Summary: An Illustrated Sermon to help people focus on the reality of getting back to our "First Love."
DIGGING IN THE COUCH
***For the presentation of this message, I set up my platform like a Living Room – complete with sofa, easy chairs, end and coffee tables, table lamps, nick-nacks, etc. I came in initially, as though ready to leave for church, and but unable to find my keys. I spent probably five minutes digging around looking for them. The “house” looked great on the outside, but when I began digging in the couch, all the junk was revealed. With small children, people understood finding Cherrios in the couch… the old Sippy Cup… Crayons… toys… the remote control… etc. My wife sat at the sound booth, and we bantered back and forth in a way that was comical, and broke the ice. If you email me, I’ll share some of the kinds of things we did just for the laugh at the beginning. The premise of the message is the lost keys. Once I find them, the "meat" of the message begins.***
You know, it’s a good thing that I found my keys. I’d be completely lost without them. Like the lady that loses her purse; the man who loses his wallet; I would be completely lost without my keys. I’d be locked out of my house. I’d be locked out of my car. I’d be locked out. I’d be stuck.
If the keys are lost, that’s the first order of business. Before I can do anything, before I can go anywhere, I have to find the keys. And a lot of times, I find them in some dumb place. They fell down behind the desk. Or they’ve slipped between the cushions on the couch. So what am I doing?
I’m on my hands and knees, under the table… behind the dresser… and even digging in the couch. That’s just what we do.
In Luke 15, Jesus mentions that if there was a woman who had ten pieces of silver, and LOST ONE. Jesus said, she would light a candle, and sweep the whole house diligently until she finds it. And when she does, she calls up all her friends, and her neighbors, and says, “Hey, let’s have us a party! I found that piece of silver that I lost.”
Today, we’re going to talk about “DIGGING IN THE COUCH.” Searching diligently for that thing lost until it’s found.
2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
I. The church has LOST SOMETHING…
Not Elton Woods Church specifically, but HIS CHURCH – the GLOBAL CHURCH. Something’s missing. Something’s not quite right. Something’s out of sorts. We have a church with structure, but without power. We have a church with rules, but no convictions. We have a church with money, but spiritually bankrupt. We have a church with talent, but lacking anointing. We have a church with history, but seemingly no future.
The church at Ephesus is the church to whom Jesus was talking. “I know thy works…” He knows. Jesus knows what the church in America is doing today; every dollar feeding the homeless; every cent propelling missions. Jesus knows.
He knows the working of His people. He knows their patience and how they have waited on His appearing. He knows how they’ve endeavored to walk in holiness. He knows those who walk in holiness and who can’t bear evil – HE KNOWS.
He knows how you’ve endured child of God -- how much patience you had. He knows how much you’ve labored for His name’s sake; how you haven’t fainted; how you’ve continued.
It would be great if the passage could stop there. It would be so wonderful if we didn’t have to read on. But a responsible handling of scripture requires that we read into the next line. We have to progress in the message that He’s trying to get across.