Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sticks or Bricks?

I ride the metro into DC Tuesday through Friday.
45 minutes if there's not a delay.


It can be especially when I read or listen to the Word of God as I pass through the valleys, dash over the hills, and slam through the dark tunnels.

I also like to watch the video podcasts of Kerry Shook - a pastor in Houston, Texas.

He's an amazing preacher and I like his style. He illustrates his messages. Those of you who know me now understand why I like the guy.

The one I watched yesterday and today was one of the 'Stairway To Heaven' messages. Go to iTunes and check it out because it's FREE.

I'm not going to cover everything that Kerry spoke about but I will mention the main theme:

Sticks or bricks - what will you have to present to God when you stand before Him?

Are we more focused on the wood, hay, and stubble - the sticks - of our lives?
You know what I'm talking about - the things that are temporary that we devote our entire lives to.

50 inch plasma TV's
Money (yeah, I mentioned it 3 times and we both know why...don't we?)

Is there anything wrong with these? No, but do we keep it all in proper perspective? Do we remember that the 'sticks' are temporary or do we treat them like they're eternal?
Do we realize that we are only stewards and not sole owners of our STUFF?

On the day of of judgment (Bema Seat judgement for the Christian - not the Great White Throne - don't plan on being there for that one) our lives will contain some sticks and some gold bricks (eternal treasures)? The question is - what will we have more of when they pass through God's fire of testing?

Now, do we know what, 'eternal treasures' are?

Eternal treasures - precious stones - are the investments that we have made in people without a hidden agenda. Acts of love with pure motives and right attitudes that have been performed for the Lord.

Someone else may have a different definition but that's mine for now.

Eternal treasures:

Giving generous amounts of your precious hard earned resources of TIME and MONEY to help other people. Giving it to the, 'least of these.' Giving it to Jesus without expecting anything in return.

Now, I could take this a hundred different directions but I'm only going to choose one. So, here it goes...

I've known people who think that they fulfill the command to return their tithe by volunteering their time to the church.

Nope. Wrong.

I've known people who think that they can give money in the offering and then be exempt from acts of service for Jesus.

Nope. Wrong.

Do you know that I could determine what is priority in your life by examining 2 things that belong to you:

Your checkbook. Your calendar.

What would we find?

She loves eating out at nice restaurants. Dropping $25, $45, $55, $65, even $75 is nothing to her...

He loves hunting equipment. Spending anywhere from $150 to $350 every other month is fine for him...

They love going to all the sporting events - 32 hours a month when you figure it all up - it's cake to this couple. But compare it to the 2 1/2 hours they spent investing in the Lord the last 30 days...

Sticks or gold bricks?

And by the way. I'm not trying to be mean. But don't try to tell me how much you love Jesus when you know the above mentioned is out of whack in your life. We see you cry buckets of tears during worship but come on.....seriously? It's rather simple, your heart doesn't line up with your mouth. I'm sorry but 'religious white noise' just isn't on my play list. And for the record I'm not perfect in this area either...but I just admitted it. Love ya - just keeping it real...

Now, we need some sticks in our lives - God knows that.
Stick homes.
Stick cars.
Stick money.
Stick horses?
Stick play time.

But I need to treat all of that stuff like STICKS.
Temporary resources that are here one day and gone the next.

So today my goal is to be deliberate in my actions.

Spend time with Jesus because He is so awesome.
Spend time with my little girls and enjoy them being little.
Spend time making my wife laugh and smile - and that means helping her with the girls and the chores...
Spend time investing in a stranger that I will only come in contact with once.
Prepare to give money on Sunday in order to invest into the Kingdom of God.

Sticks or bricks.

It's my choice...and yours.

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