Summary: Followers of Christ may waste their lives by failing to invest the resources God has given them. This sermon aims to encourage believers to invest their lives for God.
DON’T WASTE YOUR LIFE – INVEST IT INSTEAD
Sermon Objective: This message is aimed at preparing the church for the 40 Days of Discovering God’s Purpose patterned after Saddleback Church’s 40 Days of Purpose.
God calls those who follow Him to a purposeful life. Be careful how you live. Do not waste your life. Do not throw your life away.
God has entrusted three important things to His followers. These set us apart from the world. We are different from others because of these things. These enrich our lives. But these are meant to be shared to others. These are blessings meant to be shared not to be kept.
So how do we invest our lives?
First, By Loving Better Like Our Father (5:1-7)
The Follower of Christ is dearly loved by the Father. This love is unconditional, eternal, committed, sacrificing, cleansing, improving, abundant and free through Christ.
Peterson’s expresses this truth so beautifully:
“In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary – we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!” (Romans 5:5, The Message)
How can we love better?
1. It begins with a personal experience of this love. Receive this love from the Father. Let the Father love you. Be changed by this love. Let this love take all the insecurities and “lovesickness” in your life.
2. Train yourself to love better. Understand that loving others is not optional. Neither is it dependent on what others do to you or not do. It is unconditional loving of all people. Obey Peter’s command “Keep adding to your faith …. Love.”
3. Dedicate yourself daily to God. Pray, “Thank you Father for this new day. I am available to be your vessel of love today.”
Second, Shine Brighter in Darkness (5:8-13)
Notice that the Follower of Christ is described as “light in the Lord.” Paul moves past the new location where the Christian lives now. We used to live in darkness but God has brought us into His wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9). The point the apostle is making is about our calling as light. We are to be “light in the Lord.” We are called to “let our light shine before others.”
How can we shine brighter?
1. Get filled up with the Word and the Spirit. Know the truth and start living it out.
2. Clean up. A dirty bulb will not be able to dispense clear light. Followers of Christ must get rid of all sinful habits, ways, acts, thought patterns that stand contrary to Christ.
3. Live like you should. Nothing can argue with a good life. When you do you will please the Lord.
Third, Live Wiser in a Foolish World (5:14-21)
God says the world does not know how to live. What it considers the good or the best life is “empty”, “vain,” and “useless” (1 Pet. 1:18-19). The apostle Paul puts it more bluntly as “dungish” or “rubbish.”
The Follower of Christ has been introduced to wisdom. Following Christ is the wisest thing we have ever done in life.
How can we live wiser?
1. Discover God’s purposes for your life and commit to live these out (v. 17).
2. Seize every opportunity to do good (v. 16)
3. Be empowered by the Spirit (v. 18). Wise people know they are better with God. They think better. They are more creative. They function better. They do better. They can accomplish better things with God. See Psalm 127:1-3.
Conclusion: To be a Follower of Christ means to be entrusted with resources – divine, supernatural, enriching, greatly needed resources. The challenge first of all is to receive these into our lives – make these real and true. And then to be empowered by God to become His instrument to share these Father-like love; Christlike light; and Spiritlike wisdom. We can stop wasting right now by committing to do what we are called to do. God bless you all.