Summary: This message tackles the problem of laziness.
Chico Alliance Church
We spent some time last week on the place of service (work) for the Lord.
Romans addresses both sides of the issue.
Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Romans 12:11
One can recognize fervency by the amount of time invested and energy expended.
To claim fervency for something you do not invest time or energy is fantasy. What things in your life would you say you are fervent about? How do you know? What differentiates things you fervently follow and those you don’t? There are several aspects of life where the Bible calls for fervency, diligence, time and energy.
I. DIFFERENCIATE AREAS CALLING FOR SPIRITUAL DILIGENCE
1. Our Love for The Lord
2. Our Character Development and spiritual growth
3. Our study of the Scriptures.
4. Our Obedience
5. Our Walk by the Power of the Spirit
6. Our prayer life
7. Our Love for One Another
8. Our Parenting
9. Our Giving to Needs of Others
10. Our Ministry in the lives of others
God created animals to illustrate life. Two of God’s animals illustrate this concept; the ant and the sloth.
II. DISCERN DISCIPLINE FROM THE ANT
Last week we urged you to gain insight by observing the ant as instructed in Proverbs.
Go to the ant, you slacker! Observe its ways and become wise. Without leader, administrator, or ruler, it prepares its provisions in summer; it gathers its food during harvest. Proverbs 6:6-8
1 -- Priorities. The ant knows what needs to be done.
2 -- Time Management. The ant knows when things should be done.
3 -- Motivation. The ant knows why things need to be done.
From the ant we learn to work without constant supervision.
From the ant we lean to plan and work for the future without the constant need for immediate gratification.
The sloth is a most interesting animal. It is a wonder that they even survive. It is a good thing they are vegetarian and have a very low metabolism.
III. DEAL WITH ANY TRACE OF MEDIOCRITY & LAZINESS
Webster defines the adjective lazy as follows:
Disinclined to action or exertion; adverse to labor; indolent, idle, slothful.
We normally view laziness from a purely physical aspect regarding someone who won't work. This is only one aspect of laziness. Just as God calls for diligence and zeal in a number of areas of spiritual life, He condemns laziness in some of those same spheres. Laziness describes the failure to exercise a conscious effort to move ahead in my Christian growth. Such a failure never remains static; we actually slide backwards. The writer to the Hebrews lamented the fact that he could no longer address many of the deeper concepts of the spiritual world because they had BECOME dull of hearing. That means they were once able but now no longer able to deal with the meatier issues of the word. The should have been teachers but now needed to return to kindergarten. They should have been feasting on porterhouse but now could only handle Pablum. Spiritual laziness describes a laze fare attitude toward the things of God. Who knows what opportunity I may not have the time to tackle tomorrow simply because I refused to accomplish today’s tasks.
A. The characteristics of laziness
1. He doesn't think he is lazy and has ample justification for his lack of diligence. He can always think of good logical excuses.
The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can give a discreet answer. Prov 26:16
The sluggard says, "There is a lion outside; I shall be slain in the streets." 22:13
Had a long day. There will be time later. Too busy for Lord now. I put in my devotions last week. I'll pray tonight.
2. He gets to be a sluggard gradually through small unchecked concessions to laziness.
"A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest-- and your poverty will come in like a vagabond, and your need like an armed man." 6:12
It won't hurt to miss reading one day. I’ll start Monday.
3. He fails to value the importance of time and seasons.
"The sluggard does not plow after the autumn, so he begs during the harvest and has nothing." 20:4
Why doesn't God do something? Why doesn't He bless me? When did I stop sowing and preparing the soil for harvest? We must do things when instructed.
If you are slack in the day of distress, your strength is limited. Proverbs 24:10
4. He loves sleep.
"As the door turns on its hinges, so the sluggard upon his bed." 26:4
"Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger." 19:15
"Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty." 20:13