Summary: We are called to never give up when we have God on our side
Don’t Give Up
August 24, 2002
A man decided to join a monastery and one of the rules of the group was that you were only allowed to speak two words every ten years. At the end of ten years he said, "Bad food!"
Ten more years went by and he said, "Hard bed!"
Finally, on his 30th anniversary with the brothers, he thundered, "I quit!" And the priest in charge responded, "You might as well. All you do is complain anyway."
Our society is filled with people who are just giving up on everything from their jobs to their marriages. We live in a society that just simply quits when the going gets tough and is constantly encouraging us to do the same thing. This morning I want to encourage you to stick it out and not try stopping.
I. God offers a Reason
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:7-10
A. We reap what we sow
1. When nothing is sown, nothing is reaped
a.) No effort means: no return. The simple fact is nothing plus nothing is still nothing.
b.) The sad fact is that our Christian lives are the same way. We expect that we will grow in our faith if do nothing. We don’t pray. We don’t study. We don’t put our hearts into worship or serving. Put nothing into your walk with Christ and you’ll get nothing out of your walk with Christ
2. When we sow good, we will reap good
a.) Farm Illustration
1.) How many times does a farmer sow corn and get wheat? Sow wheat and get soybeans? Sow soybeans and get alfalfa?
2.) How can we as Christians sow seeds of bitterness and reap peace? Sow seeds of discord and reap unity? Sow seeds of doubt and reap faith?
b.) What we sow is as important as sowing in the first place
B. We reproduce what we are
1. We give what we are
a.) No one can give what they do not have and no can give direction when they do not know the way. It is impossible for someone who is not a Christian to share the Christian faith because they don’t have it.
b.) Take a good look at yourself because this is what you are giving to others
2. God wants more
a.) God literally wants you to give Him everything that you are to become all that you can be. It is an all or nothing deal
b.) God cannot work in those areas of your life that you do not give over to Him.
II. God offers a Route
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14
A. We need to forget our past
1. The past cannot be changed
a.) The past is set in stone and there is no changing it. What’s done is done.
b.) The past holds all of your failures. All of the times that you’ve blown it. When looking at our failures we have two choices: repeat your failures over and over or learn from those failures
Q – How can we move beyond our failure when we hang on to them?
2. The past cannot be re-lived
a.) The past is not a place that you can live. The “good old days” cannot be regained. The past is water under the bridge.
b.) The past holds all of your successes. All of those times that you accomplished more than you thought possible. When looking at our successes we have two choices: you can try to re-live your past or you can build on the successes to discover new ones.
Q – How can we find new success for God’s kingdom when we dwell on the old successes?
B. We need to focus on our future
1. The future holds all new things