Reversing Our Values

7 January 2018 AM – Mark 10:28-45 – Mr17 – Scott Childs

Introduction: Robert E. Speer says that several years ago he was being entertained by the president of a small college in America’s South. The school had limited guest facilities, so the head of the institution offered him his apartment. “I woke up early the next morning,” said Speer, “when I heard someone tiptoe into the room. I lay there quietly with my eyes open just a slit to see who it was. To my surprise the president of the college walked in, picked up my dirty boots, and walked out. I got out of bed, opened the door a crack, and watched him take them to an adjoining hallway. Then he got down on the floor and began polishing them. I could have cried at the sight. His hospitality and thoughtfulness showed me what a great man he really was. Some years after that, he rose to national prominence. Because of his complete humility of spirit, God elevated him to a higher position.” He had his values right.

Transition: Our text presents three scenes, each of which promotes a heavenly value over an earthly value. Through this, we can see that God’s values are better than man’s values.

First, we learn that God values …

1.        Eternal Over Earthly Possessions (v.28-31)

a.         The world values earthly possessions
1)         We saw this in the Rich Young Ruler (10:17-27)
2)         Seeking earthly pleasure and wealth is the norm.
a)         Ads promote it – promote greed
b)         Pride desires it – keep up with the neighbours
c)         Credit encourages it – buy now pay later
d)         Media glorifies it – glorify rich and famous
b.         God values eternal possessions
1)         The disciples had left all to follow Christ (v.28). Peter’s statement implies the question, “What will we get for our sacrifice of earthly possessions?”
2)         Jesus did not deny their sacrifice; He rather commended them.
3)         Jesus identified earthly sacrifices that Christians should be willing to make for His sake and the Gospel’s, (v.29).
4)         What earthly possessions may we need to sacrifice for Christ? They may include…
a)         Close ties with unsaved family and friends
b)         A high-paying job, nice car, comfortable house, property, or investments
c)         Occupational dreams, fame, popularity, or pleasure
5)         Be willing to say with Jesus, not my will but thine be done.
a)         Someone wisely said, “If God calls you to be a preacher or missionary, don’t stoop to become a king.”
b)         God is not asking you to be a aimless pauper, but He does require full surrender to His will and control. Have you ever truly said to the Lord “I surrender all?”
6)         God promises to reward earthly sacrifice (v.30-31)
a)         The phrase “an hundredfold” means one hundred times as much.
b)         Your ties with your unsaved family and friends may strain or even be cut off, but God will give you an extended family of brothers and sisters in Christ.
c)         When we sacrifice for the cause of the Lord, God will faithfully provide all we need. (Philippians 4:19) “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
d)         Jesus did not hide the fact that we will also endure persecution for serving Him. The apostle Paul confirmed this when he wrote, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12). God has a special blessing reserved in eternal life for those who are persecuted. “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” (James 1:12).
Second, we learn that God values …

2.        Sacrifice Over Power (v.32-34)

a.         The world elevates power.
1)         The Jews wanted a powerful earthly king.
2)         Today we see power struggles on every hand.
a)         Government candidates slander and lie to get elected
b)         Business people strive for the top position and pay
c)         Athletes reach for the most fame
d)         Married couples struggle over leadership
e)         Children struggle with parents for control
b.         God elevates sacrifice
1)         Jesus (being God) had all power, yet he surrendered to God’s will.
a)         This meant persecution. The Creator of the universe suffered at the hands of his creation.
b)         It also meant death. Even in death Christ was surrendered. He could have called for help but he did not. (Matthew 26:53) “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?”
2)         If we surrender to God’s will we need not struggle for power (Proverbs 3:5-6) “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
a)         We can let God direct our lives as He pleases.
b)         We can rejoice knowing He knows best.
3)         Surrender to God will end the power struggles we face at work, in sports, in marriage and in family.
Third, we learn that God values …

3.        Serving Over Reigning (v.35-45)

a.         The world promotes the “me first” attitude.
1)         James and John wanted the best seats in God’s kingdom (v.37).
2)         The other disciples were upset because they too wanted the best seats (v.41)
3)         The world steps on others to promote self and the “great ones” grasp leadership (v.42)
b.         God promotes an “others first” attitude.
1)         The “cup” and “baptism” that Jesus spoke of in verses 38-39 referred to His coming sufferings on the cross.
2)         Christ said the greatest ones are ministers and servants (v.43-45).
a)         How can this be? Servanthood comes from the heart, and that matters most to God.
b)         We should serve instead of being served. This begins at home. Marriage conflicts would calm if couples served each other. Children would stop rebelling if they had a servant attitude. We would do the humble jobs instead of leaving them for others and we would let others go first and wait till last, if we had a servant’s heart.
3)         Jesus left us a perfect servant’s example to follow (v.45).
a)         He was rich but he became poor to help us. (2 Corinthians 8:9) “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”
b)         He was sinless yet He died for our sins. (1 Peter 3:18) “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:”
Conclusion: The Scriptures remind us that “. . . we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” (1 Timothy 6:7). When death comes, we will leave behind all property, power and position. The only thing that will last forever is what we do for Christ. For this reason God urges us to “Set [our] affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:2).

Do you need to reverse your values? Are you living for the temporal or the eternal? Are you elevating power or sacrifice? Are you trying to put yourself first or serving? God’s values are the reverse of the world’s values. God wants first place in your life. Will you give Him first place this morning?

If you have never yet trusted Christ for salvation, that is your greatest need today. Christ died that you might live eternally, but you must repent of your sin and trust him to receive that gift.

Song: I Surrender All – 394