Some people instinctively know what they want...what they treasure. The classified section of the Quay County Sun newspaper in June of 1978 contained this ad: “Farmer with 160 irrigated acres wants marriage-minded woman with tractor. When replying, please show picture of tractor.”
At least, he knows his purpose.
Well, one man’s tractor is another man’s junk.
Matthew 6:19-21"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
He’s basically saying…hey…your heart, your purpose, your hopes and dreams…are built around what you treasure…(I will come back to this). And he says when your purpose is around stuff here on earth, without God…it becomes junk.
What is our purpose? Does the Good News of who and what Christ is offer us a clear prescription for purpose and meaning? It is the question that we all end up asking. Why am I here?
Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, searched for purpose in stuff that ultimately became junk.
Ecclesiastes 2:2-8 “Laughter”, I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?” 3 I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly-my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives. 4 I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. 5 I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6 I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. 7 I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. 8 I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem as well-the delights of a man's heart.
After a life dedicated to trying to find a purpose that would offer deep meaning and joy, Solomon has this to say: Ecclesiastes 2:9-11 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me. 10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. 11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.
At the heart of GOOD NEWS is the truth that, God is restoring us to what our hearts long for most of all. Because of what Christ has done, we are being rescued to a life with God. We are being redeemed back to a life (like the garden) of living in the presence of God!
In sin, King David cried out for what his heart longed for most and for what the ultimate reason God had created him: “to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” So he cries out for what is at the heart of good news. David cries out “God, please “RESCUE ME” for that purpose.”
“Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me” (Ps. 51:9–11).
Our treasure...our purpose is God. Everything else, without God, ultimately rusts.
Jesus doesn't say, "Don't treasure or find purpose in anything." He says, "Don't treasure or find your purpose in the wrong thing. Jesus says, “your heart’s desire, purpose, and treasure is found in the worship of your creator (heavenly things).”
Consider the word of God. Colossians 1:16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.
In other words, we were created for a purpose, our one treasure: FOR HIM, for His glory. That’s our joy. Isaiah 43:7 “everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
Our lives were meant to experience the glorious presence of Christ and reflect that same glory. We were made for Him, specifically for His glory.
Our joy, our purpose, our treasure and hope is found in the reality that the good news of what Christ has done in rescuing His people from sin and death is restoring us to a life of worship. In Revelation, we get a peek at the treasure and purpose of His people as it will be experienced for all eternity!
Revelation 4:1-11 After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” 2 At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. 3 And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. 4 Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. 5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. 6 Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.
In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. 8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:
“‘Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty,’
who was, and is, and is to come.”
9 Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 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.”
Don’t miss this Sunday as we walk through how the GOOD NEWS for EVERYDAY life restores us to our greatest joy, treasure, and purpose!