Summary: Tired of the hamster wheel? This is how to get off the wheel and start living according to His will!

Life to the Extreme

(Clip) Ken Hannah snowboards off cliffs, flies 40 feet straight up on a bicycle, and jumps out of airplanes on a snowboard. Someone once asked him how he learned to do all those incredible things.

He answered, “I’m an extreme person. When I was 6 years old I rode my bike down a flight of stairs. At 7 I jumped a dirt bike across a 10 foot ravine. When other kids were imagining they were superheroes flying thru the air. I was actually doing it.

Both my parents are Christians. They had great prayer lives praying for me. They mostly prayed that I would live. Well, God answered that prayer.

I’m a man who lives. Whether it’s serving God or surfing out of an airplane; extreme is the only way I know how to do it. I can’t imagine living life any other way.”

Most people cannot relate to Ken. Most of us are more like the story I heard about a hamster and its owner.

Each morning Sam hit the wheel, stopping only to snatch a bite to eat, He was driven by some ingrained belief that all his efforts were getting him somewhere.

Trudge, trudge, trudge, nibble, nibble, nibble.

With only an occasional treat to break the monotony.

That’s was Sam’s life.

And life for Sam’s pet hamster was almost as bad.

2000 years ago a man walked this earth, He was somewhat different than those around him. His life was much more like Ken’s than Sam’s. He didn’t compete in the X-Games. But his life was certainly extreme!

He was a man on a mission. So He lived every day w/purpose!

In John 10:10 (slide) Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it to the full."

Jesus came to give us what the Bible calls eternal life. “Zoe”. .

The life Jesus offers us isn’t just an eternal trudging around the hamster wheel of a boring human existence.

But “the hamster thing” does describe life for many people who see life as a series of days filled with boredom, tedium, routine or pain.

Illus. Nancy was a young woman, 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."

She received about 30 calls a week. She spent most of her day counseling and comforting people.

When she was asked how she became disabled, she told them, "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 apartment, but instead of being killed, I ended up in the hospital, paralyzed from the waist down. While I was in the hospital I felt Jesus telling me that I had always had a healthy body but a crippled soul. Now I would see the joys that I could experience with a crippled body but a healthy soul. I committed my life again to Jesus right then and there. When I got out of the hospital I tried to think of how a woman 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.

Right now as I speak somewhere, there’s a hurting teenager or a lonely 30 yr. old about to take their life because they’ve come to the conclusion that life stinks!

Jesus came to give us a better life than that!

Think about it, if life really stinks, then why would Jesus want us to have an eternal one?

Jesus offers more than daily struggle; he offers a full and exciting life. Jesus wants us to live an extreme life that doesn’t just settle for mundane existence. He offers life with a purpose.

A purpose makes things exciting! How many of us would go bowling if there were no pins at the end of the alley? Those pins give the game a purpose. Knock down as many as you can! My kids knock down one their thrilled!

Life is exciting when we discover its purpose.

Over the past 6 weeks I have talked w/you about God’s grace, spiritual growth, generosity, spiritual gifts, and small groups.

Each of these individually, is important. Take Grace for example. If we don’t understand God’s grace we might live with the impression that the things we do earn us the right to get into heaven.

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