Introduction.(Ecclesiastes 1:1-11). The last several months, as my family has been preparing for our move to Amarillo, I have come face to face with one of life’s inevitabilities - change. During my trips to Amarillo I have traveled streets which I have never gone down before, eaten places I have never eaten and done business where I had not before. After 10 years here, each time I go back to Lenexa I notice the same things about it -- the time will come when streets I have traveled everyday I won’t go down anymore -- places I have eaten, I won’t anymore (e.g. I have found no Middle Eastern Restaurant in Amarillo) -- I’ll have to change banks, change phones service, etc. While this is an unsettling thing, there are a number of lessons that such things (common to the human condition) teach us about our service to God. This evening I’d like for us to think about such things for a moment.
I. This World is Ever-Changing & Always-Temporary.
II. The Lord Stays the Same.
III. Faith is “An Anchor for the
Soul.” (Hebrews 6:13-20). A Modern Day Noah:
Some time ago a friend gave me a humorous e-mail
that imagines what it would be like of God chose today to destroy the word --
and chose a “Noah”to build an ark. God told Noah that he had 6 months to
build and ark before the rains started. At the end of six months God spoke to
Noah and said, “Noah, the rain is about to start, where is the ark?” A sad and
frustrated Noah, looked up and said, “forgive me Lord, I have run into all sorts
of trouble.” Noah continued, “the city demanded that I have a building permit.
The inspector is demanding that I install a sprinkler system. My neighbors
are claiming that I have violated the neighborhood zoning laws and height
limitations by building the ark in my yard. We are to go before the
Development Appeal Board to decide the matter. Then the Department of
Transportation demanded that a bond be posted for the future costs of moving power lines
and other overhead obstructions, in order to clear passage for the ark to move to
the sea. They didn’t believe when I said the sea would come to me. Wood
was another problem. The ban on cutting local trees to save endangered
species prevented me from getting enough. I told the environmentalists that this
would actually save these animals -- but they wouldn’t listen. I am being sued by
an “Animal Rights” group who claims that the pens inside the ark are cruel and
too restrictive. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is insisting that
I conduct an environmental impact study to determine how the construction
will impact the environment. The Department of Labor says that I can’t use my
sons to help me build the ark but I have to use licensed builders with
“ark-building” experience. Finally, the IRS seized my assets claiming that I was trying to
leave the country without paying the proper export tariffs. Please forgive me, at
the rate I will never finish the ark!!” Suddenly, the skies cleared and the sun
began to shine. Noah looked up in wonder and asked, “Lord, aren’t you going
to destroy the world?” “No,” the Lord said. “The government beat me too it.”
While this is humorous, it illustrates the trap we sometimes fall into of thinking that the nature of changes around us changes our responsibility to God. Believe me, on the day of judgement we will not be able to make the appeal this “Modern Day Noah”tried to make. We will be expected to have obeyed the Lord.
IV. Christians Must Guard Against Over-Attachment to the Things of This World.(I John 2:14-17).