Summary: This sermon is part 1 of the introduction to a sermon series based on the book One Month to Live by Kerry & Chris Shook

TITLE: Living out your Dash (Intro. To One Month to Live)

Text: John 10:10, James 4:14

Date: 5/23/09

Location: Sulphur Spring Baptist church

This I Memorial Day weekend, the weekend every year where we remember those who have gone on before us and especially those who were killed while fighting to protect our freedoms. Many of you have put flowers on your loved ones graves during the last few days, and have reminisced a little about what life was like when they were alive.

Cemetery’s like ours are very interesting, some of the graves back in this old section behind the church date back to the time of the Civil War, which took place in the 1860’s. I’ve got a friend who really enjoys walking around in old cemeteries and looking at the tombstones. Sometimes you can find out a lot about a person from their tombstone. Last Summer when we took a group to Eastern Kentucky, Alvin York, Jeff Fowler and myself got up early one morning and walked around a large cemetery at the top of the mountain. Several of the gravesites were decorated lavishly with lights, flowers, pictures and all kinds of little trinkets. It was obvious to us that some of the men who were buried there were Nascar fans, while others enjoyed hunting or fishing.

Looking at old tombstones, can at times give you a glimpse of what that person was like when they were alive, but when it comes right down to it each person’s life is encompassed in two dates and a dash, the day they were born, the day they died and the dash that separates those two dates.

When you think about it, we don’t have control over many things in life. We don’t get to decide who our parents are, when we were born, what time period we are going to live, or the culture we are going to face. We don’t get to decide the dates on our tombstones.

We don’t know when our time on this earth will be up. It could today, it could be next week or next year or for many of you here today it could be decades away. Only God knows. Our lives are in His hands. But there is one thing we have complete control over, and that’s how we are going to live our lives. In other words how we are going to use our dash.

That’s what I want to talk to you about today. This morning we honored our High School Graduates, who have come to one of those important milestones in their lives. Young people I want you to pay careful attention to this message today because if you will live your lives the principles I’m going to share with you today, I assure you that you won’t regret it.

I want to ask you a question this morning. If you knew you had one month to live, would you live your life differently than you are living it right now? During the next few Sunday’s I’m going to be preaching a series of sermons based on that idea.

In this series of sermons I want to challenge each one of you to live life as though you only had one month to live. I want to challenge you to live the next 30 days as if they were your last – not because you’re going to die in a month, Lord willing you are going to live many, many more months and years. The point is if you live the next 30 days as if they were your last then you’ll know how to really live! Over the next several weeks together we will discover four universal principles that will transform the question, “What would you do if you had one month to live”, into an amazing lifestyle of meaning and purpose.

These four universal principles can be seen in the life of Christ. Jesus is our Lord and Master and as His Disciples we are to do our best to become more like Him. It doesn’t happen overnight, but instead is a lifelong commitment.

Now with that in mind, I want to remind you of something. On several different occasions in the Scripture Jesus tried to prepare His Disciples for His impending death. Unlike us, Jesus knew when He would die. He knew the day and the hour they would nail him to the cross of Calvary. He knew because that’s why he came into the world.

So if Jesus knew when He was going to die, it would stand to reason that during that last month or so He would have focused his attention and efforts on the people and the things that meant the most to Him.

From a careful examination of His life we will discover four universal principles that will enable us to really live our dash instead of just wandering through life aimlessly. He lived passionately, He loved completely, He learned humbly and He left boldly. This morning we will examine the first two of these principles.

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