Summary: This Sermon discusses the unnecessary stress Christians bring on themselves by trying to be in control of life instead of letting God be in control.
Nine Most Used Words Of The Twentieth Century
July 29, 2004
I. I am going to try to deal with something in the next few weeks that is one of the main concerns of most people if not the main concern.
A. I do these series things because I think most of the issues of Christianity are too big to cover in one sermon.
1. If we are really going to get grip on what God wants, we have to look at it from more than one angle.
B. So what is the subject that covers a main area of people’s lives?
1. Loose ends!
2. Loose ends that disrupt, agitate, frustrate, stress out, and consume.
C. We desperately try to get caught up.
1. And, I’m speaking from experience here.
2. Your experience may not be just exactly like mine but I have a feeling you can relate.
3. Many mornings I get up determined to get caught up!
4. TODAY IS THE DAY!
5. So I set an impossible agenda and at the end of the day I am more stressed than I was, so the next day I am more determined to get caught up because there are so many loose ends...and you see the cycle, and you’re probably familiar with it.
D. I can honestly say that I am not as much that way as I used to be.
1. I have made a lot of progress in that area, and I hope that the conclusion that I came to will help you.
2. But, first let’s identify the problem some more.
E. Life in the Twentieth Century moves at warp four.
1. The junk mail piles up, while we feel junked out because there are important things that we forgot or haven’t had the time to do.
2. The phone rings off the wall and each ring creates a thing that has to be remembered and done, and we wonder how people used to have the time to sit on the porch and talk.
3. Even while I was writing this I remembered something that I had to stop and do before I forgot.
4. The list of unreturned calls grows, our schedules get loaded, we feel victimized by all the demands, guilty about the lack of time for family and friends, and stressed out because we need a little time for us to maintain our sanity.
5. And we all live with the illusion that we will get it all worked out, caught up, and all the loose ends tied down.
6. We want to tie up the loose ends, but the blasted things just won’t go away or stay tied up.
F. And a big part of the reason that happens is because the loose ends involve people.
1. Someone feels misunderstood, neglected, unimportant, or un-cared for.
2. RELATIONSHIPS TAKE TIME, AND THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH OF IT!
3. Never enough time to deal with all the needs of family, or work, and we get the gut wrenching feeling of being pulled in too many directions.
4. We feel all our loose ends flopping around inside us and after we have done our best to stretch ourselves in a all the directions, then SMACK another loose end that forgot about rakes our insides.
5. And if that is not enough more than things to do or people to see, or duties to fulfill, or details to take care of, the really big loose end is behind the equal sign.
6. The equal sign if you are wondering is the thing that is right in front of what we want our lives to equal up to when everything else is added up.
7. The things that we would like to do, that we feel we will never be able to do, or the things that we would like to accomplish in life that we see slipping away as we are pulled in all those other directions.
8. Now, let me ask you a question. Did I just describe your life?
9. If I did there is a one step solution to the problem.
G. You know the fact that we say our lives are at loose ends is a confession that we feel our lives are out of control.
1. The sails on our ship are untied and flapping in the breeze, and not grabbing at the power of the wind that we need to move us toward our self appointed destination.
II. That brings us to the nine words of desperation most frequently used in the Twentieth Century.
A. "IF I COULD JUST GET MY LIFE UNDER CONTROL!"
B. As hard as we try we just can’t seem to control circumstances, people or ourselves, and we end up feeling that pressures and problems and people are controlling our lives, and we don’t know what to do about it. LOOSE ENDS!