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Summary: This sermon encourages us to take advantage of every opportunity that God brings our way.

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Seize the Day! Father’s Day 2001

June 17, 2001

Dead Poets Society… resurrected obscure Latin phrase, Carpe Diem. Seize the Day.

- exhortation to live life to the fullest, getting the most out of every day

- if we would survey 100 people… all would agree that this is what they want

o no one wants their life to be mediocre, at least not willing to admit it.

o We want our lives to be full, yet we get so caught up in the details of our day that we don’t have time to seize the day.

- Deadlines, commitments, problems, priorities, distractions, obstacles…though we want more fulfillment from every day, it doesn’t seem w/i our grasp.

Paul believed also believed that we seize each and every day… living life to the fullest, even when life is its hectic self.

- This was this what Philippians was really about… living the abundant life, full of joy, in the midst of life’s many ups and downs.

- In fact, one of the greatest stories of a man “seizing the day” takes place in Philippi.

While Paul & Silas were preaching in Philippi, they raised a bit of ruckus and wound up in trouble with the city officials.

- these officials ordered them to be stripped, beaten, & thrown in the inner jail.

- The jailer put them in a dungeon and placed their feet in stocks.

- Around midnight, while praying and singing worship songs out loud so everyone could hear, a mighty earthquake b/g to shake the foundations of the jail. The doors flew open and everyone’s chains came loose.

- The jailer panicked, knowing that as the one responsible for guarding them from escaping, he would likely be put to a slow, painful death.

- So he took out his sword and prepared to take his own life… when Paul called out to him, “Don’t harm yourself! We are ALL here!”

o Paul, Silas, and all the other prisoners listening to them

This must have blown him away. He had no doubt been intrigued by all the worship coming from Paul and Silas… even though they had just been beaten and bound.

- Now they had a chance to escape, but they didn’t

- The guard realized that these men truly had something in their lives that was sadly lacking in his own.

- Seizing the moment, he blurted out, “What must I do to be saved?”

- Paul replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved—you and your whole household.”

- Realizing that he had already lost his life and gained it back, the jailer had nothing to loose. He took Paul and Silas out of the jail to his own house!

- And, before the night was through, the jailer and his family had all committed their lives to Jesus and had been baptized in His name.

This guard seized a moment… and from that moment his life was changed. From this anonymous guard’s life, we can draw four vital steps, which can lead a man from a place of distance from the Father to a place of intimacy.

1. Take Spiritual Inventory:

- Like the Philippian jailer, every man needs to ask himself, “where do I stand spiritually?” “what is my relationship with God?”

- the salvation of the jailer’s household began with his own realization that he was spiritually empty and needed something more in his life.

- So… he asks Paul, “what must I do to be saved”.

- VAN SAUN PARK! Sitting on park bench too tired to go out. YESTERDAY with Matthew!

2. Find Your Purpose… come to a renewed understanding of what our purpose is.

- In just a few minutes, the jailer found a whole new purpose in life… knowing God. An hour earlier he was so afraid of what would happen to him if Paul/Silas had escaped that he was about to kill himself.

o NOW, he was risking his life taking them to his house!

o He was motivated by something entirely new. To know Jesus.

o He just had to take them to his family that they would know Jesus too!

- We need to reevaluate what we see our purpose in life is.

- IRS. Like them or not, they know their purpose for existing:

o ’76 IRS Handbook: “During a state of national emergency resulting from enemy attack, the essential functions of the Service will be as follows: Assessing, collecting, and recording taxes.”

o While the rest of us panic, they’ll be about doing what they always do, taking our money. They know their purpose.

- What is your purpose in life?

- To be a good husband, a good father, provide for family, do your job well?

- Those are 2ndry. What is your primary purpose in life? That reason from which, at the end of your life, you will be able to judge whether you’ve lived life to the fullest or not.

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