The Failure of a Faulty Focus
A woman bought a parrot to keep her company but returned it the next day. "This bird doesn’t talk," she told the owner. "Does he have a mirror in his cage?" he asked. "Parrots love mirrors. They see their reflection and start a conversation." The woman bought a mirror and left. The next day she returned; the bird still wasn’t talking. "How about a ladder? Parrots love ladders. A happy parrot is a talkative parrot." The woman bought a ladder and left. But the next day, she was back. "Does your parrot have a swing? No? Well, that’s the problem. Once he starts swinging, he’ll talk up a storm." The woman reluctantly bought a swing and left. When she walked into the store the next day, her countenance had changed. "The parrot died," she said. The pet storeowner was shocked. "I’m so sorry. Tell me, did he ever say a word?" he asked. "Yes, right before he died," the woman replied. "In a weak voice, he asked me, ’Don’t they sell any food at that pet store?’"
I. SAMSON: A FOCUS ON SEXUALITY Judges 14:1-3
A) Samson was not concerned with anything except what was pleasing to the eyes.
1) She was a pagan. He was not concerned with whether or not they had anything spiritual in common.
2) He would not listen to the advice given by his parents.
B) We live in a world of sexuality…T.V. commercials today contain more sexuality than prime time T.V. of my childhood.
C) This focus will lead to heartache:
1) 14Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” II Cor 6:14
2) Marriage is becoming one flesh—physically, emotionally, spiritually. A couple that marries into an unequally yoked situation has one third of their person (at least) that cannot be shared.
3) Affairs and promiscuous relationships, are a result of a focus on sexuality.
II. ACHAN: A FOCUS ON MATERIALISM Joshua 7:20-21
A) God had given clear instructions about the spoils from Jericho. 6:17-19
1) This was different from the normal practice of war in that day.
2) Notice that God’s instructions were given before a great victory.
Sometimes people begin to focus on materialism that begins as the blessings of God.
B) I like money….it is a good tool….money is not the root of all evil….but the love of it is.
1) Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. 5Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven. Prov 23:4
2) It is not a sin to be rich! It is a sin to focus on material things.
THERE WAS A CHURCH GROWING SO FAST IT RAN OUT OF PARKING SPACE. THEY WENT ACROSS THE STREET TO A SUPER-MARKET THAT WAS CLOSED ON SUNDAYS AND MADE A DEAL WITH THE OWNER OF THE SUPERMARKET TO USE THEIR PARKING LOT. THE OWNER OF THE SUPERMARKET SAID, "YOU CAN USE THE PARKING LOT 51 SUNDAYS OUT OF THE YEAR, BUT ON THE 52ND SUNDAY, I’M GOING TO CHAIN IT OFF." THE CHURCH PEOPLE WERE CONFUSED, "WHY? WE DON’T UNDERSTAND. WHY WOULD YOU LET US USE IN 51 TIME A YEAR AND CHAIN IT OFF THE 52ND?" THE STORE MANAGER REPLIED, "BECAUSE I NEVER WANT YOU TO FORGET THAT THE PARKING LOT BELONGS TO THE GROCERY STORE, NOT THE CHURCH."... Tom Evans
C) A focus on materialism will lead us to disobey God and deny that disobedience. Achan hid them because he was trying to hide his sin.
III. ANANIAS: A FOCUS ON HUMAN APPROVAL. Acts 5:1-11
A) This husband and wife were not struck dead because they didn’t give enough to God. They were judged because they lied to seek praise of man.
“I really cannot give you the formula for success. But I can give you the formula for failure. It’s this: Try to please everyone.” Source unknown
B) Do we want man’s approval more than God’s?
1) If we do it will turn us into a liar….Ill. man working in grocery store—boss said never tell them we don’t have something..tell them it is on order and then order it.
2) If we do it will hush our witness—Some people around you will not want to hear the truth about right and wrong…they will not want to hear about what Christ has done for you.
CONCL: The interesting thing is that if we will focus on a right relationship with God He will bless in all three of these areas. ---He will give us a spouse that will be pleasing.---He will bless us if we seek first the kingdom of God and practice biblical guidelines for finances.---He will surround us with people that will encourage our Christian walk.