Where the Convenience Mentality Leads

Where the Convenience Mentality LeadsText: Acts 24:24-25

Our culture values convenience. Making things convenient can either be good or bad – could increase efficiency/productivity or leads to laziness/dependence. But because convenience is so valued, we (as a society) accept the negative things that come with it. This mentality (always seeking what is most convenient) is especially dangerous in the realm of religion. This attitude will lead us away from serving the Lord – we will notice how this happens in this lesson.

Obeying God Only When Convenient

  • Willing to obey God, but not completely – only when it is easy, but will stop when it becomes difficult
  • Example: Felix (Acts 24:24-25) – Paul’s message was a call for Felix to repent and obey the gospel; this is urgent (cf. Acts 16:33); we do not want to be unprepared (Matthew 24:42-44); urgency trumps convenience
  • Example: the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16-22) – this young man appeared to be faithful to God; but he was materialistic (Matthew 6:24; Exodus 20:3); we must seek first the things of God (Matthew 6:33), not fit Him in when it’s convenient

Altering God’s Commands to Be More Convenient

  • Will appear to obey God, but have changed His instructions – based on personal preference/convenience
  • Example: Cain (Genesis 4:1-7) – Abel’s sacrifice was offered by faith (Hebrews 11:4), according to God’s instructions (Romans 10:17); regardless of how Cain’s sacrifice was wrong, it was easier for him to do what he did; God expects us to carefully follow His word (Leviticus 10:1-3), not to change worship for our sakes
  • Example: the people of Malachi’s day (Malachi 1:6-13) – specific instructions for the sacrifices (Deuteronomy 17:1); we must follow the pattern (Hebrews 8:5; cf. John 4:24); it takes effort to serve God acceptably (Malachi 1:13; Hebrews 12:3); not about personal convenience

Forsaking God for Something More Convenient

  • Could be religious or irreligious – not serving God or even attempting to appear as if they are
  • Example: Jeroboam (1 Kings 12:25-33) – Jeroboam had selfish motives (1 Kings 12:27), but he appealed to the people’s desire for convenience (1 Kings 12:28); obedience leads to God accepting us (Matthew 7:21-23; 15:9); we must not follow the more convenient way

We Must Be Willing to Do What Is Inconvenient

  • Our bodies are a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1) – we serve the Lord, not ourselves; we must be about what He wants, not what we want (Luke 9:23); following Christ will not always be convenient for us (Luke 9:57-62)
  • Examples of those who were willing to do what was inconvenient – Noah (Hebrews 11:7); Abraham (Hebrews 11:8-10); Moses (Hebrews 11:24-26); faithful Old Testament saints (Hebrews 11:32-38); Jesus’ disciples (Matthew 19:27)

Conclusion

  • We need to be doing the will of God, regardless of how convenient/inconvenient it is to do so
  • It will be worth it in the end, but we need to put our trust in God – patiently serve Him and wait for His promises
  • The narrow way is the difficult way (Matthew 7:13-14) – it is not the way of convenience; but it is the way to eternal life

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