Excerpts from Pastor Cunningham’s sermon last night:
Birds of Prey: Understanding Real Value, Genesis 15:1-11
“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.” Matthew 7:6
You’ve been clean for 45 days. Then some acquaintance comes by, an acquaintance you never really had any kind of meaningful relationship with — not family, not really even a friend, just another ‘bar rat’, but he shows up with “the goods…” So, you allow him in. This person plays no significant role in your current life — a shadow from the past — he has no concern for your soul, your sobriety or your future, yet you are willing to be influenced by him; allow them access to your heart and mind; stand idly by while he devours in a moment the sacrifice of covenant with God that has stood for the only real and honest change in your life! You are almost powerless as you allow this dog to ruin your progress in an instant. Why? You are giving away to the dogs all that is holy and of any real value in your life …
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it." Matthew 13:45-46
All that God has done in our lives — and the value He places on our covenant cannot be overestimated… it is that important! The value that God places in a solid core of people in the church. What [great] price he had to pay to bring us these pearls: deliverance, healing, sanity, peace, happiness, redemption, holiness, righteousness, relationship, love … We underestimate these things (until we suffer some setback and the wrath of the world again, then we remember)
Jesus said, “Occupy until I come.” He said “watch and pray”. He asked if when He comes back will He even “find faith on the earth.” The Apostle Paul tells us we are to “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling…” — to take care of what God has given us.
God told Abram to “protect the sacrifice” until He meets with Him in the evening to confirm the covenant with fire! So Abram spent all day protecting his sacrifices from the birds of prey, the vultures of this world that do not care for goodness and do not honor God. Don’t take these things for granted… Be careful not to sleep on your watch this evening because when God comes down to confirm His promises in your life — all the “pearls” will be gone.