Summary: Week 7 of the 9 Week sermon Series on What Does GOd Want.
If you put five monkeys in a cage and hang a banana on a string at the top of the cage with a ladder leading up to it, before long a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the monkeys with cold water. After a while, another monkey will make an attempt with the same response -- all of the monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Keep this up for several days. At this point you shouldn’t need anymore cold water. If, later, another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it even though no water sprays them. Now, remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted. Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm. Replace the third original monkey with a new one. The new one makes it to the stairs and is attacked as well. Two of the four monkeys that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey. After replacing the fourth and fifth original monkeys, all the monkeys which have been sprayed with cold water have been replaced. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs. Why not? "Because that’s the way it’s always been done around here." We have a wonderful thing called Christian freedom. It allows us to do anything we want within the realm of God’s permission. God has given us wisdom to be more than monkeys. It’s good to regularly consider why we worship the way that we do. What things are harmful? What things are beneficial? What can change? What shouldn’t change? Are there good bananas that we are not making use of, simply because they aren’t traditional?
I. According Paul in Romans 12:2 “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” If we look at the illustration in that light we can see if we begin to think is how we do things really pleasing to God. Are we truly gaining a closer relationship with him.
II) This brings us to our first question? What does God want to accomplish in this Scripture?
A)God is reminding us that we are first and foremost not useless. 1)That we all have a role to play in the church.
2)Paul compares us to a body.
3) Jesus compared us to being his bride.
4) The passage reminds us that each of us has a different role, gift, or talent. Bestowed on us as blessing to serve God in our own way.
5) Always keep in mind God did not create us, so that we could love him, but so that He could love us. And these talents are a reminder of that love.
III) Our second question again asks what does God want of us? What are we to be and do as a people of God?
A) Again use the gifts we have been blessed with to further God’s Kingdom
B) Seek out gifts from those around us. Some people with tremendous gifts feel they have nothing to offer. No body is worthless. Only Devil wants us to think that.
C) Since nobody is worthless no church is helpless. We all have something to bring to the table, we all have gift and ministries that glorify God. We all have the potential at furthering our ministries.
D) Don’t be like the monkeys who accepted that the perverse behavior of the “newer” monkeys was the accepted norm. Ministry can take all forms.
IV) Our final question goes as follows “If we took this passage seriously changes would we make in our Church to further the kingdom of God?
In many ways we do take this passage seriously, we recognize the gifts each of us have and we put them to use… However do not rest on your laurels…there is always more gifts to be found…a church or individual that truly takes this passage seriously will look outside the bounds of their own house for unrecognized gifts. As Paul said always be willing to lift each other up always be willing to tell those outside this congregation about their own gifts about how God sees them as useful and far from worthless.