Summary: This outline is designed to help you get the most out of your life.
Life-Line For Jesus Community Church 3/12/02
Lorenzo Nicholson Sr. Live your life to its fullest
James 4:14 “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.”
One of the most important issues that concern us all is addressed in this text. It is a question regarding our life. For what is your life? Following the question is an answer that causes the average person to think. “It is even a vapor that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.” Even in its short span of time, life would be very monotonous, like one unvarying tone, the same thing day in and day out if it did not present us with difficulties and challenge us with opportunities. You can only “live your life to its fullest” when you master difficulties and seize oppor-tunities.
The story is told of a man who was intending to explore the South Pole and needed a crew of men to work with him to work with him. They had to be men who had undergone tremendous struggles in life having mastered the difficulties and challenges.
As the story went, the man put an add in the paper that read like this: “men wanted for hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold weather, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful, honor and recognition in case of success.
Would anybody in his or her right mind seize an opportunity like this? Yes, thousands of people responded begging for the opportunity to face the challenge of such a venture.
In this lesson tonight I want to consider Philippians 3:13-15. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
Paul sets before us life’s greatest challenge: “live your life to its fullest. To do this you must take at least three steps:
I. You must forget those things of the past, those things that are behind you.
A. You must for get all of your past sins and failures.
1. Know of a certainty that God has forgiven you and that when he forgives he forgets.
B. You must forget your past sorrows and not only so but your successes as well. Successes are precious to your memory but they will hinder you future progress.
II. You must not become satisfied and complacent because the race is not yet won. Your have not yet finished your course. Say like Paul:
A. “… I count not myself to have apprehended: Don’t be dissatisfied with progress in your life but don’t be mesmerized by it either. You must be driven by a divine unction to improve.
B. Don’t be satisfied with the midget that’s within you but arouse the giant. Be all that you can be for God. “Live your life to its fullest.”
III. You must strive to maximize your future potential that lies ahead. Forgetting the past is not enough. You must be busy doing something else, “…reaching forth unto those things which are before.”
A. Verse 14 “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
B. You must consider three dimensions of life. The past, present and future. The past is over and done with; the future is yet to come. The present is where you change what could be into what should be.
C. The future is mystical; yet a opened door with difficulties and challenging opportunities. Decide to “live your life to its fullest” by seizing the opportunities to improve in every aspect of your life.
Conclusion: Faith, hope and prayer will help you to “live your life to its fullest.” Many people succeed because they are diligent in their efforts. I do not say that you have to do like Michelangelo, who is said to have slept in his clothes to avoid loosing precious time to dress at the dawning of a new day, but you press for the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Portions of this outline are from J.B. Fowler, Jr. The book entitled Illustrated Sermon Outlines.