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Take Advantage

Ecc. 2:24, 3:13, 5:18-19

 

 

If someone promised to buy you an amazing house free and clear, would you accept it?

 

How about an endless buffet of food, groceries, and supplies?  Would you take advantage?

 

If you could erase the mistakes of your lifetime, and have a second chance, wouldn’t you take advantage?

 

What if you could be made smarter or wiser than you know you really are.  Would you wave that magic wand?

 

We just enjoyed a great meal.  I’m glad you could take advantage.  The Bible says you should!  Can you believe it? 

 

James 1:17
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father…

Psalms 103:2
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
1 Timothy 6:17
…the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;

 

But the Bible says since much has been given to us, much is required.  And what does God require?  Simply for us to take advantage of all that has been given!  Shop around, you won’t find a better deal anywhere!

 

Why not take advantage?

 

Why not take advantage of the promises of God?

 

If someone promised to buy you an amazing house free and clear, would you accept it?

John 14:2-3
In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

 

How about an endless buffet of food, groceries, and supplies?  Would you take advantage?

Joel 2:26
And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.

 

It is beyond me how a thinking, rational person could not take advantage of the free gift of salvation offered to them by Christ.

1 John 2:25
And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.
John 11:25-26
He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

 

If you could erase the mistakes of your lifetime, and have a second chance, wouldn’t you take advantage?

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

 

I’ll bet that if we had a phone here that you knew would put you thru to God, where you could actually talk to Him, you would use it!

Jeremiah 33:3
Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
Isaiah 58:9
Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am.

Isaiah 65:24
And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
 

So, why don’t we take advantage of such a privilege of prayer?

 

If you were carrying a heavy bag of cement, and a strong man approached you and offered to carry it for you, would you avail yourself of the opportunity?

Psalms 55:22
Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

 

If being filled w/ the powerful Spirit of God was as simple as flipping a switch, would you flip it?

Luke 11:13
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

 

If someone discovered a secret recipe that would give you good things you want in life, would you write that recipe down and follow it?

Psalms 37:4
Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Psalms 21:2
Thou hast given him his heart's desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah.

 

What if you could be made smarter or wiser than you know you really are.  Would you wave that magic wand?

James 1:5
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

 

What if there was someone you could give money to, and they would always give you more back.  Would you cash in on that advantage?

Luke 6:38
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

You can’t out give God!  Now we know that is not the motive for giving.  We should give out of obedience, and should even desire to give, expecting nothing in return.  But for some reason God has included numerous promises in His Word that indicate we cannot out give Him.  Maybe He wants to see who will take advantage of His offer.

 

What if you could obtain a warranty that would insure your body would live longer?  Would you opt to add that to your life policy?

Proverbs 10:27
The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.

 

In the Star Wars prequel the young Anakin comes to believe he can actually cheat death, but many die as a result, including him.  But what if you really could—would you actually believe such a thing and try it?

John 8:51
Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.
Psalms 49:15
But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.

 

Why don’t we take advantage of what our God offers us?  Oh, but we do:

Romans 6:1
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  God forbid.

We take advantage of His grace when we treat it like permission to sin.  We take advantage of Him and His forgiveness when we continue in sin, willfully, rather than doing what is right.

We spit in that lovely face of forgiveness when we turn around and hold something against another, and won’t forgive them.

 

Don’t let Satan take advantage of you!

2 Corinthians 2:11
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

 

God wants us to take advantage of all the good things He offers to us.  Jesus took our sins as though He committed them, so we might be advantaged.  Can we choose to live a life of sin and crucify Him afresh?  Shall we take advantage of Him in this way?

 

Even when Christ ascended, leaving us here, He left us the advantage of the Holy Spirit, and He formed the church for our benefit.  Please let me make it clear—you should take advantage of your church!

 

Our church has been blessed with so much in so many ways.  Many churches are drying up and blowing away.  Many are canceling services and closing the doors.  I think there’s only one thing that could be harder on a church than having nothing, and that would be having much, but the people not taking advantage of it!

 

Luke 12:48
For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required:

 

What a shame it would be to have a beautiful meeting place, but seldom gather there.  No, we must take advantage!

 

Pity the church that saves money on the nursery when it could be ministering to young families.  What a shame it would be to have such a fabulous, growing children’s department and some to not bring their kids to it.  No, we must take advantage!

 

God forbid we have a beautiful altar but the carpet never have to be replaced because you never kneel there. 

 

When the chance to testify rolls around and you quench the Spirit and button your lip, you are robbing others of a blessing you should have taken advantage of.  And when we have a need for help in a dirty job, or one with no glory, much stress, and little reward, people should be jumping at the opportunity to do something that maybe only God Himself will see or appreciate.  What about an opening that could give you direct access to changing the life of a child.  Oh, how could you say no?!

 

What if we had a prayer service every week and not many would capitalize on a chance to touch heaven and then watch with satisfaction as more blessings fall?!  What if they got up and left the room instead of even listening to someone else pray? When it’s time for prayer requests on Wed. evening, and scores of others sit w/ pen and paper in hand, offering to pray for you needs, how could you not take advantage and let your requests be made known? 

 

How could you sing in the shower about raindrops that keep falling on your head but stand there in a worship time like petrified wood?

 

Imagine with me if there could be an organized system where you could write one check and someone would divide it up, according to your wishes to tithes, youth, kids, missionaries around the world, special projects or needs.  And what if you could get a record to write off taxes at the end of the year?  That would be a system to take advantage of!

 

What if a few gifted people would slave away in a hot kitchen, to be a blessing to many others for, say, a special meal?  Now that would be well worth it...unless of course, you didn’t come and take advantage.

 

Everyone will testify that our evening services are the best—best spirit, atmosphere.  I know it’s where our meaty teaching is.  It’s clearly where we have the best fellowship and the closest friendships, when we let our hair down!  Wouldn’t it be tragic for some to choose the wrong service and only come on Sunday mornings?  Doesn’t it make you wish you could just place in their heart what they are missing, knowing they’d never miss again?!  I mean, the morning service is our evangelistic service, mostly for the unsaved, it's the milk for the spiritually immature, and also for visitors and those seeking a church.  How sad it would be for some to rob themselves of a blessing by not taking advantage of the best we have to offer in the evening services.  And then there’s small groups in the Sunday School hour—it’s your chance to dig deeper, share verbally, and all with a small cross section you have the most in common with...what a support group.  We must take advantage!

 

How about when you have to work, or in nursery, or you are sick or out of town?  I’ll tell you what churches should do:  they should record the service, offer the printed text, the audio, or, wow, wouldn’t the video be cool?  Now that’s a great idea!  Oh, but how shameful it would be if when you missed you still didn’t take advantage of all God had supplied right before your eyes!  The only way that could get worse would be if tens of thousands outside our area would take the advantage, but you wouldn’t...now that would be one royal slap in the face of the God who has given us so many advantages...if only we would take them.

 

There’s so much to take advantage of.  Including this invitation:

 

God offers you a life worth living, with a new purpose and joy, and an eternal life insurance policy that comes with a retirement plan that is out of this world in a mansion custom designed for you!  You’ve got good sense, I know it...come and take advantage!

 

Can you imagine a church like we’ve talked about today allowing YOU to actually become a member?  I assure you, we would enjoy the opportunity of talking with you about that...will you come?

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