Summary: We do not want to run the race alone. There are great blessings that come with running with a partner.
• SLIDE #1
• Last week we started looking at the Amazing Race of life that we run.
• We learned that we need to know where we are going so we can win the race and knowing where we are going will help us to stay strong and focused.
• Today we are going to look at another aspect of our Amazing Race!
• If you have seen the show, one of the things that you will notice is that no one runs the race alone. There are teams of two that run together.
• The teams are sometimes husband and wife, some are other family members teamed together, and sometimes you will simply have two friends who are teamed up.
• I wonder why the show chose to make the race a team effort instead of an individual against individual.
• I think is makes the race more interesting.
• The race we run is full of adventure, intrigue, stress, and joy. During our race we will experience the full range of emotions.
• Today we are going to look at the how amazing our race can be with a spiritual partner.
• Our text today will be Ecclesiastes 4:7-12, if you would turn your bibles there.
• SLIDE #2
• We will begin in verses 7-8.
• Ecclesiastes 4:7-8 (ESV) 7 Again, I saw vanity under the sun: 8 one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, “For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?” This also is vanity and an unhappy business.
• SLIDE #3
• First let us look at the dangers of being a lone ranger.
I. THE DANGERS OF BEING A “LONE RANGER”. (7-8)
• There are a lot of bad things that can happen when we decide to try to run the race by ourselves.
• When I speak of running with a partner, I am not telling you that you need a spouse.
• I am talking about the person who is trying to run their race alone, without others around them.
• Not having spiritual partners around to run our with race can cause many pit falls. Let us examine just a few of them.
• SLIDE #4
1. We can become lonely.
• Lonely- Lone Ranger? Go figure.
• Look at verse 8. It speaks of the person who has no family around them. The writer of Ecclesiastes does not see this as a good thing.
• Verse 8 speaks of a person who literally is without one standing by his side, a second standing near him, i.e., without wife and without friend; also, as the words following show, without son and brother.
• Do you know there are a lot of fun activities we can do in life, than when done a lone lose their luster.
• I cannot imagine going out the play golf by myself. Who would laugh at my shots? I would not want to go fishing alone, who would see the one that got away?
• We had our Super Bowl Party, it made the great event of the Super Bowl even more enjoyable because there were others to share the moment with.
• Do you know of another activity that can be so much more enjoyable when we are with others, when we have a partner?
• The Amazing Race that we are all apart of!
• There can be many lonely moments in that race that can be overcome simply by having someone you can rely on to run with you.
• The person depicted in our passage is all alone.
• Do not let this happen to you. You need to find a spiritual partner to help you on the journey.
• Let us look at another pitfall of running the race by ourselves.
• SLIDE #5
2. We can become self-centered.
• As we stay in verse 8, there person in question has no one around them. What can happen to us when we have no one around us; no one to keep us accountable; no one who relies on us?
• Our tendency is to make it all about ourselves, to become self-centered.
• Verse 8 tells us this person’s eyes are never satisfied with riches. They can never get enough because it is all about them.
• Becoming the center of our existence can be one of the worst things that can happen to us.
• Everything can become magnified; we can lose proper perspective concerning problems and tough times.
• Having people to run the race with can help keep us from falling into the trap of being self-centered.