This Sunday was a very special Sunday at Doral Baptist Church. Lucas' parents sat in on our English service for the very first time to listen to their son preach. My heart was overjoyed that they would be able to catch a glimpse of the godly son they raised and the wonderful work the Lord has been doing through him in Miami. I know that he is the man he is today because of the exemplary role they played in his life and for that I am eternally grateful.
PL's sermon was titled "Is it Worth it?" and it was based out of 1 John 2:15-17. The three main points PL made were:
1. Hate what God hates.
We are called to live in this world but not necessarily to love it. We love the people that live in it but not the sin that this culture has become so "tolerant" of. We love oikouménē (Greek word for the world) and do not love "kosmos" (Greek for the world that is controlled by Satan). In Matthew 6:24, Jesus tells us that we can't serve two masters; we can only be devoted to one. And look at what God has to say about those of us that choose to be friends with the world in James 4:4. "You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God."
2. Avoid what's not from God.
PL shared another one of his great childhood stories with us. He told us about the time his family stayed in a hotel which came with a complimentary breakfast. He was downstairs and he saw this small round ball which looked like a "brigadeiro" (Brazilian treat) and he couldn't help himself. He grabbed it and swallowed it only to find out that it was actually a ball of butter. YUCK! Could you imagine how he felt? He was expecting to eat something sweet and ended up eating a huge chunk of butter. PL said that just like that glistening butter ball, Satan uses those same ploys to ensnare us. He makes sin look so good that we don't even bother to think of the consequences. We think about how good it's going to feel, how much we deserve it or how happy it will make us. This is not a new trick, Satan has been employing these same techniques since the beginning of time. (Please read Genesis 3:6). He uses the world and the things in it (i.e. sex outside of marriage, eating habits, comparisons, etc.) to lure us in but in the end, his traps are just like that ball of butter. All they are capable of doing is leaving us worse off than we were before we caved into the temptation.
3. Hold on tight, you're not home yet.
This was my favorite point. So many times, we think to ourselves, "How come I don't get recognition for all that I do and others who may not be doing something as worthwhile receive all the glory?" Well, it's quite simple, we're not home, yet. It doesn't matter that you don't get the recognition that you deserve here, you will get it before God almighty. I don't know about you, but that makes it worth it for me. AS PL said, "If you make this your home, you might miss your next home." Don't become so consumed in what you want to get from this temporary place that you miss what God has in store for you in eternity.
And like PL asked us, I now ask you:
1. What is in your life that is taking the place of God?
2. Is it worth it?
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
- 1 John 2:15-17