Summary: Philip Yancey wrote about trying to explain a life of spiritual ecstasy to a person who spends all day taking care of a cranky, bedwetting Alzheimer’s parent. There’s gotta’ be more to life.

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Play a clip of Stacie Orrico’s music video, "More to Life" – fade after second line

LIFE. The word conjures up a flood of ideas. Marilyn Meberb pushes the buttons of our first reaction to the word LIFE. “Cornered. Boxed in. On our last leg. In a pickle. Between a rock and a hard place. Sitting on a powder keg. Out of options. Nowhere to turn. At the end of our rope. At our wits’ end.” She cites Webster as defining wits’ end as “to have our back against the wall.”

My mother said more times than she cares to remember, "I’m at my wits end!" My two brothers made life very difficult for my mom!

“There’s gotta’ be more…”

Philip Yancey, simply a fascinating author, slaps us awake to reality. He wrote in “Reaching for the Invisible God”, of the senselessness of trying “to explain a life of spiritual ecstasy to a person who spends all day taking care of a cranky, bedwetting Alzheimer’s parent…”

Whether the situation is light, surface stuff or the deep tough stuff, many have been known to feel and cry, “There’s gotta’ be more to life."

God extends to you and me some LIFE LESSONS to help us through!

LAST WEEK – finished the “I AM” sayings of Jesus.

Three spoke of LIFE

- John 6:35 – I AM the Bread of LIFE

- John 14:6 – I AM the Way, the Truth, the LIFE

- John 11:25 – I AM the Resurrection & the LIFE

LIFE has always been God’s design

- Genesis 1 – “Let there be”; “and there was!”

- Genesis 2:7 – breathed into man and he became a living being

- “Never godlier than when you give” has been an oft quoted phrase. Another one is worthy of attention, though I cannot remember the author. It is, “We are never godlier than when we create!”

- LIFE – GOD LIFE – defined: Sensitive awareness of God touching you and affecting your world through His presence.

- Our text is written against the backdrop of an intellectual; a man, Nicodemus, who was a member of the Court that condemned Jesus (though he himself argued in his defense)

- Nicodemus was honest in his questions (“how can this be?” v.9), careful in his interaction – came by night. Not cowardice but intrigued and must give this undivided evaluation.

- Led to Jesus declaring that two things must take place to have this LIFE: (1) People must repent and see their need and 2) there is a Divine part that only God can play. It is called, as coined by G. Campbell Morgan (English- preaching Puritan-raised man), “the regeneration of the spirit of the {person}.”

This LIFE creates controversy and defies reason. It runs counter-cultural to human behaviour and priority. Where we loathe, God loves.

Have LIFE because God and Christ simply chose to GIVE it. Receiving something not deserved – just because…

No small transaction. Renowned author Philip Yancey notes, “when the Son of God became a human being he played by the rules: small towns do not treat kindly young boys who grow up with questionable paternity.” Meaning: many questions about who the father was. And so, says Yancey, “Jesus the Christ entered the world amid strife and terror, and spent his infancy hidden in Egypt as a refugee.”

Evangelist, preacher and scholar, John R.W. Stott tells us that “our sins were the obstacle preventing us from receiving the gift (LIFE) he wanted to give us. So they had to be removed before it could be bestowed.” God gave us grace before he could give us his gift! What love!!

Let me draw your attention to John 3:16 and the phrase “This is why: so that NO ONE need be destroyed”

Being destroyed does not always involve waiting for “life after death” and find out we didn’t make the cut and are separated from God. LIFE can be destroyed by simply wasting it on personal pursuits and preferences and ignoring God’s design in the process. The Bible calls this CARNAL versus SPIRITUAL living.

Those who are SPIRITUAL or know satisfying LIFE, REAL LIFE, are those who live the way Galatians 5:24 (The Message) speaks of. “Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified.” On the other hand, the LIFE destroyed, lost, is called CARNAL. It means this (Romans 13:11-14, The Message): “But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God…Be up and awake to what God is doing!.. We can’t afford to waste a minute…grabbing everything in sight.”

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