Summary: Four things you must do to find real joy and happiness and meaning in life.
“Finding Real Meaning In Life”
March 18, 2007
Years ago on a TV show, a guest appeared that was a body builder. As he entered the stage with his huge muscular body the crowd went crazy as the body builder began to flex his muscles and show his power. The first question asked of him was this: “What do you use all those muscles for?” Without answering, the body builder again stood up and began flexing his muscles while the crowd cheered wildly.
A second time, the question was asked, “What do you do with those muscles?” Again, the body builder flexed his muscles and the crowd became almost ecstatic. After asking three times, “What do you do with all those muscles?” the body builder just sat in silence. He had no answers. The man was all power but his power had no purpose other than to show off and bring attention to himself.
This week I was channel surfing and stopped for a moment on a show called “The Man Whose Arm Blew Up”. It was about a guy who took steroids to build up his muscles. He was so successful at it that his arms were as big as my thighs. Unfortunately, getting that big had consequences – and they weren’t all good. One of his arms literally blew apart. His purpose was to have the biggest arms in the world. He succeeded – but realized a little late that it wasn’t much of a purpose.
I was reading this week that ten percent of the British people believe they would be better off dead, according to a survey. One in four people said they were unhappy in their jobs, while one in three felt exhausted, unappreciated, or underpaid.
Christine Webber, the psychotherapist who carried out the survey, said: "Sadly, it comes as no surprise to me that so many people are unhappy at home and work. It seems that people’s lives do not live up to their extremely high expectations. It is particularly worrying to see so many people dwelling on morbid thoughts, with a large proportion just plainly exhausted by life."
Some of you older folks may remember a song called “Alfie” I never cared too much about the song, but the first line always got my attention. It goes:
“What’s it all about, Alfie? Is it just for the moment we live? What’s it all about when you sort it out, Alfie?”
A lot of people are wondering what life is all about. Even, Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived wondered about the meaning of life. He started out the book of Ecclesiastes by saying,
"Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless." Ecc 1:2
This morning I want to share with you some things that will make your life more meaningful. In fact, I believe that these things are the reason we live. It’s what we are all about. If we neglect them life is empty and meaningless and wasted. If we will do them – life will be fulfilling and happy and have purpose.
The first thing we must do for our life to have meaning is to discover God and grow in our relationship with Him. Last Wednesday, in our study of “The Purpose Driven Church, Rick Warren said,
“Genuine spiritual maturity includes having a heart that worships and praises God.”
When Jesus was asked what the greatest command in all of Scripture was He quoted Deuteronomy 6:5 and said,
’You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ Matt 22:37 (NLT)
You were created to love God. No matter how successful you are in life; you may have fame and fortunate; you may be one of Hollywood’s brightest and best; you may have all the money of a Bill Gates or the political power of the president to affect the world – but if you do not have a loving relationship with Jesus - your life will still be empty and unfulfilled. You will try to replace that emptiness with erotic pleasures or the best drugs and alcohol that money can buy. After finding that does work, you will try to fill that emptiness with activities and good deeds and creativity, like Solomon did. But as Solomon found out – it won’t work. Why? Because you were designed to be happy; you were created for the purpose - of friendship with God. If you remove that element from your life it will always be empty and purposeless and sad.
So the first thing to do to have real joy in life; the first thing to do to find real fulfillment in life, is to discover Jesus. And He isn’t very far off. Jesus said,
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.” Revelation 3:20-21