Text: Ecclesiastes 10:16-20
I. Come the beginning of the year people begin thinking of weight-loss programs and exercise regimens.
A. It could be that with a new year, people want to get a new start in being healthier, but I suspect that all the overeating from Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Eve are strong contributors to the thoughts.
B. It is just a fact of life that things left on their own fall apart.
1. Maintenance is a requirement of life
2. The reason you regularly change the oil in your car, replace the tires, and have it checked, is because things breakdown.
3. You might feel that you can’t afford to do all that maintenance, but the fact is that you can’t afford not to maintain your vehicle.
II. Government needs maintenance
A. Solomon uses the illustration of a house - Ecclesiastes 10:18
1. If preventative maintenance is not done, major problems soon develop.
2. The same happens to a farm - Proverbs 24:30-34
3. Fixing things after it breaks is far more expensive that doing preventative maintenance.
B. What is interesting is that Solomon puts his comments about the decaying house in the middle of observations regarding government - Ecclesiastes 10:16-19
1. A government doesn’t stay fit on its own, it requires preventative maintenance
2. That is why good leaders are essential for a government to continue. Bad leaders let things slip.
III. Churches need maintenance
A. Yes, if a congregation owns a building, it needs upkeep, but a church isn’t a building, it is the people and they need upkeep as well.
B. That is why elders are needed to oversee - Hebrews 13:17
1. Their job is to preform spiritual maintenance
C. There has to be discipline in the church to keep the membership pure - I Corinthians 5:1-8
1. Left unattended, the problem spreads and the resulting mess is worse than if the initial problem was handled.
2. Discipline is hard to do. It isn’t pleasant. But it is necessary to maintain the body of Christ - II Thessalonians 3:14
D. There has to be teaching - Ephesians 4:11-16
1. People of all ages need to learn - Titus 2:1-8
2. Topics need to be tailored by age and gender – to match the needs of the audience - I John 2:12-14
E. The church is God’s house - I Timothy 3:15
1. Without preventative maintenance it will decay
2. Such was a theme in the letters to the churches of Asia - Revelation 2:4-5, 10, 16-17, 25-27; 3:3, 11, 19
3. Improve, make changes, hold on, preserve, overcome.
IV. Marriages need maintenance
A. Marriages are bound by God - Matthew 19:4-6
B. But they don’t just happen. Those in the marriage must put in effort to maintain it. Such is a theme of Song of Solomon - Song of Solomon 2:15
1. Problems are best dealt with early, while they are yet small
C. Strong marriages come about because those in it put in effort - Song of Solomon 8:6-7
D. Effort by both husband and wife - I Peter 3:1-7
V. You need maintenance
A. We need more than regular exercise - I Timothy 4:7-9
B. Sins need to be battled - II Corinthians 12:20-21
C. Spirituality needs to be increased - II Peter 1:5-11
D. Are you trying to just slide by? Or are you working to prevent problems before they arise?
Based on an article by Warren Berkley