Summary: A message emphasizing the importnace of the Gospel to people’s lives.
When you go shopping you have a choice – you could go to Sainsburys, or perhaps you prefer the Coop, you might like the trip to Asda or like us you may be spend you’re your hard earned cash at Tesco. Consumerism is alive and well – relax I’m not going to give one of those messages bemoaning globalisation etc.; I’m not that kind of preacher! What we tend to do is to choose the one that suits us best, perhaps it is cheaper or offers more choice, or it is perhaps more convenient. That consumerist approach is increasingly applied to the area of religion. Many people think (perhaps you do too) that whether you are a Buddhist or Hindu, Muslim or Christian is purely a matter of choice a bit like which supermarket you shop at, it doesn’t matter so long as you’re happy with your choice. I happen to think that idea is one of the most dangerous ideas that many people buy into. It reduces fundamental issues of life and death, existence and eternity to the level of whether you prefer Sainsbury Economy Beans or Tesco Value Beans! That’s why my sermon is entitled “It’s more important than Baked Beans!” The faith I have in Jesus Christ, the faith that Rebecca held to should not be trivilaised in that way. The issues involved are truly massive, as in the passage we just read - where we put our faith makes a massive difference, when we put our faith in Jesus Christ…
1. It gives you a purpose in life
Life without purpose isn’t a life worth living. It is no coincidence that the suicide rate is so high government are focussing on bringing it down as according to the Samaritans a conservative estimate is that there are 24,000 cases of attempted suicide by adolescents (of 10-19 years) each year in England and Wales, which is one attempt every 20 minutes. If you take God out of the equation, you don’t really have very many alternatives. The survivalist says, “The purpose of life is just to stay alive.” The Naturalist says, “The purpose of life is just to perpetuate itself.” The Hedonist writes, “The purpose of life is pleasure – eat, drink and be merry.” The Materialist says, “Life is all about the acquisition of things.” All of them will leave you with an empty feeling that there must be more to life and so, these are not really satisfying answers.
Atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell said, “Unless you assume the existence of God, the question of life’s meaning and purpose is irrelevant.” If there is no God, if we’re just a freak chance of nature, our life doesn’t matter & if somebody wants to take it so what! But there is a God who made us for a reason & a purpose. The only way we’re going to know that purpose is by looking to Him. If you want to know your purpose in life, start getting to know God. The more you get to know God, the more you’re going to understand the meaning and purpose of life. You’re not going to learn it on some talk show or in a magazine or in a seminar or in the tealeaves – but by getting to know your Maker. Rebecca discovered that, we have too; we know that God has a purpose for our lives and that he has a purpose for Elizabeth too. Only faith in God can do that.