Summary: I think it’s safe to say that we are all searching for the "good life." Sadly it is very illusive. it may sound a bit too simple, but the answer is love God, other persons and follow Christ.

Acts 9:36-43

“The Good Life”

By: Ken Sauer, Pastor of East Ridge United Methodist Church, Chattanooga, TN

Urgently, incessantly Jesus drew people to God.

“Seek first the kingdom and righteousness of God,” He said.

For this we were made.

Nothing else satisfies the longing of our hearts.

Nothing but the Source of Joy can give us joy.

So Jesus invites us to follow Him, to hunger and thirst for God, and to feast on the goodness that comes from God alone. (from How Much Is Enough, Arthur Simon)

But we face a difficult challenge of living for Christ as we reside within a culture that seduces us with a desire to have more of what money can buy.

The “good life” is seen as a life of prosperity, an essential part of the American dream.

But the “good life” so defined is not in-sync to the Way of Jesus Who said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (from

I think it’s safe to say that we are all searching for the “good life.”

Sadly, it is so very illusive.

Having been born with a sinful nature, we often start out this life like the person who keeps running down the wrong way on a basketball court and making bank shots in the other team’s goal.

In other words, life can be so confusing that our efforts become self-defeating.

In order to try and fit-in, teen-agers act out and rebel which, of course, makes it harder for them to fit in.

To try and take the edge off, and be more social, adults may drink and do recreational drugs which begins the spiral of addiction, bad health and the inability to live the best we can be.

In order to impress and feel good about ones’ self, persons focus their efforts on the material things of life.

We try so hard to keep up with the Jones’ next door that we have little time for much else.

Of course, this is an effort in futility, as it will never make us happy…

…it leads only to frustration and feelings of inferiority…

…and in all reality, it’s so laughable because the Jones’ are working just as hard to try and keep up with us!

So the answer?

It may sound a bit too simple, but it is the only answer…

…Love God, other persons and follow Christ…

…and do that which God has created and called you to do!

What talents has God blessed you with?

What are your passions?

Are you creative?

You might want to teach Sunday school or help with Vacation Bible School.

Or perhaps you would like to help us to make worship more exciting and real.

Do you have good people skills?

Perhaps God is calling you to greet folks as they enter the church building, and direct them to other people who might enable them to be connected to the ministries of this community.

Do you love to entertain?

Maybe you could begin inviting members of the church over for evenings of dinner, talk and fun.

Do you have a good voice?

Perhaps you should sing in the choir.

Do you love and care for children?

Maybe you ought to talk to Lindsey about helping with Children’s Church.

Are you a mechanic, perhaps you can help persons who cannot afford it with their car repairs.

Are you compassionate?

Perhaps you should be an evangelist.

What is it that you can do well?

Will you do those things for the glory of God?

Will you use your gifts in order to help the world?

This is what Peter did, and so many others.

In a city called Joppa a Christian woman named Tabitha “who was always doing good and helping the poor…became sick and died.”

When the disciples there heard that Peter was in town, “they sent two men to him and urged him, ‘Please come at once!’”

Obviously, Tabitha was well-loved and the Christians of the town were in great despair, so they called for the one whom Jesus had commanded to watch, feed, and take care of His sheep.

If we had not read on, we might have expected Tabitha to have been some mighty miracle worker, or perhaps a great and charismatic evangelist or a rich philanthropist.

But no.

Tabitha, is a simple Christian woman; a seamstress, who sews clothing not only for her own family, but also for the needy.

She heads a welfare program among the poor in Joppa.

Her death has caused a crisis in the city.

Now the most vulnerable persons have no one.

At her wake, weeping women show up holding samples of clothing Tabitha has made for them.

It’s not as if there were department stores in those days.

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