The Text

38 He also said in his teaching, “Beware of the scribes, who want to go around in long robes and who want greetings in the marketplaces,

39 the best seats in the synagogues, and the places of honor at banquets.

40 They devour widows’ houses and say long prayers just for show. These will receive harsher judgment.”

The Devotion

Power, prestige, greed, status, wealth, promotion, gain–none of that matters in the kingdom of God.

Why strive for power when our great Triune God is the Almighty God, infinite in power and might!

Revelation 1:8 (CSB) I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “the one who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Revelation 4:8 (CSB) Each of the four living creatures had six wings; they were covered with eyes around and inside. Day and night they never stop, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God, the Almighty, who was, who is, and who is to come.

2 Corinthians 6:16-18 (CSB) And what agreement does the temple of God have with idols? For we are the temple of the living God, as God said: I will dwell and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore, come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord; do not touch any unclean thing, and I will welcome you. And I will be a Father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.

What is greed and wealth when my Lord:

Psalms 50:9-11 (CSB) I will not take a bull from your household or male goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird of the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine.

1 Chronicles 29:11-12 (CSB) Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the splendor and the majesty, for everything in the heavens and on earth belongs to you. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom, and you are exalted as head over all. Riches and honor come from you, and you are the ruler of everything. Power and might are in your hand, and it is in your hand to make great and to give strength to all.

Promotion? We are the sons and daughters of the only good Father and our brother is the King of kings who has inherited everything and we have co-inherited everything with him:

Hebrews 1:2 (CSB) In these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son. God has appointed him heir of all things and made the universe through him.

Daniel 7:13-14 (CSB) I continued watching in the night visions,
and suddenly one like a son of man
was coming with the clouds of heaven.
He approached the Ancient of Days
and was escorted before him.
He was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
so that those of every people,
nation, and language
should serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
that will not pass away,
and his kingdom is one
that will not be destroyed.

Romans 8:14-17 (CSB) For all those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. Instead, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

Gain? In this life? In this world? That is for natural, broken, sin-infected world. The more I gain here, the more I will lose my soul.

Mark 8:36-37 (CSB) For what does it benefit someone to gain the whole world and yet lose his life? What can anyone give in exchange for his life?

You want to gain in the kingdom of God? You will have to die.

Matthew 16:24-25 (CSB) Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will find it.

Philippians 1:20-21 (CSB) My eager expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything, but that now as always, with all courage, Christ will be highly honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Power, gain, honor, wealth is not our end goal. They will not satisfy our hearts.

We will not be satisfied until we can hold our Savior’s face.

Psalms 17:14-15 (CSB) With your hand, LORD, save me from men, from men of the world whose portion is in this life: You fill their bellies with what you have in store; their sons are satisfied, and they leave their surplus to their children. But I will see your face in righteousness; when I awake, I will be satisfied with your presence.

The Discussion

1. Where else can we draw life from?
2. Who else can we turn to in this life?
3. What has Christ commanded us to do?
4. Where can we go to be forever happy and have everlasting joy?

The Prayer from the Psalms

Psalm 18:13–24 (CSB)
13 The LORD thundered from heaven; the Most High made his voice heard.

14 He shot his arrows and scattered them; he hurled lightning bolts and routed them.

15 The depths of the sea became visible, the foundations of the world were exposed, at your rebuke, LORD, at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.

16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he pulled me out of deep water.

17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too strong for me.

18 They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the LORD was my support.

19 He brought me out to a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.

20 The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; he repaid me according to the cleanness of my hands.

21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD and have not turned from my God to wickedness.

22 Indeed, I let all his ordinances guide me and have not disregarded his statutes.

23 I was blameless toward him and kept myself from my iniquity.

24 So the LORD repaid me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.

My Lord,
My hands are not clean. My hands are washed in my own sin. They stink of feces and dung. If you judge me according to what I have done, then surely I am damned!

What hope do I have in myself and the works that I have done? I have nothing to give you, God.

But you knew. You knew and you came to be born as a man like me. But unlike me, you lived the perfect spot less life. Why, so that you would live? No, you lived the perfect life so that you might die so that I may live.

You alone have kept your ways of perfection and goodness.
You alone abided by your rules. You alone kept your statutes. You alone are blameless. You alone are free from guilt.
You perfectly followed the laws of holiness because every single law speaks of you.
You alone are the righteousness. You alone are the source of righteousness. Therefore, you are my righteousness.

Where else can I go? You alone have the words of eternal life.

Thank you for you saving me.

I love you.

In your great name, I pray.
Amen.