Summary: 1- Maintaining the body 2- Maintaining the faith 3- Maintaining the church
INTRO.- ILL.- "The hardest thing about milking cows," observed a farmer, " is that they never stay milked."
This is true for many things. Many things in life have to be done over and over, again and again. The job is never really done.
ILL.- It’s like the two mothers who were discussing their household duties and one said, “Do you feel that housework is below you?” The other said, “NO, I FEEL IT IS BEYOND ME.”
I’m sure that’s how some mothers feel about life especially when they have four kids and it seems like all they ever do is wash clothes. IT’S A NEVER-ENDING PROCESS. And so is cooking and cleaning house. It’s never a “done deal.”
Most things in life require continual maintenance, upkeep or work.
ILL.- Several months back I trimmed the bushes in front of the church. It did a number on my back, but I was glad to get the job done. I figured that would take care of those bushes until this fall. WRONG! Boy, was I wrong! It was just a couple of months and they were sprouting all over the place. And thank God, during our VBS, Ray Sandy trimmed those bushes again.
DON’T YOU JUST LOVE THE SUMMER MONTHS? Continual trimming, mowing, pruning, watering, etc.
Maintenance is a part of our lives. Always will be. And if certain things are not maintained they will break down.
ILL.- Some years ago I drove a 1990 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme with over 100,000 miles on it. One time I told Shane that my motor was making noise. I said it sounded like the valve tappets were rattling. Shane said, “Dad, did you check your oil?” I said, “No, it doesn’t use oil.” However, I went out and checked my oil and it didn’t even register on the dipstick. I could hardly believe it. I just happened to have some oil and put two quarts in the engine and it just barely showed on the dipstick. Later, I discovered that I had an oil leak that I didn’t know about.
I learned something from that deal. Check my oil occasionally. Regular maintenance is vitally important! If I had not checked my oil and discovered how low it was I could have possibly burned up my motor. Regular maintenance can save a person lots of heartaches, headaches, time, energy, and money.
Phil. 2:12 “…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” I don’t believe that anybody can work their way into heaven. This is what God’s grace is all about. We can never do enough to save ourselves, but as saved people we must work!
Eph. 2:10 “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Even though we are saved and headed for heaven, we must continue to work “at” our salvation.
John 5:17 Jesus said, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working."
If both God the Father and God the Son are working, what makes us think that we shouldn’t work?
Brothers and sisters, it seems like our work is never done in life. That is, our spiritual work should never be done. We should constantly maintain what we have so we don’t lose it and even work to build on it.
ILL.- In the course of their conversation at a dinner party, Albert Einstein’s young neighbor asked the white-haired scientist, "What are you actually by profession?" "I devote myself to the study of physics," Einstein replied. The girl looked at him in astonishment. "You mean to say you study physics at your age?" she exclaimed. "I finished mine a year ago."
Einstein never stopped working at what he did. The same must be true of us in the spiritual realm. We all must continue to work at our salvation, maintaining, keeping at it, etc.
PROP.- In this message I want to talk about three important areas of life that must be maintained or worked at.
1- Maintaining the body
2- Maintaining the faith
3- Maintaining the church
I. MAINTAINING THE BODY
ILL.- Baseball pitcher Dizzy Dean was the first to admit that he wasn’t that smart. On being enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953, he said, “I want to thank the good Lord for giving me a strong right arm, a strong back, and a weak mind.”
Brothers and sisters, no matter what you’ve been given: a strong arm or a weak arm, a strong back or a weak back, a strong mind or a weak mind, it still comes from God!
Ps. 139:13-14 “For you (God) created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”