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Lessons Learned from a Fat Camel, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
August 27, 2021 7:05 am

Lessons Learned from a Fat Camel, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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August 27, 2021 7:05 am

The King's Ministry: A Study of Matthew 14–20

Insight for Living
Chuck Swindoll
Connect with Skip Heitzig
Skip Heitzig
Grace To You
John MacArthur
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
Running to Win
Erwin Lutzer

Amassing a fortune has distinct advantages.

No doubt about but according to Jesus, wealth can be hazardous as well, as we'll see in a moment the financial freedom that money delivers to create a false sense of security about our spiritual destiny today on Insight for living Chuck Swindoll's teaching from Matthew chapter 19 in this passage we read about a lively counter between Jesus and his disciples through their exchange. We learned that money does little to help us enter the kingdom of heaven.

Chuck titled today's message lessons learned from that narrative in the 19 chapter Matthew the last several verses that really is a haunting in that it includes the account of a man who is unwilling to relinquish his riches, thinking that somehow of he must have them in order to gain what he longs for.

And of course that's impossible, he is called the rich young ruler, and that's the context for these verses that began in verse 23 through 30 of Matthew 19, your turn there.


Matthew 19 beginning at verse 23 be reading from the from the new living translation. As you follow along in your Bible.

Then Jesus said to the disciples I tell you the truth it's very hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. I'll say it again.

It's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God. The disciples were astonished that who in the world can be saved. They had Jesus looked at him intently and said, humanly speaking, it is impossible but with God everything is possible. Then Peter said to him, we've given up everything to follow you.

What will we get Jesus replied, I assure you that when the world is made new in the Son of Man sits upon his glorious throne, you who have been my followers will also sit on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel, and everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children, or property, for my sake will receive 100 times as much in return, and will inherit eternal life. But many who are the greatest.

Now will be least important. Then, those who see least important.

Now, will be the greatest study the book of Matthew Chuck Swindoll.

Be sure to download his searching the Scriptures by going to inside world.or/studies and other message from Chuck titled lessons learned from a fat camel in her fine book, teaching a stone to talk. Annie Dillard recounts a true tragic story is the story of the Franklin expedition to the North Pole back in 1845, a group of British explorers died because they were ill prepared for the challenges that they would face in the Arctic Circle is providing room on board their two ships for storing additional: that would fuel the steam engines in each ship and also warmed them. They fill the extra space with a large library of books a portable organ elegant China place settings and cut glass wine goblets. When they finally ran out of coal.

Their multiple volumes and their ornate musical instrument and delicate teacups and pleats and saucers were useless to warm their freezing bodies.

Sadly, every member of the expedition froze to death all 128 of them lost their lives, they set out to walk there way toward hope and help, and ultimately all froze to death. Years later when a search party went out to find the remains. They discovered a skeleton he was still dressed in a fine blue cloth uniform, edged with silk braided helplessly grasping in his hand a place setting of sterling silver flatware, a vivid picture of their shortsighted foolishness. The rich young ruler who acted as foolishly as those dead British explorers did not carry the sterling silver ornate musical instrument, but impacted his life, the riches of this world, thinking that somehow his possessions would be enough to carry him through the narrow entrance of the kingdom in meeting Jesus and asking about how what he must do to have eternal life. He had to come face-to-face with his own greed and in doing so, he was unwilling to relinquish what he had been clinging to all his adult life. The narrative is clear enough for even a child to understand. In fact, following the first morning worship service. I had a little boy come up to me. He waited in line until it was his turn and then he looked up at me and put his hand out to shake my hand and I pulled them up close and he whispered in my ear. Thank you and I said to him, did you understand what I was saying, which is my favorite question to ask anyone young listening to some message I delivered his response was, every word reminded me of Mark Twain's statement those parts of the Bible that I dictate. Understand that bother me.

It's the parts that I do understand today you will be bother because you'll understand everything I say. Nothing is mysterious.

None of it is gobbledygook no great big forbidden words for you to shuffle through is all about life as we know it. Living on the edge of the $5 billion mile as we do right here in the town of Frisco, Texas. It's all about life as we are living it in the midst of materialism that is dripping from every advertisement there is anything wrong with having nice things. The wrongness comes when nice things have us. I don't remember a place in the Scriptures were Jesus literally assaults will no what he assaults is the addiction to well loving the things that will bias and forgetting the meaning of the word enough and overlooking the importance of generosity in sharing.

In fact, he makes it so clear that he uses an illustration that I think at least if he did not literally smile he had to smile underneath you know what I mean when he talks about pushing a camel through the eye of a needle that is funny picturing it irreverent Israel.

You may see your first camel outside of the zoo and when you look at look at the Campbell you'll remember. Matthew 19 is bigger than a horse is bigger than ox is hoped, it's Harry. It's heavy, it's cumbersome and sometime it spits. I read somewhere that a camel is a horse put together by a committee which is not a bad thought.

When you think about camel through a needles.

I was more vivid can you get even a little 11-year-old boy can get it and understand every word. What is interesting is that as the rich young ruler walks away as empty and hard as he was when he arrived, not willing to take Jesus at his words, which is the context for this whole end of the chapter, Jesus turns to his disciples. This is the this is the ultimate teaching moment and we parents know what that means.

There are moments that are just worth pulling off to the side of the road and taking time to teach something.

There are moments what is worth it to turn off the TV and teach something the co-teaching moments that come and gone Jesus, knowing this was a moment like that the disciples listening to this conversation. Like watching a ping-pong game between the rich young ruler, Jesus, and seeing the room or walk away with all this job and knowing that Jesus wouldn't give ground. Jesus looks at his disciples in verse 23 and says to them tell you the truth.

Let me drive this home. In other words, it's very hard for it doesn't say it's impossible for anyone rich to become a believer it says is very hard is a difference having a fixed portfolio doesn't keep anyone out of the kingdom paying cash for your house doesn't mean you're disqualified is a Christian being able to have lovely homes Laurel drive a nice car. Nothing wrong with any of that.

Unless that's top owns you that the problem if I could so difficult for that not to be a problem to be carried can be compared to trying to shove a camel through the tiny arc of arbitrability of open common needle in a hole, so he looks at his disciples and his teaching moment and he drives it home. The response of the disciples may surprise you versus they were astounded whatever word it's used in your version. They were made know why you don't look that amazed when I see these things. What were they amazed well first of all, you're not Jewish.

Second, you're not a disciple.

Having been raised by rabbis in synagogues and third, the father of your faith is not Abraham who was eminently wealthy. Think about it most of the great heroes were rich.

Abraham, the father of the faith. Great landholder.

God never judged him for holding great parcels of land. In fact he was so willing to give it away and said a lot to choose whatever you want. Take whatever you like. Stinginess was not his problem.

By the way, I've never seen a case were getting wealthy made anyone generous generosity comes from the heart, regardless of income. If you're generous before your Richard generous after you have will if you're not before you're not when the back to the story. There were astounded because Abraham was rich. Let's go further, the model of patient Job very wealthy.

How about Joseph when he became Prime Minister of Egypt, the wealth of Egypt was laid out in front of it is responsible for never turned his head, but he had it at his disposal. King David lived in a palace eminently wealthy. King Solomon more wealthy than his own father and other kings. I don't read of a poor king Scriptures. It isn't the well. In fact, Deuteronomy 2811 check in for yourself says that God blesses his people with prosperity. So whenever you see the wealth among believers. You know that it came from the Lord by his grace, and it is a sovereign right to bless him and that way and not to bless others and that way that's his sovereign right but there astounded, because all the way through their growing up years.

You had wealth as a representation of rightness in every way, but there weren't enough from Jesus that there's a whole new frame of reference holding value system that goes with thinking like Christ. And so they say to him, then who in the world can be set. I mean, if they can't be who can then he makes it clear that humanly speaking, no one to be saved without the assistance of God regardless of the amount of money one has for with God nothing is and is probably got everything is possible and how grateful we are for that before I move ahead. Let's get some lessons learned from affect camel would do that to cut your pen and find a place on your on your outline or you're able to write and write down five or six things that we learn from the camel who was being pushed through the new peers number one wealth rather than being a blessing is a heavy intoxicant wealth rather than being a blessing is a heady, intoxicant, something happens in your head. When wealth comes your way. We see it every time someone wins a massive amount of money in a lottery. Rarely will. Their marriage stay together there quote friends come out of everywhere.

They discover that the happiness that they had anticipated is not theirs to enjoy theirs is that there's a heavy intoxicant will is the second lesson.

It provides most of the counterfeit messages that fool us into thinking that we don't need God. Some of the most difficult people to convince their need for God are those with an enormous amount of money is the third. It takes away our childlikeness. Think about that when were childlike.

We have no power.

We have no defense. We have no resources.

We have no ability to accomplish our dreams were child were like a trial.

We must get all of that from him.

But when we are rich we are at that moment, self-sufficient, self-reliant, independent, powerful, proud, protected, able to buy whatever. No need to lean on anyone or anything. You see, it is the most dangerous place in the world to live where we live because of the influence to change a couple letters because of the affluence and I will tell you those who get it and don't even realize they are absorbing it. Our children, our grandchildren without the wisdom of parents and grandparents who had not been caught up in the intoxicant intoxication of materialism child is hopelessly lost to get out of it without being scarred and addicted this whole purpose of this warning in many ways the most disadvantaged people on earth are those among the super wealthy to become blind to themselves and to others. Actually being wealthy is another when you could list keeps our eyes off the Lord funny all as a result of a lot of money. We sure we soon learned the price of everything and the value of nothing. We know what everything costs. We are not able, however, in the intoxication of wealth to gauge the value of it. So one is never as good as 22 were never as good for because enough is never enough.

Someone asked the very wealthy Rockefeller how much it takes to satisfy a person's answer was true a little bit more than he had a little bit more just a little bit more just a little bit more than he reaches do a number on one soul and make us resistant against humility and helpless dependent's until something occurs that we cannot stop like a terminal illness. All of a sudden the wealth loses the significant riches tend to make you selfish and stingy.

That's what concerns Jesus is not that you can write a check for whatever you need is that your proud of the fact that you can know the disciples of have something to learn in the thing I love about Peter is he just says it also outcomes and let's let's not be too hard on Peter, we often come and beat up on and I want you to observe the Jesus does not reprove him or even correct him. He reassures him for Peter's words are not out of line.

He says to Jesus look at him for yourself first 27. We've given up everything to follow you.

You what he saying in effect, Jesus. We got a lot of struggles we disciples but one of them is not being too rich and and you can identify with that. So what we before you criticize Peter for being presumptuous or maybe even a touch selfish way to minute. It's a great question every student in seminary any seminary needs to be asking that I walked away from a lucrative career.

My degree is in ABC and here I am studying XYZ of left what would have been a surefire position and my folks are wondering what's gotten into me and I'm on the way toward ministry. We can anticipate specially if you got a lot of friends who have gone that route and leave. They moved in to the world. You could have occupied but your your now moving into the world of the disciple of Jesus. So you want to know what's in for us.

Maybe it's a good time for me to mention some things that money won't buy seems appropriate right now to do that. I said at my desk this past week and wrote down a few things I because it's easy to think if I have wealth of got it made. I can buy whatever I want for whatever price whenever I wanted or needed, but there are many things money cannot buy.

Here's a quick list.

Money can buy a bed, but not sleep money can buy food but not an appetite. Money can buy a house but not a whole filled with love, money can buy medicine but not help when they can by pleasures, but not peace within Monica my luxuries but not culture. Money can buy amusements but not the joy money can buy crucifix but not a senior church but not heaven. That's what Jesus is wanting to get across. I thing much more in this 19th chapter of Matthew, Chuck Swindoll wants to explore your listening to Insight for living in Chuck assigned a unique title to today's message lessons learned from a fat camel and to discover the resources we have available for today's topic, please visit us as this brand-new study in the book of Matthew has been delivered to our audience over the last several months we been pleased to hear from so many who told us their personal stories of life change. This is precisely why Insight for living exists to help people engage in the transforming power of God's word and when you give a donation. Your gift is channeled directly toward reaching other people with insight for living so they can benefit from life lessons just as you have. For example, we received a note from a listener in Amarillo, Texas, who told his story of redemption.

He started by saying I want to say thank you for being so giving. I did almost 11 years in the state prison system during all that time Insight for living sent me innumerable Bible studies today. Decades removed from his incarceration, he admits, and I'm quoting I'm really struggling with those old strongholds that wage war against my soul Jesus is faithful to carry on to completion the good work he began. Thank you for your help in my journey. But when you become one of our monthly companions.

Yours is the gift that makes these moments possible uses your generosity to reach into unlikely place like prisons with his grace and mercy, and in recent days we've been making a concerted effort to add more monthly companions family monthly order lighted welcome so many new friends to become a lovely companion right now, listening in the US, 1-800-772-8880 1-800-772-8888 or go online to companions Chuck Swindoll continues to describe what he calls lessons learned from of Campbell Monday Insight for living. The preceding message lessons learned from a fat camel was copyrighted in 2017 and 2021 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2021 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. all rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited

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