Summary: There are many different philosophies of life, some more helpful than others. This message focuses on what life is really all about.
14, April 2006
Easter Sunday Service
The Meaning of Life
We are here this morning to celebrate the greatest event in human history.
This is the day that we remember the empty tomb and the final victory over death.
"I tell you the truth; whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.
We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.
This Christian message is the complete opposite of everything our world exalts.
When we are the same as the world around us, it shows we do not understand the meaning of life.
The world system and the way of Christ are opposites, you cannot do both!
1. Life is not about accumulation.
The world’s way is about making it to the top.
Whoever dies with the most toys; wins.
Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ’sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ’sinners’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ’sinners’ lend to ’sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?
Jake and Paul and I went to see the new Denzel Washington film, “Inside Man” on Friday evening. One of the key figures was a man who had built his fortune working for the Nazis against the holocaust victims. He said, “Yes, I sold my soul to take the easy path to wealth, and I’ve spent my whole life trying to buy it back.”
"The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ’What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
"Then he said, ’This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." ’
"But God said to him, ’You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
"This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
So do not worry, saying, ’What shall we eat?’ or ’What shall we drink?’ or ’What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Have you fallen into the trap of thinking that life is all about accumulating more and more?
Have you let your relationship with God slide?
Have you been doing anything of eternal significance?
Have you been sacrificing things that really matter in order to get more?
- Ministry involvement
I am not saying that there is anything wrong with having things, only that they cannot be allowed to become the focus of life.
It is easy to lose focus and slip away.
2. Life is not about reputation.
Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. You are those who have stood by me in my trials. And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me