Summary: There are Biblical principles which can help us make life better.
INTRO.- ILL.- A man by the name of George owned an apartment complex and had just completed the exterior brick work on the 2nd floor. He had some bricks left over and was trying to decide the best way to get the load of bricks back down to the ground level without breaking them.
He noticed a 55-gal. Barrel on the ground and thought, "I know what I’ll do. I’ll tie some rope around that barrel, hook a pulley to the 2nd floor eave and pull the barrel up to the 2nd floor. Then I can load the bricks into the barrel and let it back down to the ground."
So that’s what he began to do. He tied the rope around the barrel, ran it over the pulley on the 2nd floor and pulled the barrel up to the 2nd floor. Then he tied the rope to the root of a nearby tree. He went up to the 2nd floor balcony and loaded the bricks into the barrel. Then he went back downstairs, grabbed the rope and pulled it loose from the root.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT, HOWEVER, GEORGE HADN’T COUNTED ON! That 55-gal barrel full of bricks weighed about 4 times as much as George! So the barrel shot down like lightning and George shot up like a rocket! As George shot past the barrel, it hit his shoulder, slammed against his hip and hit his kneecap. The barrel crashed to the ground, and George’s head smashed into the pulley above, cracking his skull. THERE HE WAS, DANGLING BY THE ROPE FROM THE 2ND STORY.
When the barrel hit the ground, the bricks were so heavy they knocked the bottom out of the barrel. NOW GEORGE WAS HEAVIER THAN THE BARREL! What a predicament!
Down came George and up came the empty barrel. This time, however, the barrel caught him on the other side. It hit his other knee, scraped his hip, broke his nose and dumped him on top of the pile of bricks.
He turned both his ankles and scuffed up both his shins. George let out a yell and turned loose of the rope. SINCE THE BARREL WAS HEAVIER THAN THE ROPE, DOWN CAME THE BARREL. And you guessed it, it hit George one more time. As George found himself in the hospital bed: bruised, broken, cut, and sprained, he kept saying to himself, "I DON’T KNOW WHETHER TO FILE ONE INSURANCE CLAIM OR FIVE."
George’s story reminds us that we are living in a terribly mixed up world! Our world is forever going up and down. And about the time we think we have the bucket filled, the bottom falls out of the bucket and we get cracked in the head.
We expect life to have a few bumps, BUT NOT ONE CONSTANT ROLLER-COASTER RIDE FULL OF PAIN, MISERY AND BRUISES!
Brethren, we all get "dumped on" in life! Rich and poor, saints and sinners alike, spiritual and non-spiritual.
ILL.- Former heavy-weight boxer James (Quick) Tillis is a cowboy from Oklahoma who fought out of Chicago in the early 1980s. He still remembers his first day in the Windy City after his arrival from Tulsa, OK. "I got off the bus with two cardboard suitcases under by arms in downtown Chicago and stopped in front of the Sears Tower. I put my suitcases down, and I looked up at the Tower and I said to myself, ’I’m going to conquer Chicago.’ "When I looked down, the suitcases were gone."
Even big, heavy-weight boxers get dumped on. Some days are not fun days. Some days we just don’t even want to get out of bed.
ILL.- Mark Twain said, "Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen." Sounds good, but it doesn’t work that way.
The future would look a look brighter if it were brighter. That is, if there were some brightness to look forward to. And there is!
ILL.- An old Quaker of 82 years said, "I’m going to live until I die and then I’m going to live forever." That’s the spirit!
The sad truth is many people don’t live until they die. They don’t live the kind of life they could live. They don’t live the abundant life that Jesus spoke of. In fact, many of us who claim to follow Christ don’t live the abundant life. We don’t even know what it is. We may want it, but somehow it escapes our grasp.
How can we learn to live until we die? How can we have a better life here and now? How can we make the most out of our lives?
PROP.- To make the best of our lives, there are several Biblical principles that we must observe and follow.