Summary: To find out how to life a "good life" in the eyes of Jesus please read this sermon on Psalms 16.
Living the Good Life
Online Sermon: http://www.mckeesfamily.com/?page_id=3567
What does “living a good life” mean? The obvious definition would be that a good life is one that does not do evil unto others. Many people believe that if a person’s words or deeds do not infringe on the rights or harm another person then they have not done “evil.” Living a good life is not just avoiding doing evil unto others but must also include thoughts, words and deeds that are defined as “good.” To some people “good” is defined as acquiring an abundance of fame, money and power. For others “good” means eating nutritious food and exercising so that one can increase the likelihood of having a healthy body. And still for other people living a good life means surrounding oneself with friends and family while minimizing worry and stress. While the above components are helpful in defining what “living a good life” means from the perspective of this temporal world, how does one’s definition change considering life after death? The following sermon is going to suggest that those who submit too and place their trust in the Lord are and will forever live a good life!
An illustration can be powerful when it comes to learning and remembering God’s word. To help both the children and adults with today’s sermon topic I set up a dart board made from plywood. This board was larger than a standard dart board to encourage the younger children that even if they missed the balloon, they could at least hit the board. I kept a careful eye on the children when they went to throw the dart to make sure no one got hurt. I wrote out five key areas of the sermon on pieces of paper, rolled each of them up and placed one in each of the five balloons. I then marked off an area in which the child must stay within its boundary or be disqualified until the next round. I then asked each of the children to choose a helper (this they really love doing). For the first round I gave them the following instructions. To throw a dart they must first have their helper spin them around once with their eyes closed. Once this was done the child was to keep their eyes closed and the helper’s role was to tell them how to aim to hit their target (the children were positioned very close to the board to make this easier). When a child hits a balloon, they took the message and either themselves or their helper read the message at the right time in the sermon (the messages were marked one to five). For the second round the children did not need to spin around or close their eyes when throwing the darts.
Our Choices Matter
Life is full of choices that have a profound impact upon our lives. While we have the right to choose to live anyway that we want not all choices in life are beneficial to living a good life (1 Corinthians 10:23). The world would have one believe that the “American dream” is attainable by anyone who is willing to grab the “right” opportunity that maximizes one’s inherent abilities. While the self-improvement market is a billion-dollar industry this does not mean that its promises of becoming buffed, famous, rich or powerful are going to be realized. And even if a person did become successful in the world’s eyes this “success” would be temporary and rejected by God whom wants us to focus on His kingdom. When the soul returns to God whom gave him/her life (Ecclesiastes 12:7) our Creator will not define his/her success by worldly standards but by holy ones. In Psalms 16 David states that those whom “live a good life” by making God the lord of one’s life, accepting His boundaries, keeping one’s eyes fixed on God’s will; will receive security and joy both in the present and for an eternity.
Choosing God to be our Lord
2 I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” 3 I say of the holy people who are in the land, “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.” 4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more. I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods or take up their names on my lips.
Point 1: Have the person with point one from the balloons read the message contained within that states: “apart from Me you can do nothing.”
In the illustration the children made a lot of choices. They chose to play or not, chose a helper, and chose to either listen to or reject his/her advice. Despite their choices the game had only temporary value for in the end the broken balloons and paper contained within them ended up in the garbage. The same is true in life: the worldly choices that we make tend to have no long-term value. The first step in living a good life is to make God the lord of one’s life … i.e. in charge of all of one’s choices! This is accomplished when the “relation to God dominates the whole human life because God lays claim to the whole man.” Living the good life is not accomplished by retaining the right to choose or in delegating life choices to another but only through giving one’s free will back to one’s Creator! While there are many “helpers” in life that might increase one’s chances of obtaining worldly success like he/she did in the balloon illustration, any choice apart from God’s will is a choice to serve the “god of self” of whose rewards have no value.