Summary: A message on how to live a Christian life in today’s world.
WHEN GOD OFFERS A BLANK CHECK
1 Kings 3:3-15
INTRO: ILLUS: When I was an adolescent, my family would go to Daytona Beach, Florida for vacation. We would have a convoy of cars making the trek. When we reached the Florida state line, we would begin to see Orange Juice stands along the highway. They offered “all you can drink Orange Juice for 10¢.” B. F. would say “you might as well leave out that jug because we are going to drink a lot of Orange Juice.”
We have many restaurants today that offer a buffet meal. Only a highly disciplined person eats moderately when the meal is free. If God were to ask; “What would you like me to give you?”, how would you respond? God gave Solomon a signed blank check (so to speak) and allowed him to write in the desired amount. But before he wrote in the amount Solomon took a long hard look.
I. SOLOMON LOOKED BACKWARD (v. 6).
David had been faithful and loyal to God. The Bible says of David “He was a man after God’s own heart.”
As we look back throughout our lives, who do we pattern our lives after? Who is it that has had the biggest influence upon us? Was it a Christian influence? Are we true to that influence?
II. SOLOMON LOOKED WITHIN (v. 7).
He acknowledged his youthfulness and immaturity, his lack of experience and skill for leadership. He was honest and fair, not overconfident.
ILLUS: Remember Gideon’s call to lead Israel (Judges 6:11 ff ).
As we look within our lives, do we have the humility of Solomon? Or, are we overconfident with a know-it-all attitude, not willing to listen to anyone?
III. SOLOMON LOOKED ABOUT HIM (v. 8).
He saw the enormity of the task, and the varied needs of the people. He did not shirk from the huge responsibility, but was honest enough to admit he needed help.
ILLUS: Two shoe salesmen sent to Africa at different times. One, the pessimist called back and said: “Get me out of here, no one here is wearing shoes.” The other, and optimist called back and said: “Send me all the shoes you can, no one here is wearing shoes.”
Our human nature sometimes will not allow us to admit that we need help. We don’t want to be dependent upon anyone, especially God.
IV. SOLOMON LOOKED UPWARD (v. 9).
He asked God for wisdom to rule. This pleased God, and God gave him other things as well. Remember! Solomon could have asked God for anything, but he chose to ask for wisdom.
ILLUS: We have all experienced one of our children trying to do something that was too difficult for them to do. They refused to ask for help, and refused the help that was offered to them.
How often do we look upward for the answer? We usually try to do it for ourselves, or either look everywhere else rather than turning to God.
CONC: To live a Christian life today is very difficult. But it is not impossible. If we will follow the example of Solomon, we will be successful.