I don't have a tingly spidey sense. Maybe Jesus is telling me not to do that hard thing I don't want to do. We know, many of us know the one thing, but it doesn't always make sense on the surface. And therefore, we stay away from doing the very thing that could save us. Jesus goes on in 23, he says, Then Jesus said to his disciples, Truly, I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the Kingdom of heaven.

Again, I tell you, it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God. When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, Who then can be saved? They were not greatly astonished because he used the metaphor, of Campbell going through the eye of a needle. They were greatly astonished because they had left everything and they were poor. In the Jewish culture, the rich were seen as being blessed by God. If this man was very rich, he would be seen as someone that's obviously going to heaven. When Jesus says it's so hard for the rich to go into heaven, it's flipping a paradigm on its head that's saying that you are blessed by God if you're rich and so surely you're making it into heaven. And all the peasants and the poor folks, we don't know about you if you're making it into heaven. But man, those rich are definitely, Jesus is saying, no, flip it on its head. It's the opposite. It's actually harder for those who are self-reliant and rich and depend on their own security that they can create with their own two hands to get into heaven than those who are poor and don't have everything to hold them back from giving their entire life to Jesus Christ.

So he is having a paradigm shift as the Apostles are going, what are you talking about? Why would he not make it? Then they turn on themselves, in verse 27, Peter answer, we have left everything to follow you. What then will there be for us if the rich aren't going to even make it to heaven? How much harder for us poor people? How are we going to make it to heaven? Then Jesus changed their paradigm and says, Truly, I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on 12 thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first. Jesus is saying that you're going to receive a hundred times what you gave up in this life and in the next life. And the truth of the matter is we have so many disciples in this audience that have done this for decades.

And you have seen what it means to give Jesus carte blanche with your life. Do whatever you want as a surgeon God. Do whatever, I'll do whatever you say. Whatever you call me to do, I'm going to do it and I'm going to obey it. And they've seen time and time and time again what it means to answer and follow the answer, yes God, I will. And so they have this trail of one thing that they've overcome. And there's so many of you that have a trail of one thing that you came into the church addicted to stuff, and you come out of a year of dealing with it, and you're a different human being. And then the next one thing in your life is I've got to deal with this relationship issue. I got to deal with this impurity or I've got to deal with this heart problem that I'm dealing with, or I got to deal with my family issues, or whatever it is. And you have a trail of victory of dealing with your one things that have gone throughout. So now you're sitting here and you are just a part of this amazing faith journey that God has been on the state.

No, you are victorious in so many areas of your life. Look at all you've done. Now I'm asking for this new thing, and it will end up just like the others. You'll be given a hundred times in this life and the next what you've given up. The one thing that you're facing, is the thing that Jesus is requiring you to give up. It is going to take you responding to these three questions. Will you ask the right person? Are you going to put one thing through the test of Jesus? What do you want in my life? Will you ask the right questions? Not leading questions, not here objection, leading from God himself, but instead be able to hear, no, this is what I see in your life. Here's why this is the one thing. Let's deal with this together. Will you ask the right questions and will you follow through with the answers? If you do, it's promised you will receive a hundred times in this life and the next. Amen.

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