Well, good morning.
It's great to be with you all today.
I'm not gonna lie.
I was nervous because I had this thing
on the entire time and I figured if
I turn it on, you guys would hear my
voice and It's not a pleasant sound, but
I saw Emily just play the tambourine.
I figure I can do that as well
for the North, uh, worship.
But anyways, for those who don't
know, my name is Daniel Samogie.
I'm part of the North Orange
County Church, but it's so, yes.
But I'm so grateful that
we all are meeting together
as a region, as one family.
You know, uh, if I can just be honest,
uh, like, honest with you straight
forward, like, this weekend has just
been a lot for me, just emotionally.
Uh, for those who don't know, yesterday,
you know, Max Aguirre, he passed
away, and it was his, uh, funeral
yesterday, we got to celebrate his life.
And it was definitely a time where I
was sad, but I was also just so glad
because seeing the room being filled,
people were outside, just seeing
how Max meant so much to people.
You know, for those who don't know,
Max is part of our church here in
Orange County, and he was definitely
a light to, to those around us.
Um, so with that being said, you know,
when I was asked to speak this morning,
I was just kind of like, I knew that
I would be feeling a lot because
it'll be a day after his funeral.
So what I'm going to talk about really
has been something I've been, you know,
setting out for the past few weeks.
It's kind of been like my devotional.
It was also a way for me to kind of just
remember how Max lived his life, but
more importantly though It serves as a
reminder for me that we need to make the
most of the time we have here on this
earth You know tomorrow is not always
guaranteed And there's no better way than
reading about Jesus's life and see how
he made the most of his time on earth
You know throughout the past few weeks.
I've been asking God You know what what's
a way that I can make the most of this
life and that brings you to the title my
lesson today Which is eternal investment
Investing in God and investing in people.
So you can bow your
heads with me and pray.
Uh, Father God, just, uh, thank
you so much that we get to just
come here together as one family
just to honor and worship you.
God, today, I just pray that you speak
through me, that you remove me, and that
your words are spoken through me, God.
And God, I just want to have a
special prayer for the Aguirre
family, as they are mourning the
loss of a son and a brother, God.
I just pray that you can just comfort
them, uh, during this time, God.
God, we love you so much,
in Jesus name, amen.
So the title is Eternal Investment.
I said investing in God
and investing in people.
Now, by a show of hands, raise
your hand if you ever made
an investment in something.
All of us.
Whether it's stocks or even if it's
maybe in relationship, we all made
investments in some sort of way.
It could even be in school for those
who are in college or high school.
But I looked up on the
Merriam Webster Dictionary.
There's three different
types of investments, right?
The first investment is to commit money
in order to have a financial return.
So with that, just think
about, you know, stocks.
I don't really know much about stocks,
but I know the idea is to buy low and
sell high, get a profit in return.
So there's that type of investment.
The other investment is to make use
for future benefits or advantages.
Now, I feel like all of us
are guilty of it some way.
Like if you have the Starbucks
app or the Chick fil A app, you
know, you guys buy things, you use
your points, you get points, and
that way you get money in return.
But for me, I'm guilty of it.
Not only with those apps, but really.
Who, who heard of AMC
Stubless, the A list one.
You guys heard of that?
Yes, it is a great thing.
So you pay 25 a month, alright, and you
get to go to the movie 3 times per week.
So basically 12 times a month.
And if you know the prices
of movie theaters now, it's
like 20 to see one movie.
So if you just go twice a month,
you get your money's worth.
However, I'm guilty because I got
it during the summer, or I got it
earlier this year, and during the
summer I was going a lot, but since
the Hollywood act is on strike,
the movies haven't been good.
Literally, the last movie I checked
this morning, the last movie
I saw in theaters was Barbie.
And that was a few months ago,
so as you see, I'm not getting
my money back in return.
I'm just, you know, at this
point, I'm just giving to AMC.
I gotta, I gotta figure that out.
So, there's that.
But then, the other type of
investment, though, is what I want
to talk to you guys about today.
And that's to be involved or engaged with
the other emotionally and spiritually.
You know, that's why I want to
talk about this eternal investment.
If you turn your Bibles to the first
John, chapter 2, verse 17, and if
you don't have your Bible, it's okay,
because I have it right here for you.
It says that the world and its
desires pass away, but whoever
does the will of God lives forever.
You know, I talked about what are
some investments we made, but when you
think about some of the investments
we made, how many of that will pass
away when we're no longer here?
Like for me, for example, if
I were to die right now, that
AMCA list, it's gonna be gone.
It's not gonna come with me.
That Starbucks, my thousand
stars, it's not coming with me.
None of that is.
But some of the investments we're
making, you know, I'm thinking
about what are, what are some
investments we make that pass away?
And there was like three that really
just screamed at me loud this week.
You know, the first one is money.
And I want to say that money
is not a bad thing, okay?
Obviously, we need to work, we need to pay
bills, you know, we need money obviously.
But when money starts to become
your lord, that's when it's bad.
Because money, at the end
of the day, it's man made.
Money is man made.
It is not divine at all.
Another one, another investment
that we make that will pass
away, perhaps, is with sex.
I mean, if you think about it, I
mean, sex is from God, and it could
be great in its proper context.
However, we live in this
generation now where it's spiraled
into all about body counts.
All about rizzing people up and trying
to see if you can get this person.
And then another one is possessions.
And, once again, man made things.
We need cars to get to places.
We live in a big area.
You know, we need a home to live in.
But when we start trying to serve that,
when that is our life's goal is to get
that Tesla or to get that house, then
that's where it becomes a problem.
And another one, I mean,
it just came to my head.
I didn't think about it, but it was
just titles and achievements, you know,
getting that title in life right there.
Is that really the goal?
Because in the end, that's
gonna die off as well.
And we see here that many things will
die in this earth, but what I love in
17 It says but whoever does the will
of God lives forever and The word will
restaurants refers to a strong desire.
So pretty much those who have a
strong desire for God will live
forever But we also know that having
a strong desire for things that's
not gonna really get you somewhere.
Yeah, it's a great motor I mean, if you
think about it, for my college students,
anyone in the room here, high school
students, I'm pretty sure you guys have
strong desires to get good grades, right?
To graduate, walk the stage.
But that won't happen unless, you
know, you do your homework, study
for tests, uh, ask teacher questions,
how about even going to class?
I know some of you campus students,
man, you guys gotta go to class.
Uh, it's a little call out there.
But what about those who are working
or in the job force right now?
What if we want to get that promotion?
Once again, no problem
getting a promotion.
But are you really gonna
get that promotion if you're
doing the bare minimum?
If you're showing up work
barely on time or even late.
If you're not really helping
out your co workers as much, not
really putting yourself out there.
You know, as you see here, like I
said, these investments, they die off.
But I want to look at a passage here
that talks about an investment that
will be eternal, that will live on.
So if you turn your Bibles to Mark
chapter 12, In Mark 12, verse 29 through
31, it reads, The most important one,
answered Jesus, is this, Hear, O Israel,
the Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord your God with all your
heart and with all your soul and with
all your mind and with all your strength.
The second is this, Love
your neighbor as yourself.
There is no commandment
greater than these.
You know, we see here, a little
context here, that people are
debating amongst themselves.
You know, there's over 600 laws
in the Old Testament, alright?
39 books, there's over 600 laws,
and people are asking, which
is the greatest commandment?
And Jesus here, he answered it by
combining scriptures from the Old
Testament back in Deuteronomy.
And it's simple for us.
Love God, and love people.
Like I said, it sounds
simple, but it's not easy.
If you have been a disciple like me for
quite some time, you might have realized
that stirring our love for God and keeping
our love for God can be hard, and loving
people wholeheartedly can be messy.
And with that, I have two things
to talk about with us this morning.
It's that we are called
to love God supremely.
You know, the most important
relationship in your life is
your relationship with God.
It is single handedly the most
important relationship because it's
going to impact every other area
of your relationship in your life.
You know, here's a little diagram
I kind of made for you guys.
As you see, it's a two way street here.
You know, God loves us, and we love him.
We love him because he loved us first.
And your love for God will
impact every area of your life.
You have to know that you have
been created by God to know
God and to be known by God.
And we get to worship God, and walk with
God, and have a relationship with God.
And just for a little bit more
context, in Mark chapter 12, you
know, this is a conversation between
Jesus and a lawyer, or a scribe.
And when you think of lawyer, I
want you to think of someone who
just knows their word greatly.
They were in their word.
And Jesus in Jerusalem at this time,
and the religious leaders there, they
were, you know, trying to crucify Jesus.
They were trying to trick him
by asking all these questions.
So they're asking questions,
if you read prior to Mark 12,
verse 20, about the resurrection.
They're asking questions about,
should we pay our taxes to Caesars?
They're asking about marriage, and
are we to be married in heaven?
But Jesus answers all of them flawlessly.
So then, there's this lawyer who notices
the brilliance and wisdom of Jesus,
and comes and asks him a question.
Not out of trying to trick him, but
out of trying to learn from him.
And so the scribe asks, you know, which
is the greatest commandment, Jesus?
And, once again, Jesus says,
The most important one is this.
Oh, hear, oh Israel, the Lord
our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord your God with all your
heart, and with all your soul, and with
all your mind, and with all your strength.
You know, Jesus here, if you don't
know, he's reciting Deuteronomy chapter
6 here, which is the most quoted
verse ever in the Jewish culture.
It will be recited in the Jewish temples,
it will be recited at their own homes.
And I love here that this scripture
reminds us that we need to love before it
calls us into how we need to love Jesus.
He says, we'll be people that
will love the one true God.
And something that stuck out to me in this
verse here, when it says, the Lord is one.
You have to understand how significant
that is to the Jewish people.
Because during that time, they
were surrounded by nations
that worshipped other gods.
They worshipped gods that, gods of
rain, gods of fire, gods of fertility.
There were so many gods
for them during that time.
But the God in the Bible is not many.
He is the one true God.
And you need to understand that
there is not a crowded buffet of
gods, but the one true creator,
our God, who we get to worship.
Another one that sticks out here
is just saying, The Lord, our God.
You know, He is not just a powerful
creator, church, but He is our God.
And the Jewish people would have heard
this and it would have reminded them
about the massive faithfulness and love
that God had been poured out onto them.
In Deuteronomy 7, you know, it says
that God loved His people and chose
the people that were not yet of
His people and made it a nation.
Because He loved them.
When I think about it, you
know, when they were enslaved,
Who came and delivered them?
He broke them out of the bondage,
and they experienced freedom.
And when they were wandering the
desert, you know, who, what did God do?
He provided water from a rock,
manna and bread from heaven, and
led them into the promised land.
And all of this God accomplished through
Moses was just a preview of what God
would do with the greater Moses, Jesus,
who would become and save to deliver us.
And so in light of that, in light of who
God is, the one true God, in light of the
way He loved you, will you love God with
all your heart, soul, mind, and strength?
And what does that mean?
It means the love of God would permeate
not only your affection for the Lord, but
your intellect for the Lord, your will
for the Lord, your strength in the Lord.
It will be all encompassing
in all areas of your life.
And I will respond to who God is
with God centered worship in my life.
And I love how God is not just
after a small portion of just us.
You know, I just love how in the
scripture, you know, for simple people
like me here, I don't know if you realize,
but he says the word all four times here.
You know, it means God is not coming to
rescue you, to save you, and love you, so
he can just have a slice of who you are.
He wants all of your life.
He wants all of it.
He wants to invest in you.
Before I move on, I want
to ask this question.
What does it look like to live a, to
have a relationship with God that is
marked by love and affection for God?
You know, to love God for the long haul.
When I think about loving God for the
long haul, I look at people in this room.
There's a, there's many of us who
were in the faith for over 20 years.
And I can tell you one
thing that is clear to me.
That you love God for the long haul
is by remaining faithful to Him.
Your relationship with Jesus
is not designed to be a
seasonal or a temporary thing.
It's meant to be an eternal relationship.
But I also want to state here, I want
to state the obvious, that there is
a battle for your heart, your mind,
and your attention here in this world.
You know, the thing that eroded God's
people Back in the Old Testament was
not with the external persecution.
It was just with this
internal idol worship.
You know, they took their eyes off of God.
They started to worship
false gods around them.
And before you knew it, God's
people had drifted away from their
relationship with God and started
to worship other gods around them.
Deuteronomy chapter 6, which is
the same chapter where, you know,
Jesus is quoting here in Mark 12.
You know, it, it says here that, uh,
you know, he says to love God with all
your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
But he also says this, Do not follow other
gods, the gods of the people around you.
And what God is saying here
is, I want all your life.
I want to invest in this relationship.
This is an exclusive
relationship between you and me.
And if you're going to make it,
if you're going to be making God,
you're constantly going to have to
knock down small idols in your life.
To set up shop in your heart.
You know, you have to understand that
there are other things competing with
God for your love and allegiance.
And here's what I mean.
You know, yesterday, obviously
there was a funeral for Max, but
also it was my, uh, ninth year of
celebrating my life with Jesus.
And, uh, yeah, so it's, it's crazy.
It's nine years.
I was a teen.
But in those nine years, I realized...
There have been many competing
idols that I wrestle with, and
I still wrestle with today, even
wrestling with it for this past week.
I don't know if you guys can relate with
this here, but, for example, with my
career, you know, my career is coming
along and it's said to me, Worship
me and I will make you a somebody.
When money comes along, it says to
me, serve me and I will secure you.
Vanity comes to me and says, if you
come to me, I will make sure you
are always loved and always liked.
Materialism comes to me and says,
serve me and I will validate you
and make you feel like somebody.
And the next thing you know, if
you hear these lies and say, yeah,
you know, I'll sing to Jesus, I'll
worship Jesus, I'll go to midweeks,
I'll go to those Friday devotionals.
But we can pivot our soul and
strength onto these lesser gods.
And before you know it, we
drifted from worshipping Jesus
to these secondary idols.
You know, we say things like, this
is where I'm going to find joy.
This is the place where I'm
going to find security, and not
in my relationship with God.
You know, Jesus wants all of you.
He wants you for the long haul.
And church, I know we love God, but
I also want to acknowledge that we
are not immune to the temptation to
slowly drift our focus from Jesus.
So let's continue to be the first love
kind of people and reject anything
that will compete for our attention,
affection, and love for Jesus.
So transitioning now, obviously,
uh, we see this is a vertical
relationship here with God and us.
But now we want to look at
the horizontal relationship.
You know, Mark, uh, 12, 31, my
second point is, we were called
to love people sacrificially.
And in Mark 12, verse 31, it
says, The second is this, love
your neighbor as yourself.
There is no commandment
greater than these.
You know, Jesus is saying in
essence of the law, here are the two
things, love God and love people.
You know, a loving relationship
with God should naturally
overflow into our love for others.
I love that Jesus made this
connection because You know,
you may, you may be this person.
I don't know.
I know I was this person at
times, but we may know of someone
where we say, hey, I love Jesus.
I just don't like people.
It's, it's hard to love people.
But here's what it says
here in 1st John 4 verse 20.
This is a powerful scripture.
It says whoever claims to love God yet
hates a brother or a sister is a liar.
For whoever does not love their
brother and sister, whom they have
been, for whom they have seen, cannot
love God whom they have not seen.
This is pretty strong language here.
He's saying you cannot disconnect
love for God and love for people
because they are connected.
You know, to love God is realizing
that God's love is not moving towards
you, but moving through you so it can
get around to get on those around you.
And what Jesus is saying next
is simple, but also challenging.
And remember Jesus calling us to,
to love our neighbor as ourself.
And, you know, he answers
that, the question happens when
people hear this in Luke 10.
I mean, we won't turn there,
but in Luke 10, there's the
parable of the good Samaritan.
And, you know, with it, there's
this, the Lord goes up to him and
asks, like, God, like, how, like,
what do I do to inherit the kingdom?
And you know, God tells this
story of this man who was beaten.
And there was three guys
who had interactions with
this man beaten on the road.
The first two were a priest and a Levite.
You know, spiritual
people, religious people.
And they see this beaten man and they
walk on the other side of the road.
They don't even offer help.
But then there was this Samaritan.
And for those who don't know, a Samaritan
is a mixture of a Jew and a Gentile.
And they're looked down upon in
the Jewish community because they
are not, you know, fully Jewish.
And this Samaritan offered help.
It said, it said that he
showed compassion on this man.
Not only did he show compassion, but
he even took him to the hospital, and
even told the doctors, guess what?
It's on me.
His, his food, his medicine,
everything is on me.
And I tell this story because it's
a lot easier to love people who,
who look like us, who, who talk
like us, who, who vote like us.
But God is telling us no.
We have to love everyone, and
not just everyone, especially
people who are in need.
This means loving people who
disagree with you politically, who
look different from us and live
in different parts of the city.
And yes, we agree and disagree on
many numerous things, but I can
guarantee the disagreement we have,
such as politics, sports team,
anything, you name it, I guarantee
those things have an expiration date.
And yet, Jesus does not put
boundaries on who is eligible to
love them, and I love that Jesus
models what true love looks like.
Love is not trying to take something
from someone, but Jesus modeled perfect
love as he sacrificially gave himself.
And that is what a good, that's what
a good Samaritan did in the story.
He said, this is not gonna, this is gonna
cost me some things, and yet I'm going.
To show the radical nature of
God's love and sacrifice for
your good God and not mine.
And church, let me just tell you that
I know that you all love Jesus here.
Not just because you guys sing loud
during worship, not because you
guys are marking up your Bibles
now, but I can tell you love Jesus
by the way you love other people.
The way you love people here in
this church, the way you love
people outside in your communities.
And I have seen stories that has
been far driven showing the love
that we have for Jesus, such as
providing meals, meal trains for
people who have lost a loved one.
Doing baby showers for upcoming parents,
you know, giving a little bit extra
financially for special missions and
hope worldwide You know, you cared for
each other like a spiritual family.
You guys prayed with each other
You guys mourned with each other.
You guys visited each other in hospitals
You have taken and carried other
people's burdens and you've gotten busy
loving people in your ministries and
outside your ministries And I love that.
I love seeing the God being spilled and
poured out here in this church And I,
for one, I have personally experienced
the love as a young man three years
ago who first came into this ministry
broken, not knowing what to do with
life, really just, like, just sad and
not knowing what to do, and yet you guys
poured into me, you guys invested in
me, and for that I am just so grateful.
I am eternally grateful, as those
aliens from Toy Story will say, we are,
I am eternally grateful for you guys.
And it's investments like that, church.
That make our relationship with
God and each other eternal.
That's the internal
investment right there.
I just want to close here, you know,
how does the story in Mark end?
You know, Jesus responds to the
scribe and he tells him this,
You are not far from the kingdom.
You know, Jesus here acknowledging that
this man has been on a spiritual journey.
He's not like other religious
leaders who are trying to trick
him and trying to kill him.
But there's an eagerness to learn from
Jesus, you know, this guy is not far
off from the kingdom of God And we
have to acknowledge that this is an
encouragement, but also a warning This
means that this man, you know stands
apart putting his faith in Jesus.
He agrees with Jesus intellectually
But this man has not yet personally
Repented for his sins and put his faith
fully in Jesus, you know, we've heard
about Jesus He learned from him, but he
never put his faith in him fully And the
humbling part about this text is that
it calls us to love God and love others.
And as simple as it is, like I
said, it's so hard to live out.
You know, I love my mom,
but I've sinned against her.
I love my girlfriend, but
I've sinned against her.
I loved my roommates, but
I've sinned against them.
I love all of you in this room, but
I have, or I will, sin against you.
And I love God, and yet, I let my
affection and season grow cold.
This is such a humbling passage.
God makes it simple for us.
Invest in God, and invest in others.
You know, when we invest in God,
and invest in others, we get this.
We get the cross.
Jesus died on the cross, not only so
we can have eternal life with him,
but also bring others along with us,
show them the cross and have them also
have that eternal life and investment.
Church, let's do that.
Let's continue to invest in God.
Let's continue to invest in others.
So as we pray and take communion,
I just want to mention that,
uh, I don't have the cup, but...
Uh, if you don't have your, your cup,
please raise your hand and the usher
will come along and, uh, give you one.
So let's go to God in prayer.
Father in heaven, just thank you
so much just for your words, God,
and how they never come back empty.
Thank you for, for making the two
greatest commandments just so simple,
just loving you and loving others.
And I pray this week that as we reflect
and meditate, God, That we get to put
into practice, loving you first, and
then from the outpour, love others.
As we take the cup, God, as we take the
juice that represents your blood, and
the bread that represents your body on
the cross, God, help us remember the
investment you made in your son, God.
Dying on the cross so we, too,
can have that investment, Father.
That we, too, can have that relationship.
That does not have an expiration date.
An investment that will last,
God, an investment that will last
in loving you and loving others.
Thank you, Lord, for
being the one true Lord.
Father, we love you so much.
In Jesus name.