Greetings and good morning brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we ponder our lives as we seek to understand the consequence of misplaced values.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
“Under the spreading Chestnut tree,
I sold you and you sold me.” -1984 by George Orwell
Jesus said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon earth where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is there will be your heart.” Matthew, Chapter 6, Verses 19, 20, and 21.
Brothers and sisters, this morning we consider the meanings in these stories that reveal the consequences of misplaced values.
Once there was a man who owned a huge shoe store. In this store were displayed all kinds of shoes, different sizes and shapes. This store contained some of the most beautiful shoes as well as some of the ugliest shoes the eye could behold. But the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. People came from all over the world to shop in this store, and before leaving, they would ultimately find the right shoe in this store. But they were quite frankly puzzled by his response when asked how much was owed: He would invariably reply: "If the shoe fits, you have already paid the price."
A man hangs by the noose of false illusions, slowly turning ever so gently in the breeze. He is a spectacle to behold. He begs for mercy, but no one is able to remove the noose of false illusions from his neck that slowly strangles him. They parade by, and are filled with more than a little uneasiness, so much so that they looked the other way when passing by. But they are even more astounded by his friends, so falsely called, who visit him everyday, and who take from him, but will not attempt to remove the noose of false illusion from his neck. Surely they should be able to help him. How did things get this way in the first place?
Willie Wizard, for that was his name, and his friends had been playing the game called “You can trust me now, but can I trust you later.” They really had no business playing this game but that is beside the point. This was a game involving supreme loyalties and trust in human personalities. The game would began by one of two people putting their neck in a noose while standing over a trap door. At a prearranged time, the trap door would open. It was the other's person's duty to throw the switch just before the trap door opened thus preventing the person whose neck was in the noose from being hung.
Willie Wizard had functioned faithfully. When it was his turn to prevent the trap door from opening, he was always on time so that no one was ever hung when he was on duty. But he noticed that whenever his neck was in the noose, there were considerable problems. Sometimes the trap door would almost open, and the noose would tighten around his neck. On one occasion the other person did not get there at all, and he fell through the trap door, but fortunately the rope was rotten and broke under the strain of his weight, thus sparing his neck.
After talking to his partner about his reliability, and after many promises of undying faithfulness from his partner, he began anew the game. But this time, he acquired an additional partner for backup while playing the game. The third partner was stationed above the hangman's noose, and it was his job to cut the noose just at the time the trap door was supposed to open. They took turns trading positions. Things went well for awhile, but then trouble began again. At one time, the trap door would fall; at another time the rope would not be cut, but for awhile disaster was averted since both partners did not default at the same time.
But eventually that day came when both partners failed to carry out their assigned tasks. The trap door flew open; the noose was not cut, and Willie Wizard's neck was in a sling. And there he dangles slowly in the wind, slowly losing sight of the real thing. Who can save Willie Wizard from this slow death. In the background there is a small still voice that offers to help him, but he concentrates so hard on those he trusted that he does not hear it.
He pleads with them and begs them for help, but to no avail. But as the time goes on, it finally dawns on him that he can expect no help from his partners. As his concentration begins to turn away from his partners, he begins to hear the small voice that speaks with love, patience, mercy, and forgiveness that says, "here is the way; walk in it. And as he walks in this way, the Hands of divine goodness gently loosen the noose of false illusion from around the neck of his soul, and heals his wounds.
Because of his experiences with misplaced values, Willie Wizard is able to comprehend that only Jesus is absolutely reliable. Only Jesus can live up to his supreme expectations. We can all learn a lesson from Willie Wizard's experiences. We must pursue Jesus with all our hearts, minds, and souls, for only He is worthy of such honor. He is the way, the truth, and the life.
This concludes today’s message on understanding the consequences of misplaced values. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about while you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.