Sermon Title:  Keys to Success

In order to be truly successful, we must pursue godly wisdom & respect godly
authority as Jesus did.  As we mature, we also need to provide others the
example and training so they will have the desire to pursue godliness as Jesus
parents did for Jesus.

To be successful in life, we must pursue godliness by asking the right questions
of the right people respectfully and helping younger Christian to ask the right
questions and grow in godliness.

The desire to ask pertinent questions of the Bible and mature Christians and the
desire to share your experience and wisdom with others.

	- Identify sources of spiritual and moral authority in your life and reflect on
how you respect or donít respect them and how much you take advantage of
their wisdom and insight.
	- (As a parent, upperclassman, etc.,) identify someone you can befreind
and mentor as a Christian and plan to spend time with them and be an
encouragement and example for them

Here is a suggestion to offer.  Start a notebook of hard questions, whether from
the Bible or questions on how to deal with certain situations.  The notebook will
not let you forget the questions.  Then seek out guidance from scripture and a
trusted source of godly wisdom (parent, elder, teacher, minister, freind) and
record your insights from them, and from what your learn from experience.

Text:  Luke 2:40-52

Scripture Reading:  Eccl 10:10


1.  Do you want to be a success?
	a.  What will it take?  
	b.  Money?  Knowing right people?  Being int the right place?  Having the 
	     right things?
2.  Text:  Luke 2:40-52
	a.  Twice - Luke says Jesus grew healthy and strong
	b.  Jesus is still portrayed as a model
		- So far, Jesus has been a model in how he was born
		- We know he is a model in his adult life
		- Luke shows that he is a model even as a child
	c.  Jesus was successful - Grew in wisdom, stature, favor with God & men
3. From this text, we can glean the keys to true success

I.  Reach for Godly wisdom
	A.  Jesus was passionate about learning the important things
		1.  He was not teaching, but listening and asking questions
			a.  So why were they astonished?
			b.  Had to be from the questions he asked
			c.  Must not have been typical 12 year old questions
		2.  Jesus response to parents
			a.  Lit:  It is necessary for me to be in the things of my father
			b.  ie:  Didnít you know where to find me?
			c.  Evidently already demonsrated passion for godliness
			d.  So they not find in at mall, park, arcade, etc. but temple
	B.  ILL: Young boy asking father all kind questions as father read paper
		1.  Why is the sky blue?  Why giraffes neck so long?  How come 
		     your hair is turning gray?  Why does it snow in the winter?
			a.  Father kept saying, ďI donít knowĒ
			b.  Boy asked - Do you mind me asking all these questions?
			c. Father said - Not at all, how else are you going to learn?
		2.  Jesus probably asked all kinds of questions of his father
			a.  Probably learned a lot - his parents were devout
			b.  But now he sees a special opportunity to learn more
			c.  He couldnít pass it up - I had to be in things of my father
	C.  We need to take advantage of every opportunity (Prov 2:1-5)
		1.  If you passionately pursue understanding, you will find it
		2.  Life is full of possible pursuits, but not better than wisdom
		3.  (Prov 3:13-18, 23-24) - Will lead to a secure, fulfilling life
		4.  Jesus grew in wisdom, stature, favor with God and men
	D.  So what opportunities and resources can you take advantage of?
		1.  Bible, classes, life groups, youth rallies, workshops, ltc
		2.  Questions:  Write them down, ask parents, preacher, elders....
		3.  Seek them out relentlessly as fountain of insight

II.  Respect Godly authority
	A.  ILL:  Man at airport waiting, sitting next to child
		1.  Started conversation
			a.  How old are you?  Answer: 4.  
			b.  When will you be 5?  Answer:  When through being 4
		2.  Jesus recognized he was not done being a child, not an adult
			a.  He went back in subjection to his parents
			b.  He respected them
			c.  If he hadnít, would not have been successful in growth
	B.  Why should we respect authority?
		1.  Rom 13:1-7 - All authority is ordained by God
			a.  When you dishonor authority, you dishonor God
			b.  When you honor authority, you honor God
			c.  1 Tim 5:1-2- That why says to treat older men as fathers,
			      and older women as mothers
		2.  Heb 13:17 - It is for your good
			a.  (Prov 26:8-12) - Someone gets hurt around a know it all
			b.  Prov 13:1 - A wise son accepts his fatherís discipline
			c.  Prov 16:31 - Gray head a crown of glory, found in the 
			     way of the righteous
			d.  Respect gray hair, or even no hair
				- If not, will have a hard life
	C.  ILL: An aged man, had to go live with his sonís family
		1.  Never sought out his wisdom, an inconvience
		2.  Drooled a little when eating, so put him in the corner
			a.  HAnd trembled more than usual, he dropped bowl
			b.  Frustrated, they gave him a wooden bowl
		3.  The young grandson whittling one day,
			a.  Father asked what he was doing
			b.  Making wooden bowl for you & mommy when you get old
		4.  Put grandpa at table, began to have relationship with him
			a.  Grandson fascinated with his stories
			b.  His insight had a deep impact on whole family
	D.  What can you do to respect authority?
		1.  Seek out their guidance, thatís what Jesus did
		2.  Express appreciate for them

III.  Remind others to stay sharp
	A.  Now we will look to Joseph and Mary 
		1.  Went to Passover every year
		2.  Did they have to?  Law stipulates all ďmalesĒ - Ex 23:17
			a.  Women and young children not required to go
			b.  Rabbiís said when boys become men, they go at 13
		3.  Mary and Jesus both going
			a.  Crucial to his spiritual development
			b.  It appears to be a family tradition
			c.  Clear message for parents, leaders, older Christians
	B.  All of us can help someone else to stay sharp
		1.  (Eph 4:15-16) - All of us have a part in building each other up
		2.  We may do it in different ways
			a.  Fathers, mothers, grandfathers, grandmothers
			b.  Teachers, elders, deacons, preachers
			c.  Life group members, freinds
		3.  Teens - you play a very important rold in this as well
			a.  David a Teen, Mary a teen, young Samuel
			b.  You are a part of the body
			c.  Teens can mentor those behind you
	C.  ILL: A skinny man who applied at lumberjack camp
		1.  Felled a tree faster than anyone in the camp - was hired
		2.  2 weeks later, he fired for not producing enough
			a.  What?  I work late and hard, short lunch break
			b.  Trusing his integrity, the foreman asked 
			      - How often you sharpen your axe?
		3.  Answer:  I havenít been, been too busy working for that
		4.  Lost effectiveness, no progress, because not stay sharp
	D.  Prov 27:17 - Iron sharpen iron, so one man sharpens another
		1.  It takes two, canít do this by yourself
		2.  Our singles group in the Air Force - Ocean Springs
			a.  We kept each other sharp, spent time together
			b.  Reminded each other to say & do right things
				- Stay away from drunken parties
				- I put in charge of welcoming new students 
					through the AMEN program
				- I would grab a couple of us and go find them
				- Did a lot of positive things together
			d.  Intense peer pressure - positive peer pressure
		3.  Whether adult or teen, we need to stay sharp
		4.  Who is sharpening you?  Who are you sharpening?

1.  Have you begun to lay your sword across the sharpening stone? (invitation)
2. True success means staying sharp
	a.  By reaching for godly wisdom
	b.  By respecting authority
3.  These all go hand in hand, take away one, the others will fall
4.  Do you need to be reaching or respecting more?  Discuss in life groups

Questions for Small Group Discussion