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Levi Lusko - Buried Treasure

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So at his height, Pablo Escobar was the seventh richest person in the world, which is really hard to believe and hard to even fathom that this drug trafficker who built a cocaine empire became the seventh wealthiest person in the entire world, according to Forbes magazine. At the height of his success, he was raking in, they say, about $420 million every single week. It's hard to even get your head around that kind of a number, over $400 million coming in every single week.

Of course, this led to a net worth at the time of his death of something around $30 billion, which, in today's currency, with inflation, we're talking like $50 billion. It's just ridiculous money. In fact, it was so much money that it became a problem. Because what do you do with all that money? And his brother was an accountant, and wrote a book after his brother's death and kind of revealed some of the things that they tried to do. You know, they tried to put as much as they could in, you know, banks overseas. But Pablo insisted that he be the only one that had the account numbers.

So when he died, so much of that wealth is literally just sitting there frozen in accounts that no one knows even how to access. So what they did with a lot of the money, and this is just absolutely crazy, is they just buried it. Real creative, right? They just literally like, let's just dig a hole in the ground. And so that's what they would do. They would bundle it and all that. And this is actually one of the craziest details, to sort of like show you how much money we're talking about, when 420 million is coming in. I mean, you can only spend so much on cars and planes and the two submarines that he had.

He also started his own personal zoo in Colombia, when he wasn't buying islands that were used for great festivals later. But basically, for wealthy millennials who needed something fun to do, all right, on Netflix. But basically, they were spending at the peak of the craziness of this narco money coming in, $2,500 every single year on rubber bands. Just to bundle the benjamins. Can you imagine $2,500 worth of rubber bands? Just to bundle together all the cash that most of it was just literally going into the ground. In the book, his brother says that they would write off 10% of it, about, every single year because that's how much the rats would eat. They would come back to these cash deposits later, and they would find rats just feeding on bundled $100 bills.

And so 10% or so, oh, that's a whole different mentality of what a company, you know, grocery stores lose food that expires, but Pablo's cash was getting eaten by rats, right? This is crazy. Years after his death, in, of course, 1993, he was killed at the age of 44. And this isn't the glorifying Pablo Escobar hour. I mean, he was responsible for upwards of 7,000 deaths, all right? So I'm going somewhere, I promise you. Some of you are like, what the heck is happening? What kind of church is this? And others of you are like, this is the greatest sermon of my entire life. So it just really depends on what interests you, I suppose.

But there was a farmer. A farmer was just sort of preparing his field on a new plantation that he purchased, an oil palm plantation. And he purchased it from land that was repossessed and recovered by the Colombian government when they seized all of his land, seized all of his property. They were stunned that they only found $8 million. Now, imagine, he was worth upwards of 30 billion, but only eight million was ever recovered by law enforcement and drug enforcement agencies. So so much of it is just still out there. But sort of a clue emerged when this Colombian farmer, you know, he's got an excavator going and, clink, it hits something metal. Like, classic, right? This is Pirates of the Caribbean edition, right?

Clink. Right along. And the whole field, literally the whole field was full of those Walter White, Heisenberg metal barrels, right? And casual reference, some of you got it, some of you have no idea what I'm talking about. Crystal blue persuasion barrels, right? And so he pops these things out. And turns out these metal barrels held $600 million. And this was just one of many of the cash deposits sprinkled, they believe, all over Colombia, perhaps Mexico. Money from Pablo Escobar's hiding has been found as far as in Miami, Florida.

Now, I want you to bring that with me, that idea. Not Pablo Escobar and his submarines. I want you to bring the idea of a farmer in a field working the ground in the soil on this land, and all of a sudden, what does he find? Well, title of my message is Buried Treasure, for that is, in fact, exactly what's on Paul's mind as he, in 2 Corinthians 4 verses six and seven, our passage for today, says "for it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shown in our hearts", look at this, "to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us".

Father, I pray just for a minute, as we just consider these two verses and let them just roll around in our hearts, I pray that you would speak something new to us, show us something different, help us to make sense of the madness and oftentimes craziness of our lives, where what we dreamed of is often very different from what we're experiencing. And help us to see that, in you, our life can make sense. In you, we can find the fountains of living water that we can't find out in this world. We pray for you just to open up our eyes and our hearts. We pray for our lungs to expand with fresh air and new life, and you to give us a different kind of passion, perhaps, than what we originally hoped for. Light us up, God, with your light from above. We ask this in Jesus' name. And we all said together, amen.

In this passage, what we find is this statement, this statement is true, that just like that farm in Colombia, the church, as seen through God's eyes, is a place full of buried treasure. Now, in the New Testament, and we've been kind of camped out on this idea, we have these two sister analogies used to explain the church. We have a structure and we have soil. We have house and we have land. We have both the metaphor of a building that's built full of living stones, but we also have this metaphor of land, where you and I are all parts of the soil that are in this field. So we're living stones, but we're also earthen vessels.

That's what this passage says. We're God's home, yes. And that's how they become connected, because yes, we're God's home. But listen, we are his home made out of mud. Made out of earth. Now, in the most literal sense, this is actually biologically true. If you look at what composes our body, it is very much the same as the ground. And that's why we so easily, after we die, we return ashes to ashes - finish it with me if you know it - and dust to dust. That's how we started out, y'all.

Talk about starting from the bottom, now we're here. Genesis chapter two puts it this way. "The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground". You can picture him there, gathering the dust into a pile. And then what did he do? "He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. And then man became a light... a life... a full of... full... a living being". All right. This is the hard words. It's got multiple syllables, right? Pray for me.

Now, if you could have paused time, and maybe you were an angel, because there was no one else there to witness this moment. God had just finished creating the world. He had just finished breathing the Milky Way into formation, and all that he did in the Great Barrier Reef and the Grand Canyon and the Mariana Trench. I mean, just think about all this. And he's finished this world. He's divided water from land, and he's created all these animals and birds of the air and fish of the sea. But now, he has turned to what he has dubbed the crown jewel of creation. Not because we are more powerful than the angels. No, we've been set a little lower than the angels. But what caused us to be a cut above was, out of all the things that God had it in his mind to create in those six days, we were the only thing that were trusted with the most important thing that there is. We were made in God's image. Trusted with his likeness.

And as he said, so to speak, to all of creation. But now watch this. He began to pile some dust together. And then if you would have just looked right there and seen him stooped over with this, all you would have seen is a pile of dust. But God looked longingly at it. And he would have explained, I don't see a pile of dirt, I see a home for my breath. Dang. Wow. And so he breathed into our nostrils, and so we rose, and so we are, to this day, a home for God's breath. And that is true individually. It's even more so true corporately. For as Jesus put this is Matthew chapter 18, "where two or more are gathered together in my name, I am there with them in the midst".

That's the power of the church. That's the power of our gathering together to worship. That's the power of coming together in small groups to have a cup of coffee together, to talk about the reality of life together, to commiserate when life is awesome and terrible and something in between. That's the joy of life together. That's the joy of serving together. That's the joy of giving together. That's the joy of sacrifice. That's the joy of all that we get to do planted in the house of God. As earthen vessels turned into living stones, all individually full of the Holy Spirit, but coming together somehow, some way able to experience the transcendent glory, the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But it's a treasure we have in earthen vessels.

The irony, the interesting thing about that is that that puts the excellency and the power, all of the superlatives go on what goes inside the container, what goes inside the package. It's the Splenda you want, not the paper. It's the drink you want, not the straw. The canal is never the point. The pipe was never the point. All the pipes that went when your house was plumbed, it was never about the pipes. You know, like, I'm gonna have the best network of PVC anyone's ever seen. Great, you gonna get water? Nah. No, it's always about what flows through you.

You see, the emphasis in this passage is never to make us feel like we're a big deal. It's never about you. It's always about what God wants to put in you, what God wants to do through you. You and I are still dirt. We're just piles of dirt. But we're dirt full of God's breath. We're dirt full of God's power. We're dirt that God has set his name upon. We're dirt that God's given a commission to. We're dirt that he's called to this dance of life with him and relationship with him and community together with him. The power, the excellency, the authority, it all comes from what's inside us. We have this treasure in earthen vessels. Y'all, it's buried treasure. It's treasure deep down inside of us. The excellence is about what's inside of us, and not about us. But I love the word earthen vessels. Earthen.

We have a treasure of earthen vessels. Because it doesn't just speak to our origin story, it doesn't just help us to be emotionally set for end game because we saw Captain America won and suffered through Red Skull, right? We're not just reminded here of the Genesis account of mankind in this passage. What we're also given is a picture of the need for us to come together, because Paul intentionally picked a word that did not speak fully of a vessel, but instead spoke of it as its individual component. You see, the word for earthen vessels in the original Greek would actually be better translated as pot shard. Shard.

Come on, turn to your neighbor and say shard. Right? Its a great word, shard, right? A shard is a fracture. A shard is a broken piece of pottery. In fact, in that day, writing utensils were so expensive and difficult to get your hands on, you could actually write on a pot. And if a pot was broken, they would never just throw the pieces away. They would always retain the individual fragments. And that was what they used for scrap paper back in the day, because you could write on it for a little bit.

So a broken pot, have no fear. And by the way, he had lots of choices for pots that he would speak to. The pot that he chose was their version of Tupperware. It was basically what you'd throw olive oil in, you'd throw leftovers in, you'd throw a little bit of wine in, you'd throw a little bit of grain in. It was the kind of utility workhorse pot that you have in that drawer somewhere in your kitchen. And you're always trying to figure out which lid goes on which one. And now there's nine different brands and you're kind of frustrated because someone brought something over at one point, and it's not even in the Hefty brand. It's in the Tupperware brand. And how you seal them. And they all have a secret place you've got to push to get them to do a little burp. And then they seal good. You know what I'm talking about?

So when he said earthen vessels, that's what he meant. But it's not even the whole thing. It's just a piece of it. Yeah. So again, no one loves the Tupperware, they love what they put in the Tupperware. You love you some leftovers like I love it, right? In the morning on Black Friday, there's nothing better in the world than some Thanksgiving leftovers, right? But the excellence is never the vessel, it's what the vessel contains. Right. I want some sweet potatoes. I want some macaroni and cheese. You see what I'm saying? And so you think about what he's saying, he's saying it's not about us, it's about what goes inside of us. But it's not that any of us can contain all of what God wants to do through us, it's all of us coming together like all the individual shards of pottery.

God's written something on you, written something on you, written something on you, written something on me. And when we come together, we can hold the power and the glory of God in a way that we cannot by ourselves. Oh, I'm preaching so good on a nine o'clock Sunday morning. So that's what this passage is telling us. And that's how God wants us to live transformed, mad about the house, realizing and aware of the fact that we're meant to come together as one to hold this buried treasure. The knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ that others might see him as we all take our place as the shard. And when you leave your shard unfilled, there's a hole in the pot where you were meant to go.

There's a leakiness to the pot where you were meant to be there serving in that spot prayer-wise, serving in that spot through taking your place in our fast when it comes at the beginning of the year, serving in sacrificial giving, serving in faithful, continual generosity, serving rostered on the team, serving in that small group so someone else can come into that group and hear that story. How touched were you? Everything changed when someone said, would you go to coffee, I care about what the crap's going on, I mean, just give me a break. Give me five minutes to have a ugly cry for a second up in here, because that's the power of a cup of coffee.

So let me ask you this question: who are you not providing that for? Who's not provide, you see what I'm saying? Let's not leave our part of the pot undone. Let's be the shard. Come on, be the shard. Fill the place. We have this treasure in earthen vessels. So once you get that, once that revelation snaps into place, what happens? It changes the way you speak, number one. It'll change the way you speak about the church. I think it's real easy to get flippant and, you know, it happens all the time. And I don't mean any disrespect at all, but I meet people a lot of times who are super excited about now they go to our church. And they feel somehow their obligation is to spend the first few minutes maybe running their mouth down on the last couple churches they went to and what they didn't do, that's why they're here.

And I just always have to just really, as respectfully as I can, say we speak so well of that church, hope it's well. If God called you here, great, but that's not our spirit, that's not our heart, that's not our mentality. But just as often, as I'm meeting people and they'll be then telling me why they don't go to our Church anymore and this and that. And I'm just telling you something. Here's how I speak about the Church. This is the bride of Jesus. This is the bride of Jesus. So if I'm going to talk about the Church, a gathering full of people who are honoring Christ, I'm going to speak about that as the bride of Christ. And that is a real forgiving lens. Why? Because what does a bride wear? What does a bride wear? A bride wears something like that.

Now that's my wife 15 years ago on our wedding day. And dear God, Lord Jesus, have mercy. If he didn't just spoil me like crazy with His grace from above that He would trust me with such an angel as Jennifer Lusko to let be my wife and be my bride and let me serve her these last 15 years. I just want to thank God in the presence of you all for this woman. All right. Now someone told me to take a mental picture when she shows up at the top of the aisle. And so I did. I don't have to look at that picture to see that picture. I can see that. It is burned into the deepest parts of my soul, my wife on this day, when now I saw this one that I would come together with and be one with and serve with and love with and dream with and cry with and... take it away. It's too much. I can't look at that anymore. All right.

So here's the reality. As good as my wife looks in a wedding dress that day, God sees you as the Church every day. No, I don't think you got it. You'd be in a fetal position crying because of that love. It is too much for you. You don't have it. So here's what I'm trying to say. I'm trying to say, on your worst day. On your first day in your bathing suit after a long winter day. When you're like, oh Jesus. This is not good, right? On that day, God sees you as the bride wearing white on her wedding day. And you have to realize, the wedding dress, my wife looks great in everything she wears. So everything I'm about to say has nothing to do with her. All right?

The wedding dress is the single most forgiving garment that's ever been invented and it was for a reason. Everyone looks good in a wedding dress. I heard a pastor one time say, even Dennis Rodman looked good in a wedding dress, right? You think about it, it's true. Like, dang. Right? That's incredible. So why? Because it doesn't show you what you really look like. It makes you look like an angel. Right? What is it? It's like the shape of a bell. And it's got a train that goes sometimes 12 yards, right? And there's lace involved. And it's so overpoweringly glowy that you can't help but be like, there's a radiance. You're just shining. No, she's just wearing a wedding dress, right? No, there's a special angel kiss on brides. Or it's the dress, right? I don't know. Which is it? Both.

But that's the point. And the reality is we picked this garment to enhance the aura of that moment. And it's not for no reason that God says, when He pictures the Church, He sees a bride adorned as a woman on her wedding day. And what Jesus is saying, is my heart leaps when I think about you gathering together to worship me. My heart leaps when I think, So what does He think about the Church? Is He like, oh. Well, you did this last Thursday. And you missed last, no. He's like the bride on our wedding day. It covers over the multitude of sin. So how are we going to speak about the Church? As the bride of Christ.

I love this Church. I love the gatherings, imperfect as they are. They're covered in a wedding dress. There's a beauty to it. There's a joy to it. What else do we have? The Church is God's plan A to save the world. And there is no plan B. It was the cross. That's the hope of humanity. It's the empty tomb. And now He's trusted that message to us all. Now the angels, quite frankly, don't know what He's doing sometimes. You did what? After all this, you came, you died, you rose, you gave the message to who? We had done so much better of a job. Why would you give it to them? They're just a pile of dirt. And God says, that's a home for my breath. Be careful who you're talking about. That's the bride of Christ. It's been trusted to us. We have this treasure in earthen vessels.

So how we're going to speak about the Church? With gratitude. How are we going to speak about the Church? We're going to choose to do what I do when my wife and I are in a fight. I remember her on our wedding day. And even when I'm frustrated. Even when I'm frazzled. Even when she's frazzled. When I'm wrong, when she's, that's the moment. It's remember the joys. Go back to the beginning. It's do the first things. I see her as the bride on her wedding day. I don't treat her like I want to in the moment. I treat her like that woman deserves to be treated. And she does the same. And that's the service, together honoring Jesus. It changes the game. And that spirit needs to infect the local Church.

I don't got ears to hear someone talking bad about the bride of Jesus. You go, come on, Jesus, yes. Church, no. Really? Tell me how that conversation is going to go. Jesus, thanks for everything you did. Love you. By the way, hate your wife. Right? Your relationship can't do well when you hate the thing He loves the most. What is Jesus passionate about? Building His Church. Using His Church. Changing the world through His Church. Come on, who's thankful for the local Church? Who's thankful for Fresh Life Church? I'm thankful for it. I love it. My life's been blessed by it. It's what I'm going to give my life to. I believe that God is using us. We're messed up. Yep. We're full of sinners. Totally. But let's build it. Let's be mad about the house. All right. OK.

So that's how we're going to speak about it. And that's also going to drive how we sacrifice for it. I'm going to sacrifice for it. When you're building a house, you just know it's going to be expensive. And you just know, if you talk to some people on our teams, some people in our lives who maybe just built a house. And they're so excited because they got that down payment. They worked hard for it. And when you're building something, you have this long-term mentality that we're doing something big here. And so we'll get Dave Ramsey for a second. We're going to live like no one else. Right? Eventually, we'll give like no one else. And in the meantime, we're not going out to eat like anybody else, right? There's things you do. And when you have something in your heart and mind, you sacrifice for it. And sacrifice always makes sense in the context of a bigger perspective.

So what is that that we're, as a Church, all willing to sacrifice for. Not only through the regular generosity, to our regular tithes that keep the ministry going, but also the ongoing as we can, as God blesses us. And God would speak to our hearts with spurts of radical sacrificial generosity, both planned and the spontaneous variety. Why would we do that? Because in our mind, we're always hoping for that bigger picture. Which is what? Legacy. Legacy. Not just the ministry we're doing, the ministry we're not doing yet. We're not going, wow. That's great.

We got a prison Church in Deer Lodge and we've seen hundreds of inmates give their lives to Jesus. Because we go, what about the prisons we don't have Church in? You don't have a heart for the state prison in Oregon? What about the one in Utah? We don't have a ministry mentality for Wyoming? Doesn't our heart burn for the locations we haven't opened yet? I was having dinner with some friends and I told them that one of the things that I would joke with is Fresh Life San Diego. Fresh Life San Diego. What about San Diego? We're trying to build leaders because what about Fresh Life San Diego? Which not only am I going to apply as the campus pastor for that one when it comes, but the mentality for us is never about what we're doing. It's what we haven't yet done yet.

It's a legacy. It's a bigger picture. It's a perspective to expand. We're always in a perpetual state of addition. We need to create more bandwidth and margins and raise up more leaders and all of us give more so that we can do the ministry we're not yet doing. Well, this Church is so big. Really? It's a tiny Church. There's like 8 billion people in this world and we only get 70 years to reach them all. So what are we doing? There's not a moment to lose. We've got to have the spirit of sacrifice so there can be legacy.

Do you know there's only two places in the world to see hippopotamuses is in the wild? Two. One is Africa. The other is South America. Because Pablo Escobar built a zoo. And he had elephants and he had rhinos and all kind of animal. That when the Colombian government seized his lands, they turned over most of the animals to the Colombian Zoo. But there were four hippopotamuses they didn't know what to do with and the zoo had no way to contain them and so they decided to just let them free. Flash forward almost 30 years, and there are a bomb waiting to explode in the hippopotamus crisis of South America. Because their populations are expanding. They've been found as far as 100 miles away from where they were originally let go. They have no natural predator. Where in Africa, as young kids, they could be eaten by a lion or a crocodile. In South America, there are no such things so they thrive.

In Africa, there's natural rhythms and cycles of drought that keep the population in check. There's no such drought in South America. And so basically, the conditions under which they live has been described as a hippo heaven. And all of these hippos are living their best life now. Hashtag. Right? So you have now what is going to be quickly escalating and spiraling into a habitat shift. And they say it could wipe out the manatees, but don't worry. If we just turn back to plastic straws, I think we could kill the hippos. So here's what's crazy. The ultimate, long-term legacy of Pablo Escobar might be the introduction of hippos to South America. It may be too late. It may be a thing where they eventually, ultimately, are dominating in that entire continent.

So here's my question to you. What will be said of us 30 years after we're dead? Because it's coming. There's going to be a day when we've been dead for 30 years. And all I'm saying is, let's live so that we did something and built something so that our great-grandchildren might be reached by those who are part of the work that were reached under our watch. Let's dig deeper. Let's build a little bit more. Let's give a little bit more with a spirit of sacrificial generosity so there might be the legacy. I don't want the story of my life to just be the story of hippos. I want to reach some people for Christ. Sacrifice. This also will change how we handle setbacks. Talk about a house? You know what I've learned about building a house? There are setbacks. It takes longer. It costs more. This is anecdotal at this point. Right?

People always say to me, you know it takes longer? And I'm like, yeah. It probably costs more, too. Yeah, it costs more. And then, hey, setbacks. It's a real thing. You start out and you're like, oh, man. We're going to do the granite countertops. We're going to no expense spared. We're going to do this and this and this. By the end, you like, how much does that cost? I didn't say we wanted. No, we don't want that. Get rid of that. No, we can't do that. Right? Setbacks. Setbacks. It gets crazy. How far you can be from the sidewalk because that can be an issue too. What are the setbacks? Oh, we didn't think about the setbacks. And all of these things come into play.

And there's difficulties. And guess what? I don't know if you know this, but when you build the Church, there are setbacks also. It doesn't always go according to plan. There's difficulties. There's hiccups. There's glitches. In what we're doing and changing lives, in what we're doing together in seeing the knowledge of the glory of God and the face of Jesus Christ, It'd be great if He trusted it to China vessels. It'd be great if He trusted it to ceramic vessels. But He had to have the gall to trust it to earthen vessels. And do you know what dirty people do? Dirty things. This just in. As a result, we get disappointed. And that's a good thing, believe it or not.

At least that's what Dietrich Bonhoeffer said. He said, and he put it better than I did. He said this. "Church is a place where our dreams are shattered. And that is a good thing". Why? Because all of us come into Church with different expectations, whether they're realistic or not. Of how we're going to be treated. How we'll advance through the ranks. Perhaps what songs will be sung. The style of communication or the methods that are used to convey the message. And here's the interesting thing that I've discovered. They are whatever ones were being utilized the day you got saved. Whatever it was that touched you is what always should be done to reach someone new. In your mind. Why? Because we are ultimately - just take us with a grain of salt - selfish. But here's a little tidbit for us all. The bait is never for the fish in the boat. It's always for the ones still in the water. Newsflash, all denominations ever. Right?

The style of accomplishing the job of getting the message out as fishers of men should never be with a mentality of what do those people, It should always be a mentality of keeping it fresh. Keeping it current with style and culture to reach and communicate an unchanging gospel to an ever-changing world and society. And so the setbacks come when style changes. And well, you know, whatever it is. And so all of sudden, our dreams are shattered. But Dietrich says that's a good thing. Why? Because only then, when our false expectations are punctured, are we poised and positioned to actually receive the grace of God in the goodness of each other. Because in the reality of the nitty-gritty of life together and the friction and the sparks at times, there we are poised to actually experience a powerful move of the Holy Spirit. Or as Paul put it in the same chapter that we've been reading. This idea of being hard-pressed, he says, on every side, experiencing every kind of pressure, but we'll discover we're not crushed.

Look at this. At times we don't know what to do but quitting is not an option. We are persecuted by others, but God has not forsaken us. We may be knocked down, but guess what? We are not out. We continually share in the death of Jesus in our own bodies so that the Resurrection life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity. We have this treasure in earthen vessels. The humanness of us all is at times what causes us to say, you know what? Forget it. I'll just go find a different Church. Or I'm just giving up on Church. But that's quitting. And what He says is quitting's not an option. And when we, instead of running away and going to find someone who will pour honey into our ears and tell us what we want to hear. When we actually double down and bear down on the discomfort and the difficult conversations and the reality of doing life together. And we keep serving and keep going and keep dreaming.

When our dreams are shattered, can we actually experience the grace of God in the midst of our humanity. And watch God's spirit move in a powerful way, in a vibrant way, even at times through dysfunctional people. And that's the power and capacity that can be seen and experienced in the local Church. Like nowhere else can it be seen. And so that's how we face setbacks. We face setbacks knowing, listen to me. There's gold in the walls. And there's treasure in the attic. Buried treasure. We just need to get to it. We need to fight for it. We need to keep going, believing it's there. Believing something's possible. When we're hurt, we're going to work through it in a healthy way. We're going to pray. We're going to serve. We're going to repent. We're going to keep going, keep dreaming.

There's gold in these walls. I'm telling you, you are an earthen vessel that contains the knowledge of the glory of God and the face of Jesus Christ. There's leadership gold in you. There's something that could unlock something for you at business. I believe that. There's a God dream in your heart that when you're poised and positioned as a son or daughter of the house, all of a sudden it can shift in what takes place outside of the house. There's gold in the walls. There's treasure in the attic. It wasn't five years ago that I read in the news of this couple that was frustrated one day to find their roof was leaking. Ugh. You didn't go with me. Ugh. Right?

So they opened the door they'd never opened before in their house. It had always been locked since they lived there. Inside was a rare Caravaggio painting. An Italian masterpiece estimated to be worth over $136 million. They never would have gotten to the treasure had there not been the leaky ceiling. So the leaks and the breaks and the fights and the falling out. If we don't quit but instead if we double down, they're the opportunity to discover the masterpiece that God has in mind for making of us all. Do you receive it? Say "amen" if you do. Don't leave me alone up here all excited because man, my cup's running over.

All right. We're going to be done in just a second, but lastly - none of the three things that I just told you - setbacks and sacrifice and how we speak, can happen if it's not for the way we see. If this doesn't change the way we see our Church. If it doesn't change the way we see the soil. And I'm going to close by telling you how I came to write the sermon of buried treasure. I was in my neighborhood and I noticed that there was a new house being constructed. And I watched a woman park a minivan and get out of her vehicle and delicately step over all sorts of debris and rubble and construction stuff. And this woman - I don't even know why she was doing this walk. It seemed like she was floating. She seemed like a bride on her wedding day.

I'm not joking you. And I was just stopped dead in my tracks watching her with her phone start taking pictures of the dirt. And I looked and I'm like, is there a shape in it? Is it a cloud? And man, she just looked at this photograph and then she's just taking more. And all of a sudden I realized this is a homeowner. She had finished her day of work. And so now she's come by to see what they did that day. And I almost got, my eyes started almost leaking for a second when I was watching her watch the dirt. And God just spoke to my heart. Levi, she doesn't see what you see. You see dirt. She sees where her grandchildren are going to play. You see scaffolding and mulch. She sees sleepovers and Saturday brunch. You see nothing but excavation. She sees a place where her family's going to entertain. She sees a place where her and her husband are going to sit on the porch and drink tea and watch the kids play. She sees a home. All you see is mess. You see, everything changes when you're mad about the house.
Are you Human?:*