Summary: Final sermon in a series for a giving campaign, "Get In The Game!"
Over the last few weeks, we have been talking about Getting In The Game for God and what it takes for us to make sure we live lives that count for Christ. We’ve talked about how to make sure we’ve "Got Game!" How we need to "Go For The Gold," "Aim For Excellence," "Make The Commitment," and then "Expect God To Work."
In so doing, we have clearly seen that there are two ways for us as Christians to spend our lives. We can either invest our lives living for God or waste our lives living for ourselves. We can either be winners in the game of life, or whiners!
Today, Commitment Sunday, is an opportunity for each of us to make a declaration concerning how we intend to live our lives. Let’s think about these two choices together for a moment.
1. How to waste your life as a whiner.
How can I live in such a way as to guarantee that my life will be a complete waste? That I will have absolutely nothing to show for my salvation when I stand before the Lord? That I will be one of those who Paul says will be saved "like one barely escaping through the flames of a burning building" (1 Corinthians 3:15). How can I make sure that I live my life as a Christian belly-aching and whining? Allow me to make the following recommendations. If you want to be a whiny Christian who wastes your life . . .
A. Make your attitude contingent upon circumstances.
Determine that you are only going to be happy when all your ducks are in a row. Make sure to adopt when and then thinking. When I close this deal, then I’ll be happy. When I get married, then I’ll be happy. When I make this amount of money, then I’ll be happy. Etc., etc., etc. If you adopt that mentality, you’re going to waste your life chasing one meaningless thing after the other. And as an added bonus, you’ll be so miserable to be around, no one will want anything to do with you.
B. Wallow around in the pit of worry.
Decide right now, "I’m constantly contemplate on worse case scenarios. What if this happens? What if that happens?"
Worry is an activity that is guaranteed to waste your life. So, just worry and worry and worry. Most of the things you worry about will never happen anyway, but make sure you play them out. Just turn them over and over and over on the rotisserie grill of your mind. Don’t even think about meditating on a verse like this, "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" - Matthew 6:27 (NIV). Be sure to block truth like that from your mind.
C. Consistently put your needs above the needs of others.
Adopt an "it’s all about me" attitude. Put your needs above your spouse, your co-workers, your friends, your children, and everyone. Just say, "I am going to be the sovereign ruler over my life. I’m the creature. God’s the creator. But you know what, God: I’m going to usurp your authority and I’m going to take charge." This is going to be bad, because most people who don’t know Christ are putting themselves above everything and everyone else. If you do the same thing, you’ll have some battles with them. It’ll be great. It’ll be selfish and mean-spirited. And make sure that when you don’t get your way just to throw a fit: "It’s not fair. I deserve to be happy."
D. Don’t ever get involved in church.
Don’t come to church. You can do the poinsettia and lily thing, Easter and Christmas Eve, or maybe you can come to church when your spouse or your friend kind of twists your arm, but make sure that’s about all you do. And when you do come, make sure you have a lousy attitude so you don’t learn anything.
You see, if you’re not careful, when you come to church you might learn about the kid of life you could be living - a joy filled, purposeful life - and you wouldn’t want that. So make sure you just hang out on the fringes of the church, if you have anything to do with the church at all.
By all means, don’t join a Sunday School class or a Life Group, because you will get to know other believers who have an attitude of joy and you’ll realize what you’re missing. Joy is contagious and you don’t want to catch it.
And whatever you do, don’t get involved in ministry. Don’t use any of your talents to say or to act or to teach or to greet or work with children or get involved in outreach or missions. Don’t do that, I beg you, because your life will count for eternity, and you don’t want that.