Saturday Sermon: What sort of life do you want to live?
Quite often, when we encounter a friend, or even a stranger, we say something like this: "How are you doing?" We generally are asking in a generic way - and generally we are hoping for a generic response. The question of this particular writing, however, is more specific: "What sort of life do you want to live?" Many people would respond to that question by saying something in the fashion of this: "I want to live a good, fulfilling life that has meaning and purpose." That would be a life that offered its share of challenges, no doubt, but would reward the person with a maximum of self-satisfaction, peace, love, joy and a minimum of self-doubt, guilt and despair.
But where can one find this kind of life?
I personally believe that a place to find that kind of life is in Jesus. In fact, more specifically, I think the only place to find that kind of life is in Jesus. But let's see what the Bible says.
Let's begin with something Solomon had to say. Solomon places our question into perspective when he wrote, "Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man" (Ecclesiastes 12.13). Here Solomon is reiterating that man's true purpose is to be pleasing to God. Real happiness, therefore, is the result of man's faithful obedience. God, our Creator, knows what is best for us and how we can have a life of happiness and fulfillment. We just need to recognize our Maker and obey his will. We need to follow his paths. Solomon's earthly father, the psalmist David, stated it very well in Psalm 16:11, "You will show me the path of life; in your presence is the fullness of joy; by your side are pleasures forevermore."
In his great love, God gave us his son, Jesus Christ, who came to this world to offer us salvation. Through Christ, and only through him, can we have a proper relationship with God the Father and a life filled with true meaning and purpose (John 14.6). Christ offers us an "abundant" life. He states in John 10:10, ".I have come that you may have life, and that you may have it more abundantly." This word (adverb) "abundantly" is translated from the Greek term which means: "superior." In Christ, we do not just merely exist or survive - we live a better life, a preferable life, a happier life. We live a "superior" life of a quality that is so far above, and so far exceeds anything that this sad world can offer. And, unlike many in this world, we know why we are here and how we are to properly live this life.
My friends, let us praise God for the wonderful blessing he bestows. Let us thank him for the gift of his son, Jesus. Let us also share the "good news" that his abundant life can be had by all.
Shan Jackson is the pastor of Port Lavaca Church of Christ.