Sermon Illustrations
Posted by Douglas on Aug 11, 2006

Today I did something I'd never done before in my life. I ran out of gas. I was on my way to teach a Vacation Bible School at a church about 35 minutes away. I'd been going every morning this week. On Monday I glanced at the gas gauge and said: "Oh, plenty of gas." On Tuesday I looked at it again and said: "Still plenty of gas."

And then I never even thought about it for the rest of the week.

Pretty embarrassing to have to call someone to come with five gallons of gas to get me going again! :-/

But as I was sitting there by the side of the road, with the hazard lights blinking, waiting to be rescued, something occurred to me.

Despite the fact that I'd never done it before in my life, the fact is that running out of gas is one of the easiest things in the world to do. You know why? Because all you have to do is stop thinking about it. That's it. Just stop thinking about it.

If you stop thinking about it, the only way you can not run out of gas is to never go anywhere! But if you want to go places, and you never think about your gas, sooner or later, you run out.

That made me think of the verse in Romans 12 that says:

12:2Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.Romans 12:2 (ESV)

Spiritually, it is very easy for us to run out of gas also. All it requires is that we stop thinking about it! Paul says that we should be "renewing our minds." That's the same idea as keeping your gas tank full of gas. How do we renew our minds? Our minds are renewed as we spend time in the company of other believers, who prod us on to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24). Our minds are renewed as we spend time reading and meditating on God's word, which can keep us going, just like milk keeps a baby going (1 Peter 2:2). Our minds are renewed as we think on our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who should be at the center of our attention (Hebrews 12:2).

If we want to go anywhere spiritually, we must keep our gas tank full. And the moment we stop thinking about it, the moment we stop renewing, we begin an emptying process, and we're headed for trouble.

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