Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Part 2 of 6 in a series of sermons on Psalm 23.

What Do You Want?

Psalm 23:2


What do you want?

How’s that for a question?

Do I mean for lunch, or maybe Christmas?

No, not really…what I mean is what do you want out of life?

Is this a question you’ve asked yourself before?

Maybe this is the first time you’ve thought of this, I don’t know.

What I do know is in a group this size we are going to have some who have yet to ask this question, and I may very well have started you on that path to self discovery this morning.

There are also going to be some in here who have already begun to ask that question, and may very well be in the midst of trying to figure out what it is you want in life.

For others…you may have discovered the answer, and you might even be living it out.

And here is the great thing about this…the person who knows what they want in life may be 16 while the person who is just now investigating this maybe 60.

This morning I want you to know, that you are not alone in this pursuit.

In fact, I even found a survey on this very subject.

In 2000 George Barna surveyed Americans on 21 possible goals for their future to determine “what they want” in life.

This was actually a follow up to a 1991 survey and it was done to see how much things had changed in 10 years.

The first survey was broken up into 2 groups…the average American and those who confess to being a born again believer.

In the 2000 survey he no only looked at those 2 groups, but also surveyed teenagers to see where they ranked.

Let me share some of the results with you this morning.

Across the board, the number one “want” was good physical health.

In 1991 93% of the average American adults said they wanted this, and it only saw a 2% drop in 2000.

For born again believers it was similar, 94% in 1991 and a 2% decrease in 2000.

For teens, a little lower with 87% saying this was their highest priority.

I found this one interesting, only asked in 2000 though…81% of Americans say living life with a high degree of integrity was what they wanted, compared to only 86% of Born again believers.

It seems to me this would be important for all believers…integrity

For teens, even worst, only 71%...less than ¾ of teenagers in America feel that integrity is what they want.

How about marriage and family, this had to be important, right?

In 2000 79% of Americans and 85% of born again believers felt having one marriage partner for life was what they wanted…teens ranked it at 82%.

Having a clear purpose in life, something we hear about often in churches lately.

Knowing who you are and what you were created for…75% of Americans said this is what they wanted, 85% of born again believers and just barely over ¾ of teens (77%) sought this.

Here is topic that was seen in both 1991 and 2000…having a comfortable lifestyle.

In 1991 59% of Americans felt this is what they wanted compared to 61% in 2000…while born again believers rated it at 57% in 1991 and 58% in 2000.

Teenagers on the other hand, 83% of them said this is what they wanted.

More teens are looking for a comfortable lifestyle than a purpose in their lives.

One more before we move on…having a close relationship with God.

Let me add this disclaimer, I believe that we are created to first and foremost to know God.

Adam and Eve were created in God’s image to have a special relationship with the creator…that was destroyed by sin.

God sent His Son to die on our behalf for our sins so that this relationship might be restored; this is the ultimate message of Scripture.

Now back to the survey…in 1991 72% of Americans said this is what they wanted, it went down to 70% in 2000.

For born again believers it remained steady at 93%...which means, roughly 1 out of every 10 people who claim to be born again do not feel having a close relationship with God is not important; scary huh?

For teens…66%, only 2 out of every 3 teens felt this was important.

What this tells me is a great truth that I do believe is Biblical, there is a differenence between wants and needs.

You may want something, but it may not be what you need.

I want a 52 inch plasma high def TV…but my wife is quick to remind me that I don’t need a 52 inch plasma high def TV.

God does promise to meet our needs, but if our wants don’t line up with His will…well, we don’t need it.

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