Summary: A sermon based on Amos 6:1-7 about complacency.
Sermon for 9/12/2010
There was a Canada goose flying across the farm land of Kansas on a fall day. For whatever reason it had gotten separated from the rest of its flock. But as the goose flew it spied the pond of Farmer Jones. Farmer Jones had Toulouse geese in his pond. If you know anything about Toulouse geese – they are heavy bread – so heavy that they don’t fly. The Canada goose – even though it was a different shape and color then the other geese on the pond soon found that it was soon accepted and became part of the flock. He stayed for a day, then a week, then a month, and then it turned into the entire winter. Farmer Jones was married to a kind and gentle wife. Every day she would take a bucket of cracked corn out to the pond and would feed the geese. The Canada goose enjoyed the lifestyle.
Finally spring was approaching and the wild geese were flying north again. The goose looked up – he could hear the honks of geese flying by and he was stirred with a strange thrill to join his old comrades in flight. But try as he might he could not get off the ground. He had become so soft and heavy that he could not rise to be with his old friends and family. So he dropped back to the pond again and said to himself, “Oh, well, my life is safe here and the food is good.” But every fall and every spring when he heard the wild geese honking overhead, his eyes would gleam for a moment and he would flap his wings. He did this for many years until one day he paid no attention to them.
A. Complacency is a smug satisfaction with an existing situation and/or condition.
B. I grew up on a small farm in Northern Indiana and I loved my childhood. I wasn’t that interested in the Lord when I became a teenager. I was complacent in spiritual matters. The Lord allowed the situation to change when we moved to Indianapolis.
E. My longest ministry was at a church in North Carolina and that was for about 6 years. I enjoyed getting to know the people and to be there during their highs and lows of life. I looked forward to spending time developing relationships with them and to making contacts with friends and family that they knew and sharing the gospel with them. At the end of that ministry the leadership came to me and said that I was too complacent and that I needed a change.
F. If there was any complacency in me, the past couple of years have changed my heart and my outlook. I don’t believe I am the only one that has had the smug satisfaction with the status quo knocked out of me. The times they are a changing.
G. I believe the Lord is taking us out of our comfort zones whether we like it or not. A comfort zone is like one office chair that I had. There was a rut in the carpet on which that chair rested. No matter how I shifted positions, it seemed that the chair gravitated back to the same old spot. It wasn’t an uncomfortable position. It was familiar. It was kind of aggravating to think that I always seemed to sink back into the same old rut in that carpet. Sounds like a lesson for life.
H. Jesus will not be satisfied with followers who yearn for the same old familiar, predictable, comfortable ruts of mediocre living. That mode of thinking and living were not the picture of the early church.
Thesis: Does the Bible give us a picture of complacency? And why should we not be complacent?
I. A Biblical picture of complacency
Amos 6:1, 4-7
A. Amos ministered during a prosperous time in the life of the nations of Israel (north) and Judah (South). The long reign (41 years) of Jeroboam II was a time of wealth and expansion for the nation of Israel. Jeroboam the son of Joash was one of the better kings among the wicked kings - especially in a political and military sense - but he was still an ungodly man, committing the sins of his namesake Jeroboam.
B. King Uzziah (also Azariah) ruled over Judah for a long time (52 years). He was a godly king until later in his life when his pride got the best of him. He started building projects and organized the army. Under his leadership, the nation of Judah prospered greatly.
C. Overall this was a time of peace, prosperity and expansion for the Jews, God’s people.
D. Amos ministered in the northern nation of Israel. While many were doing well, the spiritual state of the nation was suffering terribly. One of the main problems was complacency. They had the best furniture and beds (lazy boys). They had the best food (great buffets). They had so much they were able to devote time to entertainment and music. They had the finest personal hygiene products and were able to put a lot of time and money into their appearance.