Treasure Hunt

Treasure Hunt
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Day 1
A Warning

Memory Verse: Luke 2:11

Sermon Sentence: The greatest treasure you should spend your life seeking is the Kingdom of God.

Key verses: 1 Samuel 7:10-18
It seems these days that everyone wants to talk about rights and equality and the rule of law in our lives. We seem to think that everything should be fair in life. A good friend used to tell me, “The fair only comes once a year.” Why is it that even though God has given us a perfect set of guidelines about how to live our life, and a perfect sacrifice and grace for when we mess that up, we still have this desire to have someone lord it over us with rules and taxes and more taxes and more rules and… Well, you get the idea.
The Israelites were in the same situation thousands of years ago. God wanted to set them apart and for them to live differently than the other nations. They were governed by judges rather than a king. God himself was their King and that was all they needed. Just like us though they wanted to keep up with the Jones, or in their case the Philistines, Egyptians, Moabites, and really everyone else who had a king. So, with all the wisdom of a two-year-old in a candy store they told God he wasn’t good enough and demanded an earthly king. Unfortunately for them, God gave them exactly what they asked for.
The challenge for us is this. Will we continue to chase success as the world measures it and join the Israelites in bondage to earthly powers or will we choose a different way, one that seems rather absurd to most people, and allow God to rule on the throne of our hearts?

• What is your top priority; God, money, success, family? You can only have one.

• Is there something in your life that you are afraid you will lose if you trust God?

• Has that thing, or person, become your idol?

• Are they preventing you from entering God’s kingdom?

Day 2
A Different Kingdom

Memory Verse: Luke 2:11

Sermon Sentence: The greatest treasure you should spend your life seeking is the Kingdom of God.

Key verses: Matthew 11:28-30

Yesterday we looked at the kingdom of earth and the gods that rule there. The question you may now be facing is this: “This world is a mess! So if this world, and its values, aren’t the best there is then what does God’s kingdom look like?”
Exactly what kind of kingdom does God have in mind? A more amazing kingdom that you or I can possibly imagine. His imagination is so much bigger than ours that what makes sense to God can seem completely upside down to us. God calls us into His kingdom through the Holy Spirit, but he won’t force us. God’s kingdom isn’t like jury duty, or paying taxes, where we go to jail for not participating. Just as we must choose freely to accept Christ’s sacrifice, we must choose to be an active participant in the kingdom.
You may be remembering the warning about kings God gave the Israelites. If we go back to today’s scripture we can get an idea of how Jesus operates as King. He provides rest, He is gentle, humble, has an easy yoke (He’s not talking about sunny side up), and a light burden. Absolutely none of the characteristics God gave for earthly kings. Perhaps now you are thinking this may be a prize worth seeking.

• What is one burden you wish you could trade out for Jesus light burden?

• Why haven’t you given it to Him?

• What might it cost you to seek after His kingdom? Is that worth more to you than God?

Day 3
Servant King

Memory Verse: Luke 2:11

Sermon Sentence: The greatest treasure you should spend your life seeking is the Kingdom of God.

Key verses: John 10:14-15

In any kingdom the most important person is the king. If you’ve always lived in America this is something that may be hard to fully grasp because our top guy changes every 4-8 years. In a monarchy where the king rules for life there’s a general pecking order that goes like this: The king says jump and pretty much everyone says how high. If you ask “why” before jumping, then it’s the dungeon for you, you can join me because I’ll be there too, I’m always “that guy”. If there’s a war or famine or any hardship everyone from the bottom up gives and sacrifices to make sure the king is comfortable and safe. Because he’s the top guy and no one can survive without him. Seems perfectly normal right?
Today’s scripture tells us how Jesus thinks a king, or any leaders, should behave. He says it’s his job to lay down his life for us just as a shepherd would for his sheep. So why is it that the King over the Kingdom of God doesn’t seem to be following the “How to be a king” instruction manual? Think of it this way, who is the most important person in your life, what you would do for them. How much would you give and how far would you go to make sure they are safe and cared for? We often think of this in the same terms John describes in our scripture, we would lay down our lives for them. The thing is, God doesn’t view us as subjects in his kingdom, He sees us as his kids, children, heirs, brothers and sisters of Jesus the king. Once again, God turns it all upside down. How will you live?

• Think of the people you value most, what would you give up for them?

• What does it say about someone if you are willing to die for them?

• The God of all creation is willing to, and did, die for you. What does that say about how much you are worth?

Day 4
Citizen of Heaven

Memory Verse: Luke 2:11
Sermon Sentence: The greatest treasure you should spend your life seeking is the Kingdom of God.

Key verses: Romans 8:14-17

Citizenship in God’s kingdom is freely available to everyone for the asking. We become a citizen of God’s kingdom by accepting Christ as our Savior. From that time on it is our actions that determine what kind of citizen we will be. Unfortunately, in the same way that being born in the United States makes you a citizen, this in no way guarantees you will be a good citizen.
But, why would being a citizen of God’s kingdom necessarily make us any different? The greatest difference, as we learned yesterday, is that God doesn’t view us as his citizen’s he views us as his children and we’ve been welcomed into the family business. The question is, what is the business of God’s kingdom? Pastor J. John’s description of the kingdom, or family business, is especially fitting. He describes it as, “A global enterprise with outlets in nearly every country providing hospitals, hospices, homeless shelters. We do marriage work, we’ve got orphanages, feeding programs, educational programs. Basically, we look after people from birth to death and deal in the area of behavioral alteration.” If you want to know what it means to be about our Father’s business, that’s what the family business looks like.
How amazing is it that we get to be part of this as citizens of the kingdom? We can be the very hands and feet of God in a lost and hurting world. To help and to heal, to encourage and love the lost, and to make disciples of all people. Now that is worth changing for.

• Are you a citizen of the kingdom? If not, what’s holding you back?

• If so, what kind of citizen are you?

• What is one area of your life you would like God’s help in to make you a better citizen?

Day 5
Walk Humbly

Memory Verse: Luke 2:11
Sermon Sentence: The greatest treasure you should spend your life seeking is the Kingdom of God.
Key verses: Philippians 2:3-4

So, what does the kingdom of God really look like when you live it out in your life? How in the world do we know whether we are good citizens and faithful children of the King? The bible teaches in Matthew chapter 7 that you will know a tree by its fruit. So, the single best way to tell is to look at your fruit. Look around you and see what kind of fruit you are dropping. Is it gossip, cruel jokes, dishonesty, or pride? (Note: I discovered recently I was dragging a wagon load of pride around behind me. It felt good to leave that behind.) Maybe your fruit is far more wholesome like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness… recognize those?
If it’s good fruit we should be producing how do we get there? In Micah 6:8 we see that we are to “…seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” Today’s verse from Philippians gives us a leg up on conquering the bad fruit and keeping our eye on the good fruit. To walk humbly with God we must live as Jesus lived and that doesn’t mean we have to be perfect. The King of all creation loved us more than his own life and laid that life down for us. If you are truly seeking the benefit and well-being of others before your own, then you are living out the same principle Jesus followed, and you will bear good fruit. Remember, God isn’t looking at how big the fruit is or how much of it there is, He only cares what kind of fruit you bear. That is what it means to seek the treasure of God’s kingdom.

• Check your fruit, what are you bearing?

• If you ask your family, what kind of fruit do they see?

• Think of a time when someone sacrificed for you, what did that mean to you?

• What is one meaningful thing you can do for someone today?

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