January 30, 2024
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"Wake up, kids!" We were in this campground - 3:30 in the morning. You ask, "What were you doing to your kids?" Well, I had planned a trip up Cadillac Mountain. I had been told this was the first place you could see the sunrise on the East Coast. I wanted to see this. I thought this would be a great adventure for my wife and my kids. Well, they weren't as enthused as I was, especially when I woke them up at 3:30. Oh, but I thought ahead. I bought donuts the night before, so when they woke up I stuffed a donut in each mouth so they wouldn't wake up the campground. Then we started my well-planned adventure up Cadillac Mountain.
We wound our way up to the top, and there on the eastern horizon, in that chilly early morning air, we were rewarded with an unforgettable view of the clouds! Oh, I had listened to the weather forecast. They promised me sun. I had a family insurrection on my hands. We never did see the sun that morning. I had made my plans. I went to a lot of effort. I got to the top of my mountain, and this is not what I thought I would find there.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Disappointment Mountain."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Matthew 6:32. Jesus has been talking about clothes, and food, and earthly possessions. And He continues by saying, "The pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
I think Jesus is sort of talking about two mountains you can climb. One I call Earth Stuff Mountain. Then He describes what I would call Kingdom Mountain, which is "seeking first the kingdom of God." Even if you're a follower of Jesus, unless you make a conscious, courageous choice to climb Kingdom Mountain with your life, you'll probably spend your best years and your best energy on Mount Earth Stuff.
I remember this seminar where I was teaching years ago about Peaceful Living in a Stressful World. A man in his 30s was there, and he was very successful in business. He told me he'd come that day to find out how to be more successful. At the end of it he walked out in tears. He told me, "All these years I've been climbing the wrong mountain. And I want the rest of my life to be in the service of the Lord."
It could be you've been climbing the wrong mountain too. Maybe you love Jesus, but you're really living mostly for earth stuff, for earth security, for earth significance. You have all your plans together, like when I tried to go up Cadillac Mountain. You've worked hard; you're getting to the top. But when you get to the top you say, "Wait a minute! Why am I so empty? This isn't the view I expected." It's called Disappointment Mountain.
The Bible says God planted eternity in the hearts of men. So, we're built for eternal things. Earth stuff won't do it. We need something that lasts forever. You know, Jesus stands there to challenge your daily value system. Not your official beliefs, but your real decision-making value system. Would you let Him loosen your grip on all you've accumulated? Would you let Him change what you're aiming your best efforts at so it is compatible with your hunger for something eternal in your heart?
The Bible says in the words of Jesus, as He asks this disturbing question, "What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?" I wonder if that could be the pursuit you're on; the path you're on. You've gained so much. You've done well. You've fulfilled some of your dreams. But, it's the wrong mountain. Even if you get to the top you will not find what you're looking for. Because you were "created by Jesus and for Jesus" the Bible says. He says it's too high a price to pay to lose your soul and your eternity to think that somehow what you've got is going to be enough, even your religion.
See, He came and died on a cross to remove the sin that keeps us across the Grand Canyon from the God who made us. And He would love to bring you together with Him today so you can finally have the end of a life that has been searching but not finding. Our website is about how to begin your relationship with Him. Would you take a few minutes and check it out - it's ANewStory.com. Because I can tell you, the view at the top of Mount Kingdom is all that your soul has longed for and all that your heart has been looking for.