Summary: This sermon deals with our committment to Christ and making our lives count by living the life Christ wants us to live rather than our own.
Make It Count
Let’s suppose for a moment you’ve just reached your thirty second birthday. You are called to the royal palace, and the people announce that you have been appointed king over the nation. All of a sudden you have unlimited wealth and power at your disposal. Almost anything you wanted you could have. People would live or die based on your word. You have the power to lead your people into a greatness they had not known before. Unknown to you, however, you only have eight years to live. How many of you would make it count it during those eight years.
In our Old Testament reading, that same opportunity was given to King Jerhoram at the age of 32. He started his kingdom with unlimited possibilities and yet at the age of 40 when he died, the scriptures tell us, he passed away to no one’s regret. Is there anyone here who want it said at his or her funeral, “Thank God he’s dead or she’s dead because their life was nothing but wasted energy.” How do we get to the place of living a wasted life. A life that does not count.
Recently I heard a man share his testimony of one of his classes in college that he never forgot. He went to the class the first day, and when he saw that only a final paper would determine his grade, he decided not to go back to class. He would simply do the paper and turn it in. When it came time to do the paper, he read diligently. He did his research with great care. He organized the paper well. He handed it in on time. When he got back his paper he was amazed at the grade. The professor wrote on the paper: Good organization, Good content, Great writing style. Grade F. The student was amazed, until he turned the paper over and read the final comment on the other side. It said, “this was not the assignment which was to have been done.”
One of the real tragedies among people who claim to know Christ as their Lord and Savior, is that like this college student, they have looked for an easier way out and expect to come through big time at the end. It’s like the rap star or the movie star whose life is filled with open sin, standing up on the platform of the Oscars saying , “first I want to give all credit to God who is the head of my life for making my success possible.” God is not interested in us doing our own things, and then trying to draw Him in it at the end to give Him the credit. Our little success is not some trophy for God to put on a wall.
The only people God claims are successful are those who day after day allow him to make them look more and more like Jesus Christ. God is not impressed with our success or our accomplishment. Have great dreams, but have God in them from the beginning to the enc. God is not trying to get credit for our degrees, our positions, our promotions, our athletic abilities even though he may have made them possible. God wants the credit for lives that have been changed by the power of Jesus Christ in the way we relate to other people with our actions and our attitudes. That’s how we make a life count in the eyes of God.
Let me introduce you to Barry. Everything that could go right for Barry had gone right. As a young person he had decided to try and do the right thing for other people. People could see that he had leadership potential and was an honest man. When it came time for choosing a political candidate, Barry seemed to be everything they needed. As a young man, Barry was holding a political office. But Barry also had an eye for business. He developed his business plan and put it into motion. Things happened far quicker than he thought it would.
Before he knew it, he was a millionaire. Barry had the fine home, the designer clothes, the popularity, the position, and the money to get whatever he wanted. With all this money at such a young age, he did far better than most. He enjoyed himself and kept his head on his shoulders. He didn’t turn to drugs or sexual immorality as so many do. But even with all that he had, he knew something was missing. He wanted to make his life count.
Even though the world thought he was a great success and had it altogether, there was an empty feeling inside of him. You see success brings a kind of bondage all of its own. Once you have it, the great fear becomes “what if you lose it?. You’re tempted to do all kinds of things to keep it. The younger you are when success comes, the more difficult it is to keep from feeling empty. After a while you can say, been there, done that now what.