Summary: The Spirit-led life is always worth the cost

Matthew 16:24-28

Always Worth It

Woodlawn Baptist Church

October 1, 2006


Display Bud Light billboard on the projector. Have you seen this billboard? This week as I was driving back to Denison from Sherman, it caught my attention. No, not because I was thirsty for a beer, but because of its subtle message. I’ve read it many times, but for the first time I finally read it. You have probably seen the commercials advertising this idea. I got online yesterday and found some of them to watch. Admittedly they can be funny to watch, but what about this idea being promoted? As I drove along, I began to think about what that phrase, “Always Worth It” really says.

Is it always worth buying? Is it always worth drinking? Is it always worth it? Always? I wondered if we asked the two young boys I know whose father verbally and emotionally abuses them when he’s drunk would say “It’s always worth it.” I wondered if the wife whose husband spends more time hanging out with the guys knocking them back would say, “It’s always worth it.” I wonder if we were to look at the enormous costs to our taxpayers for medical care and the criminal justice system whether they would say, “It’s always worth it.”

We could go on and on. Is it really always worth it? Always? Now my intent today isn’t to preach about drinking or alcohol. In fact, you should know by now my position on drinking and drunkenness. If you don’t then we can discuss it later.

The truth of the matter is that it’s not always worth it when it comes to Bud Light, or any other intoxicating drink for that matter. But there is an intoxicator available to you that is worth everything you have, and IT, or HE is truly worth it all the time! In Ephesians 5:18, the apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesian believers,

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.”

In other words, don’t bother being intoxicated or controlled or influenced by some drink, but instead be intoxicated or controlled or influenced with the Spirit of God. Alcohol isn’t the issue at all – we can be intoxicated by a world of things. Some are intoxicated or controlled by their jobs, by dope, by the applause of man, by power or prestige or money. Some are intoxicated with religion, but even that is just a thing. The thing doesn’t matter.

We say by our choices that these things control us, that we’re captivated by them. What we don’t realize along the way is that subtly, little by little we begin to adopt an “It’s Always Worth It” attitude about them. For instance, some of you are controlled by your jobs, but is it always worth the hours you put in? Is it worth the cost you’re paying at home? You’re controlled by the applause of man, but is it worth the demands placed on you to get it? Think about the whole Fear Factor culture we’re living in that says It’s Always Worth It to get the pot of money, to get the fifteen minutes of fame, no matter what the cost. So you have people eating roaches and worms and doing outlandish stunts and abusing themselves to win the prize. That may be an extreme example, but it is the voice of our culture.

When Jesus was tempted, the real battle was whether He would be controlled by the three things Satan presented Him. Would He be controlled by food? Would He be controlled by power? Would He be controlled by great riches? God says that we’re not to waste our lives being captivated and controlled by the things that present themselves before us, but rather to be captivated and controlled and intoxicated with the Spirit of God, and that is always worth it!

As I’ve searched the Scriptures, I’ve found that the life that is controlled by the Holy Spirit is markedly different from the average life; it is above average if you will. In fact, there are two distinguishing marks of the life intoxicated by the Spirit of God that I want to share with you today. When your life is controlled by the Holy Spirit…when you are intoxicated with or captivated by the Holy Spirit, then…

Your Desire Will Be To Imitate Jesus Christ

Imitating Jesus Christ. That’s really what our lives ought to be about. Paul wrote about it frequently. Jesus talked about it. God commanded it. Every time you hear me say that God is after total life transformation in us I’m talking about imitating Jesus Christ. We ought to be like Him.

Just in this section of the book of Ephesians we’re given a great idea of what that means. Just look through chapter 5. Paul begins with a simple order. “Be ye therefore followers of God.” That word followers comes from a Greek word for mimic, or to imitate. How? Walk in love, like Christ. How did Christ love? He sacrificed His life for the good of others. Then we’re told to imitate Christ by living a holy life. Verse 3 says that we’re not to let any of those sins be named among us. That means we’re in control of our choices. It means that we’re responsible for living holy lives before God.

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