KJV Sermon Outlines
Free To Fail
Matthew 25:24-25; Philippians 4:13
Matthew 25:25 “And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the
earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.” and Philippians 4:13 “I can
do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” are two very
different statements. One was made by a man who was afraid to fail and
did nothing. The other was made by a man who was free to fail and did
As far as the biblical record is concerned, some of the greatest
achievements in the history of God’s kingdom have come from very
ordinary, imperfect people who have overcome failure to be used of God
in a significant way. Their lives model some biblical principles for
I. Do not try to hide or conceal your
A. Some people spend their lives trying to cover-up their mistakes.
1. They become “prisoners of pretense,” retreating into fabrication
2. Their entire lives become a charade, a great hypocrisy.
B. The first step in overcoming our failures is to admit them.
1. We must be willing to honestly confess them before God and seek his
forgiveness and restoration (1 John 1:8-9) “If we say that we have no
sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess
our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness”
2. If there is any place where we should be able to admit our
failures, it is the church. Christians are not perfect, just forgiven.
II. Do not be discouraged by your failures.
A. When you fail in life, you are in good company. Sir Walter Scott,
Thomas Edison, Richard Byrd, Walt Disney all were considered failures
before they went on to their greatest achievements.
B. In the Bible, too, we read of failures whom God took and used to
accomplish great things in his service.
1. He took a slave hiding as a fugitive from justice and used him to
deliver an entire nation from bondage.
2. He took a woman who failed in marriage seven times and used her to
win a city to the Savior.
3. He took a crooked tax collector and made him into an apostle and a
biographer of the Christ.
4. He took a man who failed Christ in his darkest hour, denying Him
three times, and used him to open the doors to the kingdom of God.
C. He can do the same thing in our lives. God does not easily give up
on His children. Like the tireless potter bending over the spoiled
clay, He yet desires to make something good and noble of our lives
III. Do not let fear of failure keep you from
attempting great things for God.
A. Some people are petrified at the thought of failure.
1. They would rather face anything than the ego shattering experience
of trying something and having it end in failure.
2. So they adopt a “play-it-safe” philosophy and end up not doing
anything at all. Just like the steward in the story of the talents
they bury their potential in the ground and end up standing before
their Master with little in their hands.
B. It is not until we are free to fail that we are free to succeed.
1. No one was more free to fail than Jesus. It is impossible to look
like a success when you are hanging on a cross. Yet he let it happen.
In selfless abandonment to the will of God. He was free to fail in the
eyes of man that He might succeed in the eyes of God.
2. If the church cannot risk failure in the sight of men, how can we
succeed in the sight of God?
In Christ we are called to be secure enough in God’s grace to conquer
our fear of failure. We are called to be free enough in our faith to
take the risks that bring reward.
Abraham Lincoln suffered a string of failures before he was elected to
the presidency. His country store went out of business. As a young
lawyer he had trouble getting clients. He was defeated in his
campaigns for the state legislature, the House of Representatives, the
Senate and the Vice Presidency. Yet very few, if any, Americans have
had more impact on our history than he.
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