Faithlife Sermons

Out of Control pt 6

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Sermon Notes – Out of Control pt 6

Exegetical Outline – Ecclesiastes 11:1-8

  1. The reason Solomon exhorted people to take a short term risk was because in doing so one would receive a return in time (1).
    1. Note: The idea behind this comes from the trade of the day in which merchants used ships to trade with other merchants. (“Send your grain across the seas, and in time, profits will flow back to you.” – New Living Translation)
  2. The reason Solomon exhorted people to diversify their efforts was to avoid being wiped out by a misfortune in one area (2).
    1. I.E. “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
  3. The manner in which Solomon corrected those who were passive in their activity was by illustrating the futility of their inactivity and stating their inability to know God’s activity (3-5).
    1. Note Solomon’s reference to the one who “watches” and “looks” as being inactive (i.e. “not sowing” and “not reaping”). This could be paralleled with those who are merely observers in God’s church. You will not reap if you do not sow.  (i.e. if you are simply an observer and critic, you will miss out!).
    2. We will be frozen in fear if we wait until we understand all that is happening in order to act.
  4. Rather, Solomon exhorts his readers to work diligently at every opportunity since we do not know which of our activities will succeed (6).
  5. The reason Solomon exhorts his readers to enjoy life is because it is pleasant and good in comparison to the futility of death (7-8).

Homiletical Outline

  1. I must take RISKS for long-term gain (1).

Illus: This is true of everything we do. However, where we take our risks is an indicator of where our true trust is. Do you take worldly risks and fail to take risks for God? (i.e. buy a lotto ticket, but don’t ever support God’s work, invest significant dollars in worldly investments, but not in God’s work? Risk your reputation as a follower of Christ in order to be accepted by your peers, but won’t risk your reputation of being cool, powerful, popular, etc in order to be pleasing to God. Some of you are risking never doing something truly significant because of your fear of failure. Some are risking ever having a close relationship with others because of your fear of rejection. Some of you are risking your marriage and families in order to gain material things or accomplish personal achievements. As a pastor, I am tempted by this all the time. There are always things that need to be accomplished in ministry. You don’t have to look too far to see a family that has been sacrificed on the altar of ministry. If our acquisitions or accomplishments ever involve improperly sacrificing that which God has called us to keep sacred, then we’d better reevaluate our risks.). Every decision we make involves some short-term risk. Risk is required for life, so don’t pretend you’re not able to take risks. The real question is, “are you taking the best risks?”

Application: Here are some risks God calls us to take. When was the last time you did so?

·         Return good for evil and bless those who harm you (Rom 12:14;17).

o       You cannot do this without faith/risk.

·         Consider others needs as greater than your own (Phil 2:3)

·         Store up treasures in heaven and not on earth (Mt 6:19-20).

o       You cannot do this without faith.

·         Stop worrying and start worshipping (Mt 6:25;33)

If you are doing nothing to strengthen your faith, then rest assured your faith is weakening.

    1. Faith looks like risk in this world but reward in the next.
  1. My DIVERSITY provides some security in this life (2). Illus: Our need for diversity here in this life should act as a reminder of the instability and insecurity of this world and cause us to seek that which is secure. God’s kingdom needs no diversification. Putting all your eggs in His basket will never result in disappointment. That can never be said in this world).
  2. My failure TO ACT will result in a failure to receive God’s BLESSING (3-5).
    1. Note Solomon’s reference to the one who “watches” and “looks” as being inactive (i.e. “not sowing” and “not reaping”). This could be paralleled with those who are merely observers in God’s church. You will not reap if you do not sow.  (i.e. if you are simply an observer and critic, you will miss out!).
    2. Fear of the unknown is major factor to inactivity.

Illus: You don’t understand exactly how car works, but trust it will.

      You don’t understand exactly how computer works, but still use it.

      I don’t fully understand the miracle of how a baby is formed, but it doesn’t keep me from making them!

    1. A fear of ever being uncomfortable will keep you from ever being used by God.

Video: Comfort Zone

    1. I won’t be a PASSIVE observer.                                                               i.      Will you stand by and watch God’s play, or will you become an actor?
    2. I will trust God and ACT in faith.                                                               i.      Where will you act in faith? (3rd service team, future facilities needs, step toward maturity (CLASSES, SG, ministry, mission), financial support)
  1. My faithful action will experience GOD’S SUCCESS (6).
    1. John 13:17 #. God, not us, will determine which of our acts will succeed.

Illus: Two farmers were desperately praying for rain during a terrible drought but only one of them prepared his fields. Which one experienced God’s blessing when it rained? Which one acted in faith? Which one are YOU?

    1. God is clearly moving in our church and your level of participation will be directly related to your experience of His blessing. You can either be a spectator or a participant. You can watch God bless this church, or you can be blessed and bless others.

Conclusion

  1. In what area of your life do you need to exercise faith? (i.e. Where do you most desperately need God’s blessing? This is your area of concern).
    1. Gospel: Some of you may need to take the first step. #. How has God spoken to you today to act in faith in this area?
  2. Do you realize God’s provision for you to live by faith? (2 Peter 1:3)
  3. Write your area down on your CC so I can pray for you. Then, as a simple act of commitment, offer yourself to God during our closing song.


Steps of Faith lead to stages of Maturity.

1.      Begin a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

2.      Regular corporate worship participation.

3.      CLASS 101 – Discovering Church Membership.

·         Commit to enjoying the people of your church.

·         Commit to growing with the people of your church.

·         Commit to serving your church & community.

·         Commit to reaching others who need a church home.

4.      Small Group participation.

·         A smaller place to grow with others.

·         A healthy place to love others and be loved.

5.      CLASS 201 – Discovering Spiritual Maturity

6.      CLASS 301 – Discovering My Ministry

7.      Engage in your area of ministry

8.      CLASS 401 – Discovering My Mission

9.      Participate in our Church’s mission.

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