Summary: This sermon challenges the hearers to evaluate their lives and strive to experience the fullness of the Christian life.
“CRUISE CONTROL OR SELF-CONTROL” 2 Peter 1:1-11
INTRO – Hilton Wall’s new company car is a Dodge Charger. Got the big engine. Lot of power under the hood. Susan warned him to be careful or he would get a ticket. Told her, “It’s got cruise control, but I just hope I have self-control.”
I began chewing on that statement, thinking about how that applied to the Christian life. Cruise control on a car is nice to have. Some people don’t like to use it, but I can’t stand to drive on highway w/out it now that I’m used to it. Most cars have it as standard equipment now. Saves gas mileage by holding car at a steady speed. Can keep you from inadvertently speeding and getting a ticket. Can keep you from getting so tired while driving.
But can also be dangerous at times. Should not use it when it is raining or when roads are wet. Can cause tires to spin when you hit a puddle of water standing in the road. Most MS highways have plenty of water standing in the road during a rain! Can cause you to lose control and crash. Story of a lady in TX whose car began hydroplaning, then literally shot through the air and wrecked. Trooper estimated that she was going 10-15 mph faster through the air than the speed set on her cruise control.
So many people live with their spiritual lives just set on cruise control. Don’t give much thought to what they need to be doing or how they need to be living to please the Lord. Just cruising along the highway of life, waving at God every now and then just to keep their conscience from hurting them too badly, but not considering Him in any significant way in any area of their lives. Not “bad” people as we might define bad. Not murderers, rapists, child molesters, drunkards, drug abusers, or any of the other things that we might consider the “big” sins. They don’t do those things. Outward appearance is that they are a good, moral person. Good citizen. Pay their bills. Treat people fairly. Might even have a good attendance record at church. They’ve been saved, been baptized, got their name on the church roll, and their spiritual life is on cruise control. They’ve pushed all the right buttons and are safely cruising along in their spiritual life and don’t want anything or anyone to mess it up.
Can I tell you something? That’s not all there is to the Xn life. G doesn’t expect or want us to live a safe, predictable, cruise control life. Jesus’ life was far from safe and anything but predictable. The lives that the disciples lived after Jesus was gone were not safe and predictable. The believers in the early church were definitely not on cruise control. Paul wasn’t just cruising through life, resting on his accomplishments. Didn’t come to a resting place in his life where he thought, “Well, I’ve done enough for the Lord. Think I’m going to take a break for a while.” No, he lived with reckless abandon right up to the end of his dangerous life, a life that was constantly lived for the glory of His Savior. He had fought a good fight. He had finished his race. He had kept the faith.
Simon Peter, who wrote the verses that we are considering today, didn’t live a cruise control life. This is the same Simon Peter who jumped out of the boat so he would walk on the water with Jesus. This is the same Simon Peter who pulled out his sword and cut off the ear of the servant named Malchus when Jesus was being arrested. This is the same Simon Peter who was present when the HS came at Pentecost, who spoke to the crowds that had gathered when all the believers began speaking in other languages. Preached to them and over 3000 were saved. This is the same Simon Peter who was constantly put in jail b/c he just would shut his mouth, but kept talking about Jesus every chance he got. This is the same Simon Peter who stood up before the religious leaders who questioned the healing of a lame man in Acts 3-4. Acts 4:18-20: “Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."
How can we live in such a way so that we won’t engage our spiritual cruise control? How can we experience the fullness of the Xn life like G intended for us to experience?