Summary: 1- Fine tune yourself 2- Get your heart focused 3- Learn to worship
INTRO.- ILL.- A young man was having some money problems, and needed $200 to get his car fixed, but he had run out of people to borrow from. So, he called his parents via the operator, and reversed the charge and said to his dad, "I need to borrow two hundred dollars."
At the other end, his father said, "Sorry, I can’t hear you, son, I think there may be a bad line."
The boy shouted, "Two hundred. I need two hundred dollars!"
"Sorry, I still can’t hear you clearly," said his father.
The operator cut in, "Sorry to butt in, but I can hear him perfectly."
The father said, "Oh, good. YOU send him the money!"
We must admit that life is not always good to us. Cars break down and so do lots of other things: bodies, marriages, jobs, etc.
If you think your life is bad, listen to this man’s life.
ILL.- Neil Young sleeps on the streets, but in a very real sense he has a home.
Young spends his mornings as a client and volunteer at Lord of the Streets, a Midtown Episcopal church, Houston, TX, that serves the homeless. He attends Bible study, organizes the library and helps out wherever he’s needed.
"It helps me to stay busy," Young said. "I’ll destroy myself if I’m left to my own devices."
Young came to Lord of the Streets in 1993, when he was working as a day laborer, living in what he describes as a "seedy hotel" and drinking heavily. Although he had turned away from organized religion in his youth, he said, he liked the individual, free-thinking approach he found at Lord of the Streets.
"I’ve discovered that you cannot find God unless you find him in your own way," he said.
I don’t think many of us who have a decent roof over our heads would want to trade places with Neil Young. It’s a shame that anybody can get to that point in their lives, but it does happen. And I’m sure that Neil Young would like a better life. At least, he has enough sense to seek the Lord for that better life. Many people don’t. Many people seek happiness and/or a better life in all kinds of ways, but never seem to realize that God and Christ could offer them a better life.
Some of us may have the better life and not even realize it.
ILL.- "I couldn’t ask for a better life," 102-year-old Pearl Muller said. "I’ve had a good life with my family and with friends."
Muller will be 103 on November 21 and has lived within the same block in Woodland (IL) most of her life. She has a wealth of memories ranging from the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 to seeing a car for the first time.
"I remember a lot of things like that," Muller said. "But in a hundred years you forget some things."
"It’s the foolish stuff I remember more," she added. "I guess none of us really grew up."
Most of Muller’s memories center around her family. "The families didn’t split up then like they do now," she said. "I think that’s what gave me the close feeling I’ve always had with the family. I don’t think there was ever a closer knit family than ours was."
It sounds like Pearl Muller has found something of a better life with friends and family. They certainly make the difference.
And she didn’t say, but I suspect that she has also found a better life in the Lord as well.
ILL.- Elaine and I were watching TV one night last week and saw an interview with actor Larry Hagman, otherwise known of J.R. Ewing in his famous roll on the 1978 DALLAS TV series. Hagman said, “I’m alive. I’m rich and I’m living in America.”
Hagman’s view of the better life is being alive, being rich and being in America.
Everyone has their own idea about how to acquire a better life, but the divine prescription is always best. Since God created us and He sustains us (whether people acknowledge Him or not), He knows what it will take for us to experience a better life on planet earth.
PROP.- All of scripture is a divine prescription for life, but I want us to think about God’s prescription in Hebrews chapter 12.
1- Fine tune yourself
2- Get your heart focused
3- Learn how to worship
I. FINE TUNE YOURSELF
ILL.- I started driving cars in the early 1960’s. My first car in 1961 was a 1954 Chevrolet, 4-door, automatic, six-cylinder engine. That car wasn’t much on power, but it was transportation. I was always tinkering on that car, doing something to it. My dad used to say, “If it’s running all right, leave it alone.” That’s like saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”