Summary: Our church’s theme for the year.

Live It Up! 2006 Theme 1-29-06

John 10:10

Intro. If you got the news that you only had 6 months to live…what would you do? Well, after the initial shock wore off you’d probably do what most of us would do. You’d start looking at life from a whole different perspective. You’d start asking questions that sound a lot like this one, “What makes my life really worth living?” Now that’s a great question. In fact it’s really 2 great questions put into one. Is what I’m doing with my life worth all the time and effort I’m putting into it? And if it’s not then what in the world can I do about it? What I want you to hear this morning is that you don’t have to wait until you get bad news before you start asking these kinds of questions. The truth is, you’d better ask these questions on a regular basis if you’re serious about living life to the fullest. You may not know it but Jesus wants your life to count for something; he wants your life to be worth living. Jesus is so serious about your life being worth the effort that in Jn.10:10 he said, “My purpose, the very reason I left heaven and came to earth is to give you life in all its fullness.” Let me rephrase that verse for you - Jesus wants you and me to Live It Up!

Each year in January I preach a sermon that sets up the theme for the New Year. This year it’s all about learning how to Live It Up! We’ve already seen that living life to the fullest is at the heart of God’s purpose for you and me; He truly wants us to live a life that’s worth the effort. So the big question for us this year is how do we do it? How do we really Live It Up? I’ve thought about that question a lot lately. And I believe there are at least 4 things we need to do THIS YEAR if we want to live life to the fullest. Now you may not be aware of it but the bible teaches us that you live BEST when you give MOST. So if we really want to live it up then the first thing we’ve got to learn is how to give it up. I know that the world says you’re really living it up when you’re getting instead of giving. But in the spiritual realm that simply isn’t the truth. That’s why Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive. Since Jesus said we ought to be givers instead of receivers don’t you think it makes good sense to ask ourselves, what kinds of things should we be giving? This year I want to suggest that you give these 4 things.

I. Give yourself as a volunteer. Key word: Service

Did you know that God created you with the capacity and the innate desire to be a volunteer? Deep down inside every one of us there’s a desire to be a world-changer, a difference maker, a player on the field of eternity. Paul says it this way in Eph. 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them My purpose, the very reason I left heaven and came to earth is to give you life in all its fullness.”.” Now you can certainly suffocate that desire with selfishness or stifle it with the demands of your job or even ignore it and simply play dumb. But deep down inside where it really counts…you want to make a difference in this world and you want people to know that your life was worth something. One of the best ways of doing that is to volunteer your services for ministry. Every person who attends this church has a choice to make. You can continue to be a taker, always wanting something more from the church or you can choose to join the adventure of ministry and start giving yourself to God. W/o volunteers here at The Mount the praise music you here every Sunday wouldn’t be the same, the loving faces that greet your children wouldn’t be there, the countless sweaters and coats passed out through our clothes closet would simply gather dust, the international students who need to learn conversational English wouldn’t stand a chance, the Kidstuf ministry would literally collapse and the seekers that need someone to invite them to church would never hear about the love of Christ. Some of you maybe thinking, “well if church already has so many volunteers then why should I bother?” Let me give you a few reasons why it’s so important for you to volunteer. 1). Serving others is the foundation of our faith. Jesus said, “And since I, the Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.” John 13:14-15 (NLT) One of the most important things you can do as a xian is to serve others – and it doesn’t matter whether it’s sweeping floors, changing diapers, mowing grass, working computers or singing a solo. God looks at your heart, not your ability. 2). Volunteering for ministry counters the culture of consumerism that’s destroying the church from the inside out. I know the church is designed to meet needs. But after you’ve been part of the church for a while its time to stop clamoring for the church to feed me, teach me, pray for me, heal me, fix my kids, mend my marriage and make me happy. Some of you need to step up to the plate and start giving yourself to the Kingdom. 3). Volunteering adds value to your life. God didn’t create the church to be a spectator sport. He wants you to participate, to throw yourself into the ring and get busy. I’m convinced that you will always feel like an outsider in the church until you decide to volunteer for service. That’s where the adventure really begins. So if you want to live it up this year, let me suggest that the first thing you should do is find a ministry you want to try and go for it – volunteer your services.

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