I used to really want my life to matter- I wanted to make a difference. Then one day I was thinking about if the the Lord tarries, 100 years from now- Who would remember my name. Better yet- who’d remember anyones name in 100 years. Who would get more than a paragraph in a history book.
A handful of people. Pastors? Billy Graham would probably be the only pastor from this era to make the cut. The rest will be forgotten.
Which brings me to the title of Todays sermon- “A life worth living for”
READ Phil 1:19-21
19 For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain
What does it say
Paul is in prison. He’s in chains. People are talking bad about him. He’s looking at his current situation and says- Its all going to work out. I know it. I’ve got Jesus. I’ve got so much hope that I know, nothing is going to make me ashamed that I believed. Jesus is going to magnified in my body in my death or in my life. If I live, JESUS. If I die- I WIN!
Here’s what I get from this TITLE-A life worth living for
Life- man- it’s a weird thing. Only been here 40 years, but learned a few things
Few variations, but by and large, that describes most peoples lives in America.
Job. House. Cars. Hobbies. Vacations. Death. Buy what we don’t need with money we don’t have. Keep it for a few years, take to thrift store.
What makes life worth living? Its mostly fruitless and meaningless if its attached to the world.
Go to the movies. Sporting events. Concerts. Buy something. Go somewhere. Eat Something.
But its all fleeting. What was exciting last week is todays leftovers.
READ Ecc 1:9 That which has been is what will be,That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.10 Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us.11 There is no remembrance of former things, Nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come By those who will come after.
How do we find a life worth living for?
A life worth living for is in Jesus
In this world of activities, functions, food and escapes- How can we truly find a life worth living? What can our life be centered around that will give us focus, meaning and value?
I find it interesting how many famous people who have money and fame who have committed suicide or died from drug overdoses
Ernest Hemingway, Vincent Van Gogh, Kurt Cobain, Robin Williams, Marilyn Monroe Suicide
Chris Farley, Whitney Houston, Heath Ledger, Amy Winehouse, Elvis Presley, Overdose
Had everything the world says you need- Money, Fame, Stuff, etc. It wasn’t enough
Here we have Paul in Prison. In chains- He says
19 For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
I’m not sure what kind of chains that he was in- but Paul looks at them and says
I know that this will turn out for my deliverance
People were talking bad about him- “I know this will turn out for my deliverance”
I love reading Paul when he’s writing about Going through something
He’s got this complete clear vision of what He should be focused on in the midst of his trials and pains- He knows that things are going to turn out OK
Me? I make stuff up in my head to worry about- stuff that even if it came to pass it wouldn’t be that bad, but I work it up in my head to be much bigger than it is
Summer of 2014- Go on vacation- clunk in transmission- worried about it going out- driving 3k miles. It’s a 200k truck. I get it. But its not like I’m jumping out of a plane
I want Pauls perspective! I want every calamity that comes into my life to be under Christ!
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
1 peter 5:7 ESV Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight
How was Paul able to do this?
Through JESUS- Paul had met Jesus. Been forgiven of his sins. Transformed into a new creation
Paul knew that only in JESUS would he experience it all to “turn out”
What does it mean to you? You’ve got to have Jesus! An abiding relationship with him!
I believe a life centered on the person of Christ is a life worth living
A life centered on Sharing the gospel. Serving. Loving. Living.
Pauls sole existence was to life a life in Jesus!
A life worth living for is in the expectation
As I kid- I hated waiting for stuff. I remember one Christmas- my brother and I would come home from school and sit with exacto knives and open up all our presents to see what we got- we even opened the cards and spent the money before Christmas
Christmas morning wasn’t that exciting that year
Part of what makes Christmas so exciting is the expectation of it all- the longing for it
Paul says Phil1:20according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed
Pauls expectation is directly connected to the expectation and hope that he has in Jesus Christ
This is completely counter to the worlds experience
The world is centered around immediate gratification in everything
We do not want to wait for anything. Food. Life. Products. Christmas! They put up Christmas decorations in the middle of October at HD!
Like Paul- we as Christians- live life with a constant expectation
We expect Christ to return. We expect to be resurrected. We expect that whatever we are going through, that God will see us through
Proverbs 10:28 The hope of the righteous will be gladness, But the expectation of the wicked will perish
This is the opposite of the world’s view- The world is a NOW view
You’ll notice, the faster and quicker that the world Goes people don’t seem to be getting happier. Amazon in one day. Fly around the world in a day. People going on 5 hour flight to Hawaii- Mad as all! It takes about 2-3 weeks to sail to Hawaii- Whats one more hour?
The world wants satisfaction- live with expectation
Romans 8:18 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
2 Corinthians 4:18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
What does it mean to you?
Live with expectation! Have a future minded existence!
Think about Jesus Return. Think about Heaven. Think about What its going to be like when you’ve been delivered!
Learn to go through some stuff. Learn to endure
James 1: 2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience
John 16: 33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will[a] have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
There is nothing that you will not get through. There is nothing you cannot overcome if you are in Christ
Stay focused on Jesus- Stay focused on the Word
How? Its in what you listen to, watch, read, spend time with, how you spend your time etc
It must infiltrate every last part of your life if you are to be victorious
A life worth living for isn’t isn’t body centered
I believe that Christians should be healthy and be in shape. For no other reason than to be able to help people and have energy for ministry
But Paul did not put any confidence in his fleshly earth suit- it was not the center of his life
V 20 with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death
Paul says- if I live or if I die- This Body will be used to Magnify Jesus
Paul knew is that this body is just a temporary earthly vessel- Its not the end of who we are
This is completely different than the world- The world is totally body focused
Now listen- I go to the doctor. I exercise. I take supplements and try to eat right
But some people- live every single day focused on their body
What am I feeling? Does this hurt? Whats going on? What about this pain?
Let me go to the Doctor again and again and again and again
Consumer reports said if our $3 trillion health care sector were its own country, it would be the world’s fifth-largest economy. 2014 we spent 3.8 TRILLION dollars on Healthcare!
Billions and billions of dollars on Fitness, weight loss and athletics
Billions and billions spent on Clothes, Jewelry, plastic surgery, and appearance based products
What does it mean to you?
Don’t focus so much on your body! Don’t focus so much on your earth suit!
Please, be presentable. Bathed. Exercise and eat right- but don’t let it become idolatry!
Jesus said this- Luke 12:22 Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on.
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
We’re supposed to give our bodies over to God
1 cor 6: 19Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body[a] and in your spirit, which are God’s.
The world wants a perfect body- lives for the body- give your body to Jesus
A life worth living for sees death as gain
What is interesting in this body focused world we live in- we have turned our lives into an idol. We worship them- Its all about us and what we want and need
We definitely want to live as long as we can in this body-
Someone dies at 85 and people say “he went so soon” huh?
Mortality rate- How often people die decreased 60% from 35 to 2010
Life expectancy in 1900? 46 for men 48 for women. Steadily increasing US is about 78
Phil 1:2121 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
The world wants to live forever- don’t fear death- A Christian should not fear death
Now, that doesn’t mean we should go looking for it either- but its not the end- it’s a beginning
1 Corinthians 15:55 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”
Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
What does it mean to you?
Don’t fear death! Don’t worry about it! Paul says from prison- If I live- Its to preach Christ and to his glory- if I die- I get to be with Jesus- I win either way!
Again- don’t go out and start living on a steady diet of bacon grease, lucky strikes and condensed milk- but realize- Your life is not your own!
God brought you in! And he will take you out in HIS timing!
There is nothing in this world that can over take you- nothing that can extinguish you
Why? Because if you are in Christ- you are going to live forever!
That’s why Jesus said, John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
Living with an expectation of knowing that you will live with Christ forever, takes all the power away from this world that would attempt to steal your joy through your circumstance