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Be Ye Doers of the Word and Not Hearers Only

Pentecost 22 – Year A

Who is the Lord? More importantly, “Who is my Lord?” I believe that the answer I give to this question determines the value of my life.

Yes. I believe that the value of my life depends upon who my Lord is. Just as the value of a coin depends upon whose face is stamped on it – the value of my life depends upon whose name I have written on my heart.

The prophet Isaiah says that the eternal elect are those who write on themselves, “Property of God.” And if you believe that the value of things is determined not only by who wants them, but how much they are willing to pay — then my point is made.

Take this coin for example.

It is a silver coin, minted sometime around the birth of Christ. It has a picture of Caesar on the front – I believe the writing says something like, “Caesar Augustus Divine Father.” I paid good money for this small coin, not because it has any intrinsic value, but because I wanted it. I could have gotten a bigger coin with a different name written on it for much less. But I wanted an Augustus or Tiberius – because – well — because of today’s Gospel reading from Matt hew.

You see back when Jesus said, “Render unto Caesar the things that are caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s,” he could have been holding this very coin. And that is pretty cool. And so I value this coin. And because I value it – it has value. And it’s the same for everything else. Value is determined by who the buyer is, and what they will pay.

So who gives you value? Who is your Lord?

These days it seems that everybody wants to be their own master , their own Lord, their own captain — and yet anti-depressants are selling like hot cakes. The Sniper thinks he’s God – and yet he seems to put no value on human life. Saddam Hussein thinks he’s a Great Babylonian Ruler – and yet he’s bought that fantasy with the blood of hundreds of thousands of his own subjects. Even in our own free country — with so many crimes of violence, so many killings, so much depression — it seems that for many the value of human life is just about the cost of a single bullet.

These are disturbing times my friends, disturbing to the core. And when times are disturbing like these we must ask ourselves, what is it all really about? What is life worth? I believe that unless our Lord is God – than life probably isn’t worth all that much. And this is why God’s news is good.

For despite what everybody else thinks about us – even ourselves – God wants us for his own. God wants us to be His. God wants us to write his name on our hearts. God wants to surname us, “the People of God,” And he has already shown us how much he is willing to pay for us to belong to Him.

He sent us his Son. He sent us a Son who appears to have been the best person who ever lived. He sent us his Son, and his Son was the price he paid to show us how much he loves us. And that’s what I call a pretty big pledge.

Of his own substance, God become one of us, and for our sake, he suffered pain and death in order that we might know that we can belong to Him, and that because of Jesus’ offering of Love, we have eternal and infinite value.

Compared to this – what has the World done for you lately?

For when it comes to your life – the only measure of your value is who wants you, and what they are willing to pay. No one wants you more than the Lord Jesus, and no one has paid more. Do you believe that? Do you want to believe that?

I do.

Now, this being said – it is hard to give away my precious silver; but it sure ain’t hard to spend. Isn’t that funny? I can’t give my money away without some disturbance, but I can spend it without even thinking twice. And I think I’m not alone. Maybe you know what I mean. But the more I think about this Lordship business – the more I see that what I do with what I think is mine says everything about who I really worship. What I do with what I think is mine says everything about who my Lord is. What I do with what I have has everything to do with God.

For if the Creator of all things really is my Lord, then all I have comes from Him. And if He values me so much that he give his Son to die for me, then I really have to ask myself, “what kind of giving am I willing to do?”

My friends – this is a hard thing to do – this giving to the Lord. But maybe it’s not all that hard to understand.

I know who my Lord is. My Lord is God. The God of Jesus Christ. God has given me his only Son, and I now have the keys to the kingdom. The only question now is, “am I going to give anything back?”


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