Summary: Part 3 of this series showing us how to have a "Super Sized Life." This message deals with the last key, getting plugged into a church family.
“Super Sized Life” part 3 (Getting Plugged In)
Brian A. Moon
A young woman called Nancy had a disability and was confined to a wheelchair, yet she developed a unique ministry to hurting and lonely people. She placed an ad in the local newspaper that read: "If you are lonely or have a problem, call me. I am in a wheelchair and seldom get out. We can share our problems with each other. Just call. I’d love to talk."
Each week at least 30 calls come into her, and she spends her day counseling and comforting people. When asked how she became disabled, she said, "By trying to commit suicide. I was living alone and had no friends. I hated my job and was constantly depressed. So I decided to jump from the window of my flat, but instead of being killed, I ended up in the hospital, paralyzed from the waist down. That second night in the hospital Jesus appeared to me and told me that I’d had a healthy body and a crippled soul, but from then on I would have a crippled body and a healthy soul. I gave my life to Christ right there and then. When I got out of the hospital I tried to think of how a woman like me in a wheelchair could do some good, and I came up with the idea of putting an ad in the paper, and the rest, as they say, is history."
Our world is filled with lonely, hurting people just like Nancy. Many of us have even experienced what it is like to be hurting, alone, and living without any joy. We have been to the bottom of it all, the end of our rope, the pit of despair, and maybe even had thoughts of ending our own lives like Nancy did. Right now as we speak somewhere, in some dark corner, there is a teenage girl and a lonely 30-year-old man attempting to take their lives because it hurts so much to live. Our world is often times a place that has no joy and no happiness. In fact we feel as though we are joy deprived most of the time. But if you have been here for the past two weeks you will remember a quote that Jesus Christ made, it was this:
John 10:10 “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance”
Circle the word enjoy in that verse.
We have been talking about how to find the “Super Sized Life,” one that is extreme and fun, and fulfilling to live. We are not supposed to live a life of despair and joylessness, Jesus Christ came so that we can have and enjoy life. In that story that I told in the beginning, Nancy said that Jesus came in her darkest hour and gave her a new life, a new hope, and an amazing joy doing something very special; passing on the joy that she had been given. That is a perfect picture of the final key to finding the “Super Sized Life”, it is Getting Plugged In… “Getting plugged into what,” you are probably asking yourself. You see Jesus Christ came to this earth as a human being just like you and me, he experienced hurts and loneliness just like you and me, and he died, just like you and I will.
But here is the difference, when Jesus died on the cross he paid a debt that you and I owed. Let me explain, we all have a thing God calls sin in our lives. We all have messed up and done things that are wrong. These things are what cause evil things like loneliness, and joylessness in our lives because sin separates us from God. But when Jesus Christ, God’s only son, died 2,000 years ago he died for us, that is he took our sin and our loneliness, and our joylessness and paid the price of death that they have.
That is not the end of the story though because Jesus rose from the dead, he defeated death and sin, along with loneliness and joylessness and now he offers that amazing new life to us. He offers it to people like Nancy, and you, and me, and to lonely and hurting people all over the world. One of the things Jesus did to accomplish this before he went back to be with God, is he set up what we know as the church. The church is the place that God hangs out, the place that Jesus power is given and the place people find hope and joy.
Now when I say that word church don’t think of a building think of this:
Acts 17:24 “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.” NASB