Today’s sermon is part of a series called ‘Gospel Renewal’. Through these sermon series, we are discovering how to consistently live all of life under the influence of the gospel.
So far, we’ve covered topics on Prayer, Humility, Repentance & Dependence. Today we will look into the topic of ‘Gospel Satisfaction’ – In this broken world, how can we live a truly satisfied Life. And our passage for today is Matt 13:44-46.
To begin with, let’s ask ourselves “How many of us don’t want to live a satisfied life?” – None, right. Which means every one of us wants to live a satisfied life.
Last week as I was thinking about our topic today on ‘Satisfaction’, I asked a couple of people at my home and office from different age groups “What is it that you expect to happen in your life that you think will give you ultimate satisfaction?”
Here are some of the answers I received:
I will be fully satisfied in life…
• When all my debt is clear
• When I get my dream job
• When the conflicts in my home will be fully resolved
• When I get a dog (answer by a 10-year-old)
• When I am healed of my sickness
• When I have a good enough bank balance
Here are a couple of things I learnt when I heard these answers
- We all tend to look for satisfaction in the fleeting pleasures and things of this world.
- At different junctures in life, these desires keep changing. It never ends.
- If we genuinely evaluate, there is nothing of this world that can give permanent satisfaction in life, even on our death bed, we will be discontent with something we never got to enjoy.
- The sad reality – Unknowingly, we are spending all our lives wasting our energy chasing after things that were never meant to give us true satisfaction.
If these things are not meant to give us true satisfaction, what is it that gives us true satisfaction? To discover that, let’s look at our passage today and find the answer – Matt 13:44-46
“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. Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
First of all, we have to note that the passage is a parable and not a direct command. And therefore, we have to understand the principle behind the parable and not to take it literally.
Jesus is telling us the parable about a man who finds such satisfaction in what he found, that he went and sold everything he had to own it.
True satisfaction in life comes when we find and chase after the one thing that’s of great value.
What is that one thing that the man in this parable finds of great value? – The Kingdom of God.
In Matthew 6:33, Jesus said “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”
Jesus is saying, instead of running after all these things in life that you think will give you real satisfaction. I’m saying first seek the Kingdom, and all other things shall be added unto you.
To chase after the Kingdom of God should be of primary importance, then chasing after the things of the world. 1 John 2:17 says “the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” Isn’t it true?
The picture painted in the parable is of a man who is running after the right thing and is fully satisfied.
Now, what is the Kingdom of God?
The Kingdom of God is God’s redemptive work through his son Jesus Christ in the world, resulting in people being in right relationship with himself. The Kingdom of God is the big picture of what God is doing in this world.
Which means to seek and chase after the Kingdom of God, is to walk in right relationship with God and to participate in God’s glorious work in this world.
If you are someone who’s hearing such a message for the first time, having a troubled life, without peace, without joy… You need to know that unless we walk into a right relationship with our creator God, we will never find true satisfaction. What you need right now is not a temporary solution to your temporary problem but a permanent solution that will set you free forever.
The answer to all our temporary problems is one permanent solution – Restored relationship with our creator God.
Bible says, Our sins have separated us from God, the reason the world is dark, broken, lost is because we are separated from God who created us for this glory. Instead of worshipping and adoring him, we end up worshipping the created things of this world. Idols, money, fame, pleasures.
And none of them is capable of giving us the true satisfaction our soul is seeking.
Money is not the solution to our problem. If it was money, then all the rich people in this world should have been the happiest people in the world, and that is absolutely not true.
Yes, money can give temporary relief, but it will never satisfy our souls, that craves for love and acceptance.
No matter how hard we try to mend the broken relationship with our creator God on our own, we will never be able to accomplish it on our own. Unless we are purified of our sins, we will never be able to relate with God, unless we’ve paid the penalty of our sins that satisfies God’s Holy wrath and anger on us we will never be able to mend the broken relationship.
And our human efforts can never satisfy God’s Holy anger.
The beautiful thing is, more than our cravings for a relationship with God, God craves, even more, to be with us.
The Bible says that God himself sent His son Jesus for us, to live the perfect life we were supposed to live, offered himself as a perfect sacrifice for the atonement of our sins, pay for our mistakes, die on the cross and satisfy God’s wrath on our behalf, to kill the power of sin in our lives. And rose again from the dead, seated in heaven, praying for us.
And so as we repent of our sins and receive Jesus as our Lord, believe in his name, he gives the right to become children of God.
True satisfaction comes when we realize how precious is this gift from God, and therefore, willing to give away anything that holds us back from receiving this gift.
“the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
Brother & sisters, it is not easy to go against the world when they say money is the answer to all problems, it not easy to go against the world when they say following family traditions and values is important, and that we have to follow them without questioning blindly.
It is not easy to drop all our idols, let go of all our dreams, count the things of the world rubbish and follow the footsteps of Jesus. Jesus said, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” – In other words, we cannot fully receive the Kingdom of God unless we are willing to pay the price.
The man in the parable, when he finds the Kingdom, he hides it back realizing how precious it is, goes back and sells everything he has, pays the price, and buys the land – and is fully satisfied in doing so.
To those who’ve received the Kingdom of God in their hearts. Here are two things I want to say, to help us treasure what we’ve received and to continue finding your satisfaction in it.
1. We have to order our lives around the Kingdom of God
Even after receiving the Kingdom of God in our hearts, as we continue to live in this world, among all the dark forces, the result-oriented bosses at work, the nagging family members at home, still seeking specific answers to our prayer. It is so easy for us to slip away and go back to find our satisfaction in the world.
To order our lives around the Kingdom of God is to make ‘Intimacy with Jesus’ the ultimate goal of our lives. Which means we should always be willing to let go of anyone or anything so that you grow in intimacy with Jesus.
- Whether its an ungodly relationship that takes all our energy away and weakens us from enjoying intimacy with Jesus.
- Whether it’s our job that doesn’t allow us time to enjoy intimacy with Jesus.
- Whether a business that takes most of our focus away from enjoying intimacy with Jesus.
- Whether the wealth that is stopping us from enjoying intimacy with Jesus.
Like the rich young ruler who wanted to know how to inherit eternal life. When Jesus knowing his heart idols, asked him to go and sell all that he has, give to the poor and follow him. Was unwilling to do so and went back sorrowful.
Jesus said, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!”
The key to continuing living a satisfied life for all those who believe, is to order our life around the Kingdom of God, to find our satisfaction in our relationship with Christ.
2. Dedicate all of life for the expansion of the Kingdom of God
As we enjoy our relationship with Christ, fully satisfied in Him. He then calls us to participate with Him in his Kingdom work.
It’s a privilege for us to be called to participate in His work. By serving God and his people, we’re not doing a favour on God. But, in fact, God is doing a favour on us.
By allowing us to participate in his Kingdom work, he is giving us more opportunities to be satisfied in life.
Personally, as a family, to be serving God and to serve you with our time, energy and efforts, even thought it gets tiring, and exhaustive. By the end of the day when we sit down and reflect on all that God is doing in and through our lives, there is such joy and satisfaction in our hearts. I sometimes cry.
Yes, we have to look after our families, work hard to survive, but unless our primary pursuit in life is to participate in the expansion of the Kingdom of God, we are still lacking sometimes precious in life.
As I conclude, let us all first seek the Kingdom of God and his righteousness that comes through repentance and belief in Jesus, and He will surely satisfy our soul with all good things in life, that is meant to bring true joy and happiness.