by Dennis Marquardt

Paralleling Contrasts! (Spiritual Oxymorons!)
Dennis Marquardt
Matthew 6:5-6; 19-21

INTRO: It is interesting to note that there are a number of ''Paralleling Contrasts'' in the Bible. What I mean by this are things that seem similar; but contrast with each in meaning. For instance; in the very beginning we have Satan coming to tempt Adam and Eve with an invitation ''take and eat - and so the first Adam brought death. The 2nd Adam Jesus comes later and invites the disciples to ''take and eat'' and it brings life. These are parallel invitations with contrasting results.

I actually became a ''spiritual oxymoron'' several years ago when I was asked to come back to my home district (German) and preach their family camp as the main speaker. This was the same place as a kid where I had scrubbed floors at 2 a.m. due to my ''disciplinary'' issues; and spent many hours with German counselors telling me how bad my life choices were; and how my constant ''breakouts'' out of our cabin at night would land me in trouble! And now I was ''Dennis Marquardt'' - visiting district superintendent and camp speaker, the same camp I terrorized as a kid and teenager! I started the opening service at camp with these words, ''Brothers and Sisters … I stand before you as a living oxymoron!'' Meaning of course that while I'm the same person at the same camp, now years later many things are different! One of the old German counselors I used to give a hard time to as a kid remarked, ''See, God can do anything!''

In Jesus' teaching about prayer we see something very odd, it is lost in most translations of the Bible - Jesus asking us to pray ''among our treasurers'' while at the same time teaching us not to value the treasures of this earth.

PROP. SENT: The Bible teaches us to have a private prayer life that is an important part of our relationship with God.

I. CLOSET LIFE! Matt. 6:5-6

A. The Room Matt. 6:6

1. Instead of ''coming out of the closet'' Jesus teaches us to ''go ...

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