Summary: Have you ever wanted to give up and thought, “Who needs the church, I’ll believe in God and stay home?” Perhaps you have been DISTRESSED by the world’s problems. Perhaps the church’s past year of transition has DISCOURAGED you. Perhaps your DISIL
Church January 11, 2004
A FAILED FISHING VENTURE
“I enjoyed a Charles Schultz cartoon that showed Snoopy sliding along the frozen pond on his little bare paws. He’s havin’ a great time. He’s smiling and has his little skullcap on. Lucy walks up and slides out onto the pond with her skates on, and Snoopy doing a little twirl, slides up right in front of her. She says to him, ‘That’s not skating, that’s sliding.’ And he just stands there and looks up at her as she goes on with her lecture, ‘You don’t have any skates on. Skating is when you have skates on. You’re not skating at all. YOU’RE JUST SLIDING!’
Snoopy finally walks off with his little feet to the side and says, ‘How could I have been so stupid. And I thought I was having fun.’”
The Tale of the Tardy Oxcart: And 1,501 other stories by Chuck Swindoll, pg. 163
ARE YOU EVER:
Have you ever wanted to return to your old ways and habits?
Have you ever wanted to give up and thought, “Who needs the church, I’ll believe in God and stay home?”
Perhaps you have been DISTRESSED by the world’s problems.
Perhaps the church’s past year of transition has DISCOURAGED you.
Perhaps your DISILLUSIONMENT in general over the years has caused you to remove yourself from involvement in the game (no longer serving in the church) but you have yet to leave the stadium (the church building).
If you have felt this way, you are not alone. Others have as well. We are going to look at some individuals this morning who might have been discouraged.
JOHN THE BAPTIST (J. B.)
Matt. 11:2-3 NIV When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”
John 6:66-68 NIV From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
2 Tim. 4:9-11 NIV Do your best to come to me quickly, for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.
DISCOURAGEMENT IS ONE OF SATAN’S MOST EFFECTIVE TOOLS:
“It was advertised that the devil was going to put his tools up for sale. On the date of the sale the tools were placed for public inspection, each being marked with its sale price. There were a treacherous lot of implements. Hatred, Envy, Jealousy, Doubt, Lying, Pride, and so on. Laid apart for the rest of the pile was a harmless-looking tool, well-torn and priced very high.
‘The name of the tool?’ asked one of the purchasers.
‘Oh,’ said the adversary, ‘That’s Discouragement.’
‘Why have you priced it so high?’
‘Because it is more useful to me than the others. I can pry open and get inside a person’s heart with that one, when I cannot get near him with other tools. Now once I get inside, I can make him do what I choose. It’s a badly worn tool, because I use it on almost everyone since few people know it belongs to me.’