Summary: Sloth is not just a slow animal on Zootopia, but is the failure to be good STEWARDS of the opportunities and blessings God gives us -- it's the failure of a LIFE, That's why it's listed as one of the Seven Deadly Sins.
Summer of Sin #3
A. HUMOR: Kids Can Sure Get the Wrong Idea
1. There was a boy who was lazy and couldn’t wake up early. His mom wanted to teach him a lesson about the benefits of waking up early. She said: “Son, I’m going to tell you a story and then I want you to tell me what you learned from it.” “Ok.”
2. Mom; “Imagine two birds. First bird always wakes up early and can find bugs to feed himself and his family. The second bird wakes up late every day and can’t find anything to eat. So what’s the moral of this story?”
3. Son; “It teaches me that the bugs that wake up early are the most likely to be eaten by the birds!”
4. We’re continuing our series on the “Summer of Sin” today on the Seven Deadly Sins. Today we’re examining “Sloth.”
B. WHAT IS SLOTH?
1. The term “sloth” conjures up images of the lazy animal on Youtube or the movie Zootopia, but historically, the church has taken sloth so seriously that they included it in their list of 7 deadly sins. Why? The church believes that sloth is the failure of a life; failure to be good STEWARDS of the opportunities and blessings God gives us, is that serious!
2. Sins are the bad things that we DO, but sloth is the sin of all the good things we DON’T do. Sloth is defined as the failure to do what needs to be done when it needs doing. Like the Kamikaze pilot who flew 17 missions (pause for laughter; he should’ve flown only one!).
3. Today – we’re looking at a “type of person,” called “the sluggard.” I’ve caught glimpses of the sluggard a time or two, especially in the mirror. The sluggard is a kind of cartoonish warning to all of us about slothfulness, laziness, & idleness – it affects all of us from time to time.
I. THE RUINED VINEYARD
A. DETERIORATION IS THE NATURAL OUTCOME
1. Everything, left to itself, tends to go to disintegration and deterioration. Have you ever bought a new car? As soon as you drive it off the dealer’s lot it deteriorates in value. It happens with purchased goods and it happens in relationships.
2. Anything we don’t keep up and work with tends to deteriorate, drift. When we settle for the path of least resistance – then tragedy begins to happen; hopes fade, dreams die, and we’re forced to abandon our potential. Sloth is the great enemy of God’s will for your life.
B. GOD’S WILL? BE PRODUCTIVE
1. God’s will is NOT deterioration, but to be productive. Prov. 24:30-32 says, “I went past the field of a sluggard, past the vineyard of someone who has no sense; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw.”
2. Have you ever seen a vineyard? A productive vineyard is a thing of beauty. It’s filled with activity – all the planting, vines, stakes, etc. Reality? Someone worked hard & made it happen.
3. The writer observed the opposite -- a vineyard that was a mess and the wall was falling down. The angst was, in that culture, it was a great blessing and privilege to own a piece of property that was capable of being cultivated. This was a picture of the failure of stewardship.
C. GOD GAVE YOU A VINEYARD
1. THIS IS MY ONE AND ONLY CHANCE AT EXISTENCE ON THIS PLANET. When you were born, GOD GAVE YOU YOUR OWN VINEYARD! You have a mind, talents, skills, relationships, resources, opportunities, you have a soul. Everyone gets a vineyard. This is your one and only chance.
2. The good news is you don’t have to do it all on your own. God says, “I will be with you, and in fact, I will do most of the heavy lifting.” But we have a choice: God won’t make anybody take action in their vineyard, you have to choose to do something with your life.
D. LOST POTENTIAL OF THE NEGLECTED VINEYARD
1. The writer says, “I was walking past this vineyard and I thought of what might have been, of all the potential that was lost.” A vineyard wasn’t just a blessing to the one who owned it, but to the whole community. They all got to eat and drink from it.
2. What a blessing the wasted vineyard could have been to the community, but it was lost. It fell tragically short of what it might have been. Why? Was there a fire, drought, or flood? No! It was simply neglect on the part of the vineyard owner.