Summary: By looking at Jehosphaphat, will invite the audience to explore where they are investing their lives

1. Title: Investing Where It Counts

2. Text: II Chronicles 17:3-19

3. Audience: Villa Heights Christian Church, AM crowd, May 21,2006, first in the series “The Kings and I”

4. Objectives:

-for the people to understand the relationship between God’s blessing and Jehoshaphat’s faithfulness

-for the people to feel confident that investing themselves in the Kingdom of God is a worthwhile use of what they have

-for the people to make commitments of their resources to honor God

5. When I finish my sermon I want my audience to do some “life inventory” and determine that their lives are going to be spent on godly pursuits

6. Type: expository / textual / biographical

7. Dominant Thought: A life invested in godliness is never wasted

8. Outline:

Intro: If I might be transparent – my greatest fear in life – I guess it’s a midlife crisis – is that I would somehow arrive at the end of my life and discover that the things to which I gave my energy and time and efforts were mostly wasted. – NISI DOMINUS FRUSTRA

Psalm 127:1-2 - (of Solomon) Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat-- for he grants sleep to those he loves.

That’s it – at the end of the day, I don’t want to find out that all my hard work was in vain. I don’t want to get up early, stay up late, work hard, and then learn it was pointless. There’s another part of us that simply wants our hard work to matter. This morning, I want to talk about some ways to make sure that happens.

I’m introducing a new series this morning: The Kings and I. Most people have heard of and remember Saul, David, and Solomon. Those 3 kings each served Israel, until about 931 BC when the kingdom of Israel split in 2. The 10 tribes of the north became known as Israel, and the 2 tribes of the South became Judah. Each of the 2 kingdoms had 19 kings from 931-596 BC. Israel didn’t have one good king. Judah had some good and some bad. I have placed some charts of these kings in the foyers if you’re interested in some further study on them or the books of Kings and Chronicles.

The first king we’re looking at this morning is Jehoshaphat. It’s a mouthful, but it means “Jehovah is Judge.” I’d like to look upon him as an investor this morning, take a look at what he accomplished, and consider what we ought to learn form his life.

I. Investments You Can’t Keep

If you were to consult with a financial advisor, one of the lists he might give you would be of investments to avoid. There are some investments that just don’t do well. Think about this – if there were an investment that I could guarantee you would turn out to be an absolute flop, would you put any money into it? If you were going on a new diet, and I convinced you that you not only were not going to lose weight, but that it would make you gain weight, would you go ahead with it? Reasonable people don’t invest in things that give a bad return… or do they?

Everyone of us can look back at something and say, “If I had that to do over, I’d do it differently.” Even a good king like Jehoshaphat can serve as an example of what not to do. So, let’s start there. Investments you can’t keep:

Alliances with evil people

This actually comes nearer to the end of his life:

2 Chronicles 20:35-37

Later, Jehoshaphat king of Judah made an alliance with Ahaziah king of Israel, who was guilty of wickedness. He agreed with him to construct a fleet of trading ships. After these were built at Ezion Geber, Eliezer son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, "Because you have made an alliance with Ahaziah, the LORD will destroy what you have made." The ships were wrecked and were not able to set sail to trade.

This is one of the few negatives we’re told about Jehoshaphat.

The problem goes back to a relationship – an alliance with the wrong person. Too many people get the idea that in order to fit in or be acceptable, they need to strike up a friendship with the right person. No matter what you think you’re gaining from a relationship with someone who drags you down spiritually, it’s an investment you won’t be able to keep. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard the same story about someone who’s life has ended up a mess: “He was a good kid, but then he started hanging around with the wrong crowd.”

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