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Proverbs 4:23, 25-26
A mountain man from the Ozarks in Arkansas had come to town for groceries, which the clerk was wrapping in a newspaper.
"Don't tear the paper," the mountain man pleaded, "I want the gals to read it to me when I get home."
"You mean you can read."
"No, I never learned to read. But I can figger!
So when I come to a signpost along the road, I can tell how far to a place, but I don't know where to."
There is nothing more important than knowing where you want to go!
If a football player doesn't know where the goalposts are, his teammates had better look for a player who does.
In the business of living, direction and goalposts are important.
We rush hither and yon, day after day, year after year.
What does it mean?
We are busy doing what?
Many, if they were to stop and evaluate their activities, would find that they are busy being busy
and without purpose or direction in their lives.
Many are like the man who made a 200-yard-dash to catch a bus, and when on the last ounce of energy he landed
on the step of the bus and quickly asked the driver, "Where is this bus going?"
Here are three questions which might help you to determine your direction.
- Where are you going?
- Where are your goalposts?
- Is your direction clear?
Are you willing to wait for success in its own time?
One sign of immaturity is impatience.
We want what we want right now.
The great goals of life are not gained overnight.
- The infant screams for his bottle, not willing to wait until it is warmed.
Even if it gives him stomach cramps, he wants it right now.
- The child uses his allowance for junk or cheap toys rather than save it for something more lasting and of greater value.
- And there will be high school graduates unwilling to spend four more years of study in college to prepare
for something better.
They will settle for that job to get immediate benefits, such as that new super sports car and snazzy clothes.
- And there will be those who are not willing to wait for love and marriage and a satisfactory, legitimate sex relationship.
So, they become playboys or playgirls who look for irresponsible playmates
whom they may exploit sexually for their own immediate pleasure.
And even later, when love and marriage come, such relationships as these
cause guilt to lay heavy on the soul because these involvements are not what God intended.
Are you willing to be dependent upon others?
"Wait right there," you say, "I have had to be dependent on others all my life,
I'm trying to be independent.
I'm trying to test my wings."
And so you should.
The years should have been years of growing independence from your parents, and rebellion, within reasonable bounds,
is certainly not unreasonable.
But the Bible says, "No man liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself." (Romans 14:7)
If you trust in your own resources, your own cleverness, your own self-righteousness,
- You must recognize constituted authority, be it the law of the land, the administration of your college
or your boss on your job.
- And you would always be wise to continue to seek and heed the counsel of your parents
who have made tremendous contributions to your life.
- Most important -- you cannot afford to declare your independence from God.
you are on a collision course with disaster.
So, be willing to be dependent.
We need each other.
Are you capable of making important decisions?
Unless you know how to say, "No," and when to say, "Yes," you're not prepared
for the next big step in your life.
Are you more concerned that people like you than you are in doing what's right?
If the question, "What will people think?" is more important than,
"What is right?" or "What is the will of God?" -- then you have lost your sense of priorities.
You must say, "No," with conviction when pressure is applied to you to deny God's will in your life
or do that which is untrue to yourself.
"I shall no longer ask myself if this or that is expedient,
But only if it is right. I shall do this,
Not because I am noble or unselfish,
But because I need for the rest of my journey
A star that will not play false to me,
A compass that will not lie."
Such unfailing help, you can find in God.
Now I do not wish to dampen the excitement of this great moment of your lives.
We are proud of you.
We will always be here for you with our love and prayers.
But I am obligated to remind you that the world isn't waiting for you.
- It isn't making room for you.
- It doesn't want you to conquer it.
I offer you a cause to which you may commit your life.
- If the world learns that you exist; you must make yourself known.
- If you find room, you must work to make your own place in this world.
- If you conquer your world, it will come by hard work, rigid discipline, proper preparation, and unconquerable faith.
It is service in God's kingdom.
I offer you a path, the will of God, that will open for you a place in the world
where you may fulfill the high ideas that throb in your heart.
As you stand today on the threshold of life's most thrilling opportunities, consider these things.
With only one life to live; let us live it for God who gave it to us!
Proverbs 4: 23, 25-26:
"Keep your heart with all vigilance: for from it flow the springs of life.
Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you,
take heed to the path of your feet then all your ways will be sure."
Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
Email Dr. White at email@example.com