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Summary: What Really Matters in this Life? This message is simple, but asks the right question for many.

What Really Matters in this Life?

Pastor Glenn Newton 2-8-04

This morning, maybe you have said these words..... maybe you have thought them, or

something real similar..... maybe your here this morning and these words are how you feel.

Listen to this conversation, this encounter...written by Max Lucado....

“I just want to know what counts.” His deep Irish accent said very sincerely. “Don’t talk

to me of religion, I’ve been down that road. And please, stay off theology. I have a

degree in that. Get to the heart of it, OK? I want to know what counts.”

His name was Ian. He was a student at a Canadian university where I was visiting.

Through a series of events he found out I was a Christian and I found out he wanted to be

but was disenchanted.

“I grew up in the church,” he explained, “I wanted to go into the ministry. I took all the

coarses, the theology, the languages, the exegesis. But I quit. Something just didn’t

click.” “It’s in there somewhere,” he said. “At least I think it is.”

I looked up from my coffee as he began to stir his. Then he summarized his frustration

with one question. “What REALLY matters? What counts? Tell me. Skip the periphery.

Go to the essence. Tell me the part that matters.”

Can you hear his question? Can you taste his frustration? He was saying don’t give me

religion, Give me what really matters. What does matter?

In your Bible of over 1,000 pages, what matters? Amoung all the do’s and dont’s and

shoulds and shouldn’ts, what is essential? What is indispensable? What would you have

said to Ian?

Max Lucado says, I stirred my coffee, Ian stirred his. I had no answer. All my verses so

obediently memorized seemed inappropriate. All my canned responses seemed timid.

Yet, now, years later, I know what I would share with him. Think about the words of

Paul in 1 Cor. 15,

1CO 15:3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for

our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third

day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6

After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most

of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James,

then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

Did you hear what was of First Importance? What was it that Paul describes as the

essence of what Really Matters?

“that Christ died for our sins...., that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day

according to the Scriptures....”

There it is.... Almost too simple isn’t it?

Jesus was killed, buried and resurrected. Surprized? The part that matters is the Cross.

The Cross. According to Paul, the cross is what matters, it’s what counts.

What a peice of wood that Cross is. History has idolized it and displayed and dispised it,

gold-plated it and burned it, worn it and trashed it. History has done everything to it but

ignore it. That’s one option that the cross does not offer.

You can’t ignore the Cross. No wonder Paul called it “the core of the gospel.” It’s

bottom line is sobering: if the account is true, it is history’s hinge, everything rests upon

it. Period. If it’s not true, it is history’s biggest hoax.

That’s why it’s the cross that matters.

Have you asked that Question in your life..... do you still ask it today? What really


Why is the Cross so important.... what makes it the central peice of the gospel? Thanks

for asking... There’s no way to cover all the aspects of the Cross in one sermon, or even a

hundred.... but I want to share with you why the Cross is the place of New Beginnings....

We have been talking about New Beginnings.... and the apostle Paul... He understands

about needing a new beginning..... that’s why He understands how important the Cross is.

When Jesus Christ, the very son of God died on Calvery, on that Cross.... His death, His

blood spilled for me was a sin offering to God on my behalf... and on your behalf.....He

died for us...... He took my place.... He took your place on that Cross.... and He did it

because He loves us.... He loves us more than we will ever be able to understand.

When Christ Died on that Cross... He paid our debt for our sins...... so now we have a

chance, we have an opportunity to be saved from our sins....IF we will accept that

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