Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Temple Baptist Church - 9-26-2012
A. I want to begin tonight by saying that there is nothing wrong with enjoying life and the fruit of your labor!
Ecclesiastes 8:15 Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun. (God has given us much here in America. We have been blessed with abundance on every hand and I enjoy having a good time. I try to spend time with my family. I enjoy watching our congregation have things and take vacations.)
B. Having made that clear, we find that our text is not necessarily to our fleshly liking: “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” Though we are to enjoy the things that God has given us, we are to do so in moderation because these things are not eternal, they are temporal.
1. Our flesh may not like it but this is a very important verse. Life is made up of priorities and priorities are what make our choices. Therefore, life is full of choices and, in order to make those choices right, our priorities must be right.
2. The key to our verse for tonight is the last sentence: “The Lord is at hand.” You and I know that our Lord could come at any moment and the biblical command to us is to watch and pray. All that we desire and do is to be circumscribed by the promise and possibility of His soon coming.
Luke 21:31-34 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. (32) Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. (33) Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. (34) And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with ing, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
C. The word “Let” means that we have to allow moderation to be an important part of our lives. Moderation is not natural to the flesh as the flesh desires the things of this life with no regard to eternity. The world cannot have enough! It wants bigger homes, newer and more expensive automobiles, toys galore, etc.: and these things will never satisfy the desires of our flesh.
Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
D. The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) is manifested in three different aspects:
1. There are the inward aspects of love, joy, and peace.
2. There are the outward aspects of longsuffering, gentleness, and goodness.
3. There are the upward aspects of faith, meekness, and temperance. (The last of the upward aspects which are Godward is temperance: giving up the “excess” of Ephesians 5:18 for the filling of the Spirit of God. We cannot be filled with the Spirit when our lives are filled to excess with the pleasures of this life.)
E. Our moderation is to be KNOWN to all men. It is to be known to our brethren as well as to the world. I believe that one of the things that that are hurting evangelism and missions is the lack of moderation among the people of God.
1. We do not have time to win souls because we are too busy with the things of the world.
2. We do not have the money for missions because we are too busy buying the things that occupy our time and efforts.
1. Life’s Contemplation – The Purpose of Life - Luke 12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. (Eat, drink, and be merry but that is not the reason that we are here. God saved us with purpose in mind; otherwise, He would have saved us and taken us home. The Bible says, “Christ, who is our life.” Our life is not in what we have but who and why we are. Illustration: Mom.)
2. Life’s Choices – The Priority of Life - Matthew 6:31-33 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (32) (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. (33) But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Life is full of choices but eternity only has two. When we get up in the morning, we spend our day making choices: right or wrong. The choices we make have to do with our priorities. Right priorities makes for right choices. Wrong priorities makes for wrong ones.)
3. Life’s Contentment – The Pleasure of Life – 1 Timothy 6:5-11 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. (6) But godliness with contentment is great gain. (7) For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. (8) And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. (9) But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. (10) For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (11) But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. (I won’t preach fully on contentment right now, but contentment brings satisfaction and peace. The rich have no peace. My pleasure is in my Lord, family, and church family! I enjoy doing things but my life is found in what I am doing for the Lord, my family, and you.)
4. Life’s Compensation – The Payment of Life – 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; (18) While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (We may not have all that this world has to offer but one day, we will have the world! We are joint heirs with Christ of all that God has made. We will be rewarded at the Judgment Seat of Christ, during the millennial reign with Christ, and in eternity with Christ. It will be worth it all when we see Christ!)