Labor Not for Things That Do Not Endure

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Labor Not for Things That Do Not Endure
Text: John 6:24–29 (KJV 1900)
24 When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. 25 And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither?
26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. 27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
* People don’t’ naturally think about spiritual things. The people were only interested in the food they received. Just like our elections. Jesus had to get them to take their mind off of the physical, and place it on the spiritual.
* Their greatest need was not for their physical needs, but their spiritual need.
* If you are like me, not doubt you have been monitoring the politics the past 4 years.
* All of the campaign rhetoric and talk back and forth always seems to end up at the same place- who is going to fix the economy- who is going to create jobs- Who is going to help me have more and meet my needs!
* There are many spiritual things at stake in this election such as:
- taxing us to pay for abortions, stopping
- the advancement of Sharia law in this country and so forth
- stopping the government advancement religious intolerance toward Christians
* Those issues that concern our ability to get money are the issues that will determine our view of politics.
* On one hand we have those that believe the government is where our money comes from. They are for, and are in support, of increased welfare, and government bailouts, government run healthcare.
* The same folks have come out against capitalism and the way we have done business in this country in the past. (Which by the way, has man us the richest nation in the world)
* On the other hand we have those who believe that government is the reason that our economy is failing.
* The bottom line for this election is – what can to do for me? Which candidate is going to cause me and my family to have more money? – Which candidate is going to raise my standard of living?
* Our politics reveal the truth about us as a nation. We are a materialistic people. It’s all about us. It’s all about money. Who is going to cause me to have more money!
* Jesus came to show us a better way to live that this. Our quest for money and riches has left our society empty and meaningless.
* This morning we are a people who have lost our way. In our madness of rushing to provide for ourselves and get what we want for ourselves, life has become empty and meaningless.
James 4:1–3 (KJV 1900)
From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts
that war in your members?
2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
I. Fulfillment of physical needs is only temporary, but our spiritual needs are eternal.
* Jesus taught “Don’t spend your time piling up physical things and neglecting spiritual things.”
* Jesus illustrated focusing our lives on the temporary things of this life in the following parable.
Luke 12:15–21 (KJV 1900)
15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
* So what was the moral of this story? The answer is found at the end of the story:
21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
* The moral of this parable of Jesus is that the person wastes his life on the temporary things of this life, to the neglect of spiritual things is a fool.
* In another place Jesus said:
Matthew 16:26 (KJV 1900)
26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
II. Jesus wants to teach you a new way to live.
A. Jesus wants to believe in him- (abide in Him)
* In our text, the people wanted to know that good work they could do to find favor with God.
* Jesus told them that the only work that God required of them is to believe in him.
* In order to believe in Jesus this morning you must first stop believing in yourself.
1). Stop believing in yourself for salvation.
2). Stop believing In yourself to meet your needs.
3). Stop looking within yourself for inner peace and Happiness.
* This believing in Him was not just a temporary, one time experience, but a continual abiding in Him.
John 15:3–5 (KJV 1900)
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
* Jesus illustrates this principle of abiding or living in, our belief of Jesus in the story of the woman at the well.
* Like the people in our text this morning, she too when Jesus tried to speak to her of spiritual things, tried to divert he conversation to the physical and the temporary.
* This lady thought Jesus wanted to talk about the temporary, physical water in the well which Jesus sat on.
* Jesus wanted her to see past the physical to the spiritual.
* Jesus told her of water, that if you were to drink of it, would cause here to never thirst again! - Jesus spoke not of a temporary need, but an eternal need! - Not a temporary satisfaction, but an eternal satisfaction! - Not a temporary religions worship experience, but a continuous, never ending, eternal spring of abiding in Christ!
Listen to the words Jesus said to her:
John 4:11–14 (KJV 1900)
11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? 12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? 13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
John 4:19–24 (KJV 1900)
19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
* Jesus spoke to the woman at the well of a belief that was continuously springing up into salvation! Not of a onetime experience, but a continual experience of believing, or abiding in Christ!
* Jesus said that “the father seeketh such to worship Him.” God is not satisfied with the empty worship of religion- He desires us to have a living, continual, growing, abiding believing on His son, Jesus.
John 7:37–38 (KJV 1900)
37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
B. Jesus wants you to rise above worry. We rise above worry by abiding in Jesus.
*All that the branches need is provided by abiding in the vine.
* Mary, in here song she sang after the angel told her she would give birth to the savior, spoke of how Jesus would satisfy those who set aside worry and anxiety and abide in the Savior, fully trusting in Jesus to meet our every need:
Luke 1:53 (KJV 1900)
53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; And the rich he hath sent empty away.
* At the beginning of this sermon I shared the parable of the foolish man who only prepared for the temporary things of this life, and neglected the spiritual things.
* Jesus continued this parable with the following teaching about worrying about temporary needs:
Luke 12:22–34 (KJV 1900)
22 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. 23 The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. 24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? 25 And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? 26 If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? 27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? 29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. 30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. 31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. 32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
* Jesus taught us to not vex ourselves laboring for temporary things.
* We see this principle illustrated in the way in which God provided for the Children of Israel in the wilderness. Listen to what happened when the people gathered more manna than they needed:
Exodus 16:18–20 (KJV 1900)
18 And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating. 19 And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning. 20 Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses;
but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them.
* We too often are like the children of Israel. We labor to hoard and heap up the things for ourselves, thinking it will brings us security and happiness.
* In the end what we perceived to be good, will corrupt our lives become like the manna that began to stink rot and stink.
* The apostle Paul warned Timothy of the danger of spending our lives hording up for ourselves more than we need. Listen to Paul as he warns Timothy of the danger of piling up riches for ourselves.
1 Timothy 6:5–10 (KJV 1900)
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
* Listen to the words of the wise preacher in the book of Ecclesiastes, who in his old age, looking back on his life, gives us some advice about striving to be rich:
Ecclesiastes 5:10–17 (KJV 1900)
10 He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. 11 When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes? 12 The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.
13 There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt. 14 But those riches perish by evil travail: and he begetteth a son, and there is nothing in his hand. 15 As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand. 16 And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind? 17 All his days also he eateth in darkness, and he hath much sorrow and wrath with his sickness.
* Jesus, in His explanation of the parable of the sower, told how the cares of this world choke out the Word of God and cause the Word to be unfruitful in the hearts of men:
Luke 8:14–15 (KJV 1900)
14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. 15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
C. Jesus wants you to change your priorities from the physical to the spiritual.
* The goal of Jesus preaching was to change the way people think. Jesus wants your thoughts to be on spiritual things.
* Because we are of a physical mindset, the physical or carnal person believes that they can attain favor with God by doing some work.
* Jesus taught that once we believe on Him, we now should have a new mindset, a new set of priorities.
* The old mindset of laboring to meet physical and temporary needs should be set aside for a new mindset.
* In our text, the people wanted to know that good work they could do to find favor with God.
* Jesus told them that the only work that God required of them is to believe in him.
* This believing in Him was not just a temporary, one time experience, but a continual abiding in Him.
* This believing, or abiding in Jesus is beautifully illustrated by the confrontation Jesus had with Martha, the sister of Lazarus.
Luke 10:38–42 (KJV 1900)
38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. 40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
D. Preserving the Lord’s Day.
* I would like to mention something now that is directly related to our attitude about laboring for our physical needs, vs. our spiritual needs.
* The Holy Spirit of God, in His great wisdom, from the time of the earliest churches recorded in the Bible, has lead those who follow our Lord to set aside the first day of the week as the Lord’s Day.
* By observing the Lord’s day we give ourselves opportunity to seek those things which are eternal and spiritual.
* The greatest reason that Christians do not come to the Lords’ house on the Lord’s Day, is that we value the temporary more than the eternal.
* You can make excuses all you want, but this is the bottom line. The Holy Spirit has given us the Lord’s Day to remove the influence of physical matters so that we might give set our minds on eternal matters.
* When the book of Revelation opens we read these words:
Revelation 1:10–11 (KJV 1900)
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, 11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last:
* I want you to notice something- When John stopped long enough to be filled with the Holy Spirit and the Lord’s Day, Jesus then revealed Himself to John.
* If you and I will start using the Lord’s Day for what it was intended, and not for our own gain, then the Lord will also reveal Himself to us in an extraordinary way.
* We, like the apostle John will also be filled with the Spirit, and the Lord will reveal his will to us.
* The whole idea of setting aside a day we call the Lord’s Day is to, like John, remove the influences of the everyday world, so we might be stop all the hustle bustle of the temporary nature of this life, and concentrate on eternal things.
* The Lord’s Day is not so we can have an extra day to catch up on what we didn’t get done this week! The Lord’s Day is a day in which we “seek first the Kingdom of God! Not our own kingdom! We have 6 day every week for that!
Matthew 6:33–34 (KJV 1900)
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you.
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.
* On the Lord’s Day we are not supposed to be worrying about things of temporary value, we should be earnestly thinking about the things of the Kingdom of God- eternal matters!
* The Lord’s Day is not a day to worry about providing for our needs. Martha was rushing about worrying about meeting people’s needs, but Jesus rebuked her, and told her she should be doing like her sister who was sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening to Him.
* On the Lord’s Day we stop doing our will long enough to listen to God’s will!
* Jesus is teaching us a new and radical way of living. A radical way, but the most satisfying and rewarding live that we could ever live.
* I plead with you this morning, put aside what the world has taught you about how to live, and listen to the words of Jesus this morning.
* Lets stop wasting our lives on the temporary!
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