An Extra Sermon on the Parable of the Treasure and the Pearl

As I said last week, I want to start giving you extra sermons from some of the best preachers around. I hope you won’t compare me too uncharitably, though I strive every week to preach like these men and women. Personally I try to listen to 3 sermons a week, last week, it was probably 6. (I listened to the following sermon 3 times). Audio sermon recordings are great for drives to work, yard work, and washing dishes. You could rot your brain on pop music and Beyonce or you could edify your soul with a powerful message. Listening to sermons on you iPod is in no way a replacement for being connected to a local church. You cannot grow apart from intimate community.
This week I want to recommend “The Parable of the Pearl: On Priorities,” a sermon delivered by Timothy Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. You will notice that one of this illustrations I used toys start my sermon also appears in Tim Keller’s sermon. His sermon was brilliant, and is exceptional at emphasizing the SOLD ALL HE HAD part of our parable, whereas I worked hard to emphasize the JOY OF THE TREASURE part in hopes that you would be motivated to sell everything. Hopefully together they create a huge harvest of faith and righteousness.
At the following link, you can either stream the sermon or download an MP3 for free.

“The Parable of the Pearl: On Priorities” by Timothy Keller

If you are extra hungry, I also enjoyed these two sermons, which share many of the same points. They are from Briarwood Presbyterian Church, preached by Harry Reeder.
The Parable of the Hidden Treasure— Receiving the King and His Kingdom
The Parable of the Costly Pearl—Receiving the King and His Kingdom

An Extra Sermon about Judgment

As a personal discipline, I listen to multiple sermons each week. Some of these I listen to in order to prepare for a specific sermon. Other’s I simply listen to in order to be fed. I want to start sharing some of these sermons from other churches to help you in your walk with the Lord. I pray they will be helpful to you.
A few weeks ago, I preached on the Parables of the Weeds and the Parable of the Fishes. In the Parable of the Weeds, an enemy sows weeds among a farmer’s wheat crop. In the Parable of the Net or the Fishes, Jesus says the Kingdom is like a great net let down into the sea that pulled up all kinds of fish. At the end of each parable there is a judgment and a separation, which represents the final judgment that will take place when Jesus returns again and his Kingdom comes in full.
In our culture Judgment and especially the Final Judgment is often rejected as unloving, intolerant, narrow-minded, etc. The thinking goes, “If God is all loving and all forgiving, then God would not submit people to the humiliation of judgment or to the punishments of Hell.” But Jesus believes and the Bible teaches over and over again that there will be a Judgment Day and that some will be welcomed into the Kingdom of God and others will be sent away into Hell.

So the main question is: WHAT IS THE GOOD NEWS OF JUDGMENT? HOW IS JUDGMENT A GOOD THING? or more to the point: HOW IS JUDGMENT DAY GOSPEL?

I think this sermon is a neat starting place. It was preached by Timothy Keller, the Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. He is one of the best teacher/preachers I know about, and one I listen to regularly. I hope you enjoy.

Weekly Bible Reading Plan – January 3 – 10

The center column holds the main text for each day, while the right column includes secondary texts. 

Basic Tips:1.) Use a translation you can understand. If new to the Bible, try the NIrV or The Message, which are both available online. 2.) Use a kids Bible with kids. 3.) Keep a pencil and notebook around to write down questions, observations, and conclusions. 4.) Have fun. Use your imagination and your brain.

January 3-10

FOR THE KING – Glimpses of the Kingdom (Part 2)

The Kingdom is Like a Box of Chocolates  

Day 1

Matt 13:24-30,36-43

Day 2

Matt 13:47-52

Day 3

Isaiah 5:1-7

Day 4

John 8:31-46

Day 5

1 John 3:11-18

Psalm 115

Questions to Guide You:

  • These parables about Weeds and Fish are wonderfully realistic. What does it teach us about the Kingdom of God, that there are still lots of weeds and bad fish mixed in? How should this change our expectations of “Christians”?
  • Where did the weeds come from? How does this help to explain the evil in Church history like the Crusades and Inquisition, and the evil that still mixes in with our thoughts and actions?
  • Is God responsible for causing the evil in the world according to these parables? How does God respond to the evil? How should we as God’s servants?
  • How is God like a gardener, farmer, or vine-keeper? How is that encouraging?
  • One of our Church Belief Confessions starts with the following: What is your only comfort in life and in death? A. That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death —to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven; in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.
  • How can we better see Heaven on Earth by recognizing “weeds” and waiting on God to remove them in his good time?

Here is a PDF Version if you would like to print this reading plan.