Summary: The Power of "Why?" How can we get "good and ready," to take needed action sooner?!
The Abundant Life of Jesus:
Part IV: The Power of Why!
Intro: Today we’re going to follow up on the last sermon which left
us with the problem of "How to get good and ready." Remember,
we’ll stop procrastinating and start doing the things we know we
should, "WHEN WE’RE GOOD AND READY?!"
We’ll also deal more directly with the # 1 obstacle, sabotaging
pattern of behavior, keeping most people from living the Abundant
Life of Jesus: Procrastination, and we’re not "putting it off."
Well, a part of the secret to getting ready sooner is the proper use of
QUESTIONS?!! And "Why" questions are among the best.
For the first time in a long time, we DON’T have 3 teenagers. Our
oldest child, Joy, just turned 20, she called and told me she was
feeling old, oh, don’t you feel sorry for her.
But it reminds me of a time, way back in New York, when we
adopted her, (she was adopted as a baby from Korea) we worked
with a Christian adoption agency in Syracuse. The time came
when they were to come and inteview us; the man’s name was
"Bear." Mr. Bear was a good christian guy.
Anyway, we told Joy, who was about 2 then, that "Mr. Bear" was
coming to visit with us. I didn’t think much about it, but Joy
seemed uneasy. The day came and she was real nervous and when
the guy finally came, she said, "You’re not ’Mr. Bear.’"
She was expecting a real, furry bear.
Kids are great, did you hear about the updated version of
Goldilocks? Well, she sued the 3 bears, the porridge was too hot,
the judge and the jury awarded her the house, and the bears were
forced into homelessness, somewhere out west.
When we talk about the Abundant Life of Jesus, it sounds too good
to be true. It sounds like Snow White, Prince Charming or
something. But, Jesus DIED to make this happen. And further,
it would make Jesus the meanest sort of person to OFFER such a
life, but then not REALLY let anyone actually live it, like teasing
a child, or animal mercilessly.
So it must be possible, more, it must be HIS desire for ALL who
want it. The picture of this life, I think is found in Luke 5:1-11 and
Gal. 5:22-23. The miraculous catch: He threw the net and the nets
were full, breaking and the boat was sinking under the
ABUNDANCE! The abundance of WHAT? Of: Love, Joy, Peace,
Patience, etc. the fruit of the Spirit.
Are OUR NETS BURSTING, and are our boats sinking under the
weight? "But, Pastor, I would LOVE to live that kind of life, but I
can’t, I’m not that determined, I’ve got lots of problems, I just can’t,"
you may be saying in your mind, "and now you’re making me feel
guilty for NOT living it!"
Well, there’s hope and the questions we used last week can help,
remember: Who does What, When, Why, Where, How, and How
Questions are great, Jesus used them. Psychologically our brains
are "wired" so that, if we ask a question, we have to find an answer.
Our minds can’t endure unanswered questions; it forces us to think.
For instance, "Why can’t I lose weight?" Our minds will find an
answer, but the nature of this question always yields a NEGATIVE
answer. "Well, because I’m too fat, I have no will power, I’m big
boned, I’m Italian."
Better, "How can I lose weight and enjoy the process?" Much
better! And your mind will answer, "Learn to love vegetables, fruit,
exercise, find a friend, join a gym, etc." Better.
The wise use of questions can do wonders in our battle against
procrastination and many other problems of life.
Jesus is famous for using questions to literally force his ENEMIES
to THINK in his direction. For instance, in Mark 3:1-6, the story
of Jesus healing the man with the withered hand, Jesus asks the
Pharisees, "Is it lawful to do good or evil on the Sabbath?" Now
they CAN’T NOT answer this.
They HAVE to say, "Well, to do good!" And in the context, he
says, in effect (this is not a quote, but an inference) "Let’s let God
decide." Jesus then calls the man forward, DOES NOT TOUCH
HIM, lay hands on him, rebuke the affliction, or speak to the illness
in any way! He simply says, "Stretch forth your hand." He did and
it became whole!
Who healed him? God! God answered the question! Both in the
minds of his enemies, and in fact.
When it comes to THE ABUNDANT LIFE, answering all those
questions will yield the information we need to actually live that
life: Who does What, When, Why, Where, How and How Long.