Summary: Basic scriptural ideas that will help us to make the best out of life.


INTRO.- ILL.- After a doctor checked his patient over, he asked him, "Have you been living a normal life?" "Yes, doctor," replied the patient. The doctor said, "Well, you’ll have to cut it out for awhile."

Normalcy is not always the best, depending on what a person considers as being normal. The "normal" of the world is not always the best way to live. It doesn’t always produce the best life.

ILL.- It’s like the old fellow who lived to be 90 years old. He said, "If I’d known I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself."

Most of us could well say somewhere down the road of life, "If I had know what know now, I would have lived differently. I would have done things differently in order to have a better life."

John 10:10 Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (or have life more abundantly)

Most people don’t experience life to the fullest. Most people don’t enjoy the abundant life. And don’t we all wish for a better life? Jesus promised us a better life and I believe that a part of that better life is available here and now.

How do most people try to make the best out of life? There are three basic ways: 1- Fame 2- Fortune 3- Fun.

1- Fame

Some people want attention and/or recognition in life. Some people actually want to become famous in life.

ILL.- At the Cal Ripken Jr. world series several of us Mattoon Christian Church people were sitting together, namely Rick Boyer, Wayne Moran, Terry Kovacik and me. We were talking about Harmon Killebrew being there to sign autographs. I told Rick and the boys that when I was a youngster my grandmother Alma Jones took me to a wrestling match in Joplin, MO, to see the famous wrestler Gorgeous George.

Rick said, "Never heard of him!" I was impressed that he was not impressed. I thought everyone had heard of Gorgeous Geroge. I also thought Rick surely would have wanted my autograph.

There are famous people in every generation and some never seem to fade with the passing of time, like Elvis Presley.

ILL.- Recently, Americans just celebrated the 25th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. We heard that his estate still receives $34 million a year, which is probably more money than Elvis made per year while he was living.

Elvis Presley and many others have sought after a better life through the avenue of fame, but where are they now?

ILL.- Ex-heavyweight boxing champ of the world, Muhammed Ali, said not too many years ago, "I had the world, and it wasn’t nothin’." Fame is not the answer to making the best out of life.

2- Fortune

Howard Hughes. Ted Turner. Martha Stewart. Bill Gates. Ever heard of those people? Sure, you have. And you know what they have which most people don’t have. Lots of money.

ILL.- While vacationing in Nashville, TN, last week we took a bus tour and saw some of the homes/houses of the rich and famous: Trisha Yearwood, Little Jimmy Dickens, Dolly Pardon, one of the Brooks and Dunn’s guys whom Elaine had never heard of and me neither. All these people lived in what is called the Brentwood district where all the houses start at $500,000. Of course, some of those homes were probably worth over a million dollars.

When I saw those homes all I could see was dollar signs! I could not imagine owning and living in one of those homes. And I certainly couldn’t imagine cleaning one of those homes! No man could! It’s hard for most of us to think in terms of a million-dollar home.

Money sounds good and a certain amount of it is desirable, but it is not the answer to making the best out of life. If this were true then why did Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland overdose?

ILL.- Someone said, "Money will buy a bed but not sleep; books but not brains; food but not appetite; a house but not a home; medicine but not health; luxuries but not culture; amusements but not happiness; religion but not salvation; and a passport to everywhere but heaven."

Jesus said it best in Matthew 16:26 "What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?" The answer is: CERTAINLY NOT MONEY!


ILL.- In a sermon in Southern Illinois one Sunday I mentioned that I had done a variety of things in life: lifted weights in competition, fished in bass tournaments, raced cars at the drag strip, and ran fourteen marathons.

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