Summary: The parable of the boiling frog gives us great insight into how we gradually move into places and attitudes that are dangerous. We don’t dive right in. We slowly wade in. We start at the shallow end of the pool. And slowly we find ourselves getting in dee
INTRODUCTION / SERMONIC THEME
Opening Statement: Some time ago a book was written on church life called, "The Frog In The Kettle." It was an interesting title designed to call to mind how it is so easy to gradually drift into trouble. Perhaps you could subtitle the book "How To Boil A Frog." The way to boil a frog is not to put him in a pot of boiling water. If you drop him in the boiling water, he’ll jump out before he’s boiled. So you put him in a pot of cold water, and he’s perfectly comfortable. Then you put him on the stove, and little by little the water gets warm. It’s very pleasant at first. By the time it gets a little warmer, he is swimming around like he is in a frog jacuzzi. But finally, when it’s boiling, it’s too late. His strength has been gradually sapped, leaving him powerless to hop out. That’s how you boil a frog.
Transition: The parable of the boiling frog gives us great insight into how we gradually move into places and attitudes that are dangerous. We don’t dive right in. We slowly wade in. We start at the shallow end of the pool. And slowly we find ourselves getting in deeper and deeper. But it is so slow that we hardly realize it. Finally, we are in over our heads, struggling to find which way is up.
Title: The Frog in the Kettle
Explanation: That image is a fitting description of what can happen in a person’s life, especially the young who can slowly be molded into the shape of the world. High school and college graduates all over the nation face a multitude of decisions this time of year. The question that I would like to pose to all of us in general and to graduates in particular today is a question that we must answer over and over again throughout our lives.
Observation: Who or what are we going to love?
Key Word: We are engaged in a battle today. The New Testament identifies for us a THREE-FOLD ENEMY that is designed to challenge our love and impede our spiritual progress. The NT also gives what our response should be to this unholy trinity in order to maintain our love for God.
I. We are to Flee the World
A. Exposition: Meet Public Enemy #1 – The World. The way of the world seeks to seduce or pull our hearts away from God.
1. The Message renders 1 John 2:15-17 …
Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world – want your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important – has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out – but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.
2. New English says…
2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him;
The Greek negative prohibition me with the present active imperative verb means either stop doing something or do not have the habit of doing it.
2:16 because all that is in the world (the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and
the arrogance produced by material possessions) is not from the Father, but is from the world.
Three WORLDLY ATTITUDES to avoid:
Lust – preoccupation with gratifying physical desires. It is natural, God-given cravings out of balance. It is a craving that drives us to excess. What is being referred to
here is how we allow a desire for food, or drink, or sex, or any other legitimate human need to control us. These things begin to be our focus. We become connoisseurs of these pleasures and live for them. We are to flee lust, and by contrast, pursue self-control.
Materialism – craving and accumulating things. Lust pushes us into a never satisfied state of being. Did you know your eyes have an appetite? Have you heard the
expression, "feast your eyes on this." The eyes have an appetite. It is through the eyes, for the most part, that our thoughts are formed. What we see determines to a great extend what we think. In other words, what we look at and focus upon in this life will greatly determine the direction of our life. So, this old world does everything it can to appeal to you through the lust of the eyes. We are to flee materialism, and by contrast, we are to pursue a spirit of generosity.
Pride – obsession with one’s status or importance. Someone has well-said, "We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like!" We are to flee pride, and by contrast, value humble service in whatever role God places us. We are servants, not those who are to be served.