Summary: This series will examine seven areas that we need to give up to God’s control if we are to follow Jesus in holistic community. This sermon begins by focusing on the importance of seven as a symbol of being complete or totally used by God.

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Revelation 1:17-20

September 7, 2008

A woman went into the doctor’s office for a condition that had been going on for 7 days. She was assigned to the new doctor in the office. At exactly 7 minutes after he went in to see her, she came running out of the room and screaming as she ran down the hall. The senior doctor in the office heard the commotion and corralled the woman. After calming her down, he got her to tell her what happened. The doctor stormed down the hallway to where the new doctor was calmly writing on the woman’s chart.

“What’s the matter with you? Mrs. Smith has been a patient here for decades. She has seven children and now 7 grandchildren. She is 67 years old and you told her that she was pregnant? What’s the matter with you?” ranted the senior doctor.

Without looking up the new doctor asked, “Does she still have the hiccups?”

We are going to start a new series entitled 7UP. As I talked about in the summer, this series will focus on seven areas that make up a holistic community. These are seven areas that the follower of Jesus needs to give God the control over in OUR lives. Today we are going to look at the importance of the number seven in Judaism and Christianity. Then next week we will begin looking at each of the seven areas in turn.

Each of these seven areas has a corresponding symbol and also a corresponding deadly sin that they work to offset. So you can keep these in mind, here are the seven areas, their corresponding symbols, and the deadly sin that they offset:

Symbol Area Deadly Sin

Fire Spiritual Pride

Water Emotional Wrath

Oil (anointing) Physical Gluttony

Light Mental Lust

Soil Environmental Sloth

Air Social Envy

Metal (gold) Financial Greed

Now there are other areas that we might be able to identify that we could add or just talk about. And I have prayerfully considered some of these but I really believe in limiting these to seven and I think some of the other areas that we could come up with will be covered in one of these. Two examples might be vocation also called work and then recreation. These are two important areas of our lives but I believe that a combination of these areas encompass those areas. Work is covered under financial and environmental which offset the sins of greed and sloth. Recreation is covered under social, physical, and even could be addressed by financial and physical as well.

Speaking of work, Morris was an obnoxious mechanic but he was good at his job. One day he spotted the chief heart surgeon waiting to pick up his Mercedes. Wanting to prove that he was just as good as the doctor, he called the doctor over. "So, Mr. Fancy Doctor, look at dis here work. I ALSO open hearts, take valves out, grind ’em, put in new parts, and when I finish dis baby will purr like a kitten. So how come you get da big bucks, when you an’ me is doing basically da same work?" The surgeon leaned over and whispered to Morris the loudmouth mechanic, "Try doing it with the engine running."

So why seven? What is so important about the number seven?

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