Title: Idle hands are the devils workshop

Focus: Spiritual idleness in our lives causing discontent and unhappiness, so it is best to seek to serve God and others and bring the joy of God into our lives to empower and encourage us

Function: To motivate the hearers seek the Lord in ministering to others

Text: Ecclesiastes 4:5


Intro:
1.  Reflect on what has been happening over past several weeks
2.  Some of us not happy, discontent, some discontent, some have the blahís
3.  Unhapiness and blah's seemed to diminish that last several weeks.  Why?
4.  Want to explore that question this morning
5.  Have something to do with VBS?
6.  Would like to make several points this morning

I.  Idleness displaces joy
	A.  ďIdle hands are the devils workshopĒ
		1.  If I am idle, get in trouble, get unhappy, etc.
		2.  Not talking about just any kind of idleness
		3.  Talking about idle spirituality
	B.  Plenty of scriptures that have something to say about idleness
		1.  (Eccl 4:5) - Fool folds his hands & consumnes own flesh
			a.  Hey, what's eating at me?
			b.  It may be me because I am idle!!
		2.  Results of idleness:
			a.  (1 Tim 5:13) - Learn to be busybodies
			b.  (2 Sam 11:1) - David became busy body in the worst sort of way
			c.  See what can happen?
		3.  (Eccl 10:18) - Through indolence rafters sag, and through 
		      slackness the roof leaks
			a.  Where is Godís house?
			b.  We are Godís house, individual and collective
	C.  ILL:  Example of non-idleness
		1.  Thessalonian Church
			a.  2:19; 3:6; 4:1; 4:10
			b.  All Paul had to do was say keep on keeping on!
			c.  There is no hint a rebuke in this epistle
			d.  1:3 - The reason - they were not idle
		2.  Even in the Corinthian church with all their problems
			a.  What is one of the last thing Paul tells them?
			b.  (1 Cor 16:1-2) - Ministry!  Help poor saints
			c.  Work together on ministry to bring them together!
			d.  Rom 12:4ff - Giving is considered a spiritual gift!
	D.  If I am busy ministering, I wont have time to be self absorbed in my in my own
	      petty discontent
		1.  Whether it is donating money, resources, preparing trail 
		      mix, teaching, painting posters, sharing the Gospel
		2.  When serve God and others, it will help get rid of the blahís
		3.  Even taking a pie or waterballoon in the face at VBS will do wonders
		4.  Like Patch Adams - Part of Therapy is to help others

II.  Ministry displaces discontent
	A.  Joy and hapiness are important in America
		1.  Fudamental belief is the right to pursue happiness
		2.  Lasts 230 years many people pursued it, and not find it
		3.  Americans complain about little things more than others
	B.  The pursuit of happiness is a dead end
		1.  But (1 Thess 5:16) says we should right?
			a.  Rejoice always....for this is the will of God
			b.  If that is Godís will, shouldnít I pursue hapiness?
		2.  Ecclesiastes records one manís pursuit of happiness
			a.  Pursued it in every way
			b.  Not in pleasures, hard work, riches, family, wisdom
			c.  Conclusion?
				- DONíT PURSUE HAPPINESS
				- Fear God and keep his commands
			d.  How is that an answer!?
				- Shouldnít it say HOW that would make us happy?
				- Shouldnít it give examples of how it fulfills us?
				- But that is point, serving God is not self serving
		3.  Problem is that Solomon had it all backwards
			a.  (2 Sam 6:12-15) - Davidís joy was spontaneous
			b.  (Phil 1:12-18) - Paul didnít pursue joy
			c.  Joy and hapiness is a by-product of seeking God
		4.  (1 Tim 6:6-11) - Not the pursuit of joy, but the pursuit of God
	C.  ILL:  Wife moved with husband to desert army base
		1.  Hot in day, cold at night, dust on everything
		2.  No neighbors, just some indians who not speak english
		3.  She kept complaining to husband, husband not make her happy
		4.  Wrote letter to mother, she coming home
			a.  Mothers response:
			b.  2 looked out of prison bars, one saw mud, one saw stars
			c.  Daughter felt ashamed
		5.  Decided to make the best of it
			a.  Learned indian language and became freinds
			b.  Learned pottery and Indian cooking
			c.  Evenings filled with meals, friends, and games
		6.  One day she realized - HEY IíM HAPPY HERE
	D.  You canít pursue happiness, it is elusive
		1.  Instead, pursue God and happiness will find you
		2.  Pursue serving him, and serving others, and it will find you

III.  The Joy of the Lord displaces weakness
	A.  ILL:  Daughter to Dad - Is that Donkey a Christian? it has a long face
	B.  This image of Christians as unemotional or sad is wrong
		1.  Some believe that joy is frivolous
		2.  (Neh 8:8-12) - Joy of Lord is your strength, so they celebrated
		3.  (Phil 3:1) - To rejoice is a "safegaurd"
		4.  (Phil 4:13) - I can do all things through him ... joy and confidence go together
		5.  Spirit strengthens us with power in the inner man, Eph 3:16
			a.  One way Spirit does this is through joy.
			b.  Did I pull that out of thin air?  No
			c.  Gal 5:22 - "Joy" is the 2nd fruit of the Spirit
	C.  When so full of stuff, that it oozes out, better watch out
		1.  If get to close you will get some on you
		2.  Not talking about chocolate pie filling
		3.  Talking about being full of Godís joy - IT IS CONTAGIOUS
	D.  Joy is good, and empowering
		1.  Let us never quench the Spirit by quenching joy
		2.  This fruit of the Spirit gives an electricity that goes a long way

Concl
1.  ILL:  I knew a man who was not happy, so he stepped back, not involved
	a.  He periodically said, "I am just going to hold back until I can't stand it any more"
	b.  It didnít get any better, got worse
	c.  Became so bitter, angry, discontented, finally blew up at everyone
2.  ILL:  I also knew a woman
	a.  She asnít really all that happy
	b.  She was willing to work, so we pointed her in the right direction
	c.  She became the life of the party - everyone fed off of her joy
3.  I am not a sage, but letís see if I can add to this little proverb:
	Idle hands are the devils workshop
	Serving hands are the Lordís delight
4.  What kind of hands do you have?

5.  Invitation