Sermon: Living Life to the Fullest (5.8.22)
Chuck Swindoll once referenced an Alaskan road sign in a sermon. The sign said: “Pick your rut carefully, you’ll be in it for the next 200 miles.” Lots of people are in ruts and don’t even know it. Most of us tend to settle for predictable and comfortable lives – especially those of us who are Christians. We’re apt to believe that the more comfortable and predictable we are, the more Christian we are.
Research from 2021 indicates that Americans don’t generally think they are in a rut. In fact, 59.2% believe they are thriving. That’s pretty remarkable especially since we were still in the pandemic. What I found even more important was the data on what gave people satisfaction, The four categories are, in this order, friends, careers, spouses, and health. What struck me was the total lack of a spiritual component.
Very few of us dare to be bold with our lives and seize every day as a fresh gift from God. Ps. 118:24 – This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Instead of saying, “Good morning, Lord,” we say, “Good Lord, it’s morning!” Very few people roll out of bed in the morning with a fresh enthusiasm for the opportunities God presents for them that day.
What biblical guidance can we tap into in order to live life to the fullest? Let’s explore that today.
“Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. 5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.[a]
6 “Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be.
7 “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
1 Peter 3:10-12
“Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. 11 They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”[a]
When we are young, we like to count up to ages which represent coming milestones:
16-drver’s license, 21-bar time, 30-established with perhaps a job and a family.
It occurred to me when I turned 70 that I’m not counting up any longer. In fact, I’m counting down. The first challenge with counting down is you don’t know what the last number is. American’s live, on the average, to nearly age 80 (78.99 years actually). Is that what I’m counting down to? I’m having trouble with the 0.99 math, so perhaps not! I have a distant cousin who is 106. Is that a better number to count down to?
The reading from Psalm 39 is talks about something maybe we can all relate to. The verse says: “Show me the number of my days.” If you had that information, what would you do with it?
We are all born in God’s timing and according to His will for us. The Lord told Jeremiah “Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you, before you were born I set you apart.” We don’t have any control over our birth, but we do have the ability to thank God for where we are in this moment and time.
God knows exactly where we are, and He knows where we want to be. He knows the way. Regardless of the path you are on Jesus can start lead and guide you according to His perfect will. Jesus provides the moral, spiritual, vocational, and relational guidance we need.
A life well lived takes into account the gifts, skills, and traits we are given. When we recognize that God has given each of us a unique set of gifts and talents we are then challenged to use them to bless the Lord and to bless others.
If e accept that we have been born in the time and place of God’s choosing, and we recognize he has gifted us for His glory, then we are ready to make a difference now. At al the stages of life we are to minister to people of all ages of life. If you are still here, God has a purpose for you and something for you to do. Measure your time and find God’s plan and purpose for your life, at this time, at your age, and in this world.
Our desire, Father, is to be fully present—all there—wherever we are. We want to live to the hilt every situation we believe to be Your will. You have placed us in the twenty-first century, with our specific families, in our particular neighborhoods. May we live here, now, fully, completely, passionately. In our occupations, may we fulfill wholeheartedly our calling there as well. You have given us the joy of the fellowship of the saints in a local church. May we make the most of every opportunity to welcome others into it.
Lord God, deliver the body of Christ from becoming a museum full of aging memories—dusty, dull, irrelevant, and out of touch. At the same time, keep us attached to our past—to the great truths of Your timeless Word and to the great music of the ages. In all of this, may we stay in touch with our world today. The needs are enormous and numerous. Help us know how to build bridges across the moat that separates us from a needy world, so that we become a point of comfort and authenticity, a place of hope, a harbor of relief, and rescue for those who have lost their way.