Summary: Three more ingredients for making the best out of life.
INTRO.- Who doesn’t want a better life? More peace. Greater joy. Contentment. Fulfillment. Love.
ILL.- The story is told that Abraham Lincoln was surprised one day when a rough-looking man drew a revolver and thrust it in his face. "Abe" figured that debate or argument was out of the question.
"What seems to be the matter?" asked Lincoln, with all the calmness and self-confidence he could muster.
"Well," replied the stranger, who did not appear at all excited, "some years ago I swore an oath that if I ever came across an uglier man than myself I’d shoot him on the spot."
A feeling of relief came over Lincoln at this point. "Shoot me," Lincoln said to the stranger, "for if I am an uglier man than you, I don’t want to live."
Brothers and sisters, I don’t know if this story about Lincoln is true or not, but Lincoln certainly wasn’t the best-looking man in the world!
I think we all realize that looks have nothing to do with the quality of a person’s life. It could at certain stages, such as in youth. For example, we know that kids can sometimes be cruel and pick on other kids because of their looks or perhaps poor dress. But generally, as adults we know that it’s what is on the inside that really counts and can make a difference in a person’s life.
Some so-called beautiful people are often ugly, as far as their actions are concerned. They are so stuck on themselves that some people can’t stand to be around them.
If good looks or the clothes we wear are not the way to a better life, what is?
ILL.- A man named Jackson Brown suggested various ways to have a better life. They are:
- Believe in miracles but don’t depend on them.
- When you hear a kind word spoken about a friend, tell him so.
- Spoil your spouse, not your children.
- Remember, it’s not your job to get people to like you. It’s your job to like people.
- To help your children turn out well, spend twice as much time with them and half as much money.
People have all kinds of rules to live by in order to achieve a better life. Principles that are Bible-based are generally always good. Those that contradict the Scriptures are not good.
ILL.- Someone said, "The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it." I think this is true for most people. Most of the time it seems like we’re 50 years old or older before we realize what really makes like worth living and what adds "worth" to our living.
ILL.- In Florence, Italy, a young artist labored long and hard over a marble statue of an angel. When finished, he asked Michelangelo to examine it. No Master looked over the work more carefully than Michaelangelo. It appeared perfect in every way. The young artist waited. His heart nearly broke when he heard, "It lacks only one thing." But the great artist didn’t tell him what it lacked.
For days the artist could not eat or sleep, until a friend called on Michelangelo at his studio and ask him what he thought. He said, "It lacks only life."
Brothers and sisters, this could be true for a great many people. They live from day to day, but they lack life. They may go through the motions of life, but they lack real life which only the Lord can give to a person.