What are you doing with your life?
Text: Matthew 6:33, 28:18-20
Preached in Quabbin Valley on 12-28-08
We are fast approaching a new year. 2008 went very fast, what will next year bring? Will it bring more money, more things to buy? Will it bring a better or worse economy? Will Obama be a better or worse president? What will the next year bring? Will my kids do good in school will this church grow?
What about your death? Will 2009 be the year you die? Or will it be the year of Christ’s return and the final judgment when the dead in Christ will rise and we who are left will be caught up in the air?
Do you ever think about that, what if this year is the year I die? As Christians I pray we can say that that would be glory for us, no more tears or fears, no, more worry about bills.
My question is what have you done with your life? What are going to do with the life that you have left? What have you spent your time on this earth doing? Has it been glorifying to Christ?
1) Worry about money
a. Have you spent your time worrying about money? Not having enough, having a lot, wanting more? Everyone is aware of the economic state that the country is in. You can’t miss it it’s all over the news and on most people’s tongues. Bank bailout, car company bailout, housing markets down the only good news some say is that the gas is still down.
b. So many people worry about money that a new industry of money psychologists has sprung up to treat them. It’s become a disease to worry about money. One thing that can take my time away is thinking about money, how to spend it or do I have enough, are my bills going to get paid or not, what’s the Government doing with my money? All this can take up our time and we can get so engrossed in it that we waist our lives thinking about money.
c. Now paying our honest debts, our bills is a good thing, we should be doing that. Making wise decisions about that money God has given us is good but to let it consume us is destructive and a waste of time, a waist of our lives.
d. I watched a movie called “the bucket list” and in it were two men who both were sick with Cancer and lying in beds in a hospital. One was the owner of the hospital and the other was a car mechanic. One man, the mechanic writes a list “the bucket list” things to do before you “kick the bucket”. The Owner of the hospital had spent his life making lots of money. At one point he says that’s all he has is money.
e. The point of the movie is to do the things that are important. Money is not the most important thing that we should let it rule our lives that we should become so wrapped up in thinking about it that we lose hours, days, weeks, and even years.
i. Jesus said Matthew 6:19-21 19 ¶ "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
f. Think, be concerned about heavenly things, store away treasures in heaven, and be concerned about doing God’s will. Don’t worry about, don’t run after, and don’t be consumed by money or riches that can be stolen or can rot away. Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven. Make it your life’s work to do God’s will.
2) Worry about tomorrow
a. There are people who fear the future. Worry about tomorrow. They spend all their time worrying about what could, should, might, or will happen tomorrow or next week or next year.
b. It is reported that the newspaper counselor, Ann Landers, received an avenge of 10,000 letters each month, and nearly all of them from people burdened with problems. She was asked if there was any one of them which predominates throughout the letters she receives, and her reply was the one problem above all others seems to be fear. People are afraid of losing their health, their wealth, their loved ones. People are afraid of life itself. —The Bible Friend
c. Have you spent your time worrying about tomorrow or next year? Have you spent your time in fear of the future, whatever it is? Listen we all know that planning for the future is not a bad thing, making wise Godly plans is good, something we should be doing but often we don’t just make wise plans we worry and fear about what is going to happen.
d. I have in the past spent days fearing things that never could happen. I built them up in my mind allowed myself to be taken to a fairy tale land and then built problems and catastrophic events in my mind that never did or could take place and I wasted those days.
e. One man said: “The word “worry” is derived from an old Anglo-Saxon word meaning to strangle or to choke. How well-named the emotion it has been demonstrated again and again in persons who have lost their effectiveness due to the stultifying effect of anxiety and apprehension. A certain well-controlled carefreeness may well be an asset. Normal sensible concern is an important attribute of the mature person. But worry frustrates one’s best functioning.” —Norman Vincent Peale
f. We should make wise Godly plans but we need to be careful not to let ourselves worry and fear the future because we can and will lose a lot of time and may even become sick. There are many who are seeing a link between fear and physical illness.
i. Matthew 6:31-34 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 ¶ "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
3) How should we spend our time?
a. How should we spend our time? How should we spend the time that God has given us? Jesus said to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. Jesus said go make disciples of all nations.
i. Seek the things of God; pursue God and his holiness, his righteousness. Make your desire and your purpose in life to be Christ-like, godly, doing his will, doing what please him and not what pleases us. How do we seek him and his righteousness? It first starts with love. Jesus said love the Lord your God with all your heart soul, mind, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. In order to love God I think we need to be reminded of who we were and who we are. You and I were dead in sins, you and I were enemies of God, you and I were headed for destruction but God being rich in mercy because of his great love which he loved us made us alive together with Christ, by grace you have been saved. We will never want to follow God if we don’t remember who we were and what he did for us in Christ.
ii. For most of us our conversion to Christ was a monumental event, life changing and it was. The thing we need to do is to constantly keep that in our minds or it’s easy for us to become Lukewarm.
b. Put yourself off and put on Christ, don’t worry about what other people think, be concerned about what God thinks. Plan your day, your week your year around seeking God and his righteousness and the issues of money or the worries of life will be taken care of. When they come back that is a reminder that you have missed your place and need to refocus. You can’t be making godly, Christ honoring plans and at the same time be living for money or self. It’s very difficult to truly know that God is in control and worry about the future.
4) Make disciples
a. We are people who have been rescued from a life that was going down in flames. We are people who have been set free from sin, and death, and released from the power of Satan. We are people that have been bought at a price, the blood of Christ. We are people that have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus and we walk in newness of life.
b. If that’s true and you believe it, have faith in it, who are you telling? Are you telling your friends, your neighbors, your coworkers, your orthodontist? If not, why not? Christianity is not a self centered way of life where we get saved and sit back in our rooms thinking nice thoughts about ourselves and our relationship with God. Were you redeemed, justified, sanctified, so that you could curl up in a corner somewhere and think happy thoughts? We were redeemed and given a mission to love others.
c. John 14:23 "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
d. John 15:10-12 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 ¶ "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
e. Luke 6:27 27 ¶ "But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
f. If you knew someone was driving for a bridge that was out and they would plummet to their death would you try and stop them? If you had the cure for Cancer would you share it? This world is headed for hell Jesus said that most people were on the road to destruction. You have the words of life. You know the cure to the dieses of sin. It’s the gospel, the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If your Christ’s disciple, if you love him you will keep his command and his command is to love. That means you and I are to tell this world and very person we come in contact with in whatever way we can that God loves them and died for them and that in him they can be saved as well. It doesn’t matter how well you speak God wants you to speak. God is using you to save this world.
If you die in 2009 will you have wasted your life thinking about money, or worrying about the future? Would have wasted your time getting angry at yourself and others or will you be able to say “I lived for Christ, I constantly sought after God, I loved Christ I believed the message of the Cross so much that I told as many people as I could.
Ephesians 5:15-16 15 ¶ Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
You and I have a choice every day, every week, every year, will I put myself to the side and put on Christ, the new man or will I live for myself, live for money, or live in fear?
What will you do with the time that you have?
We are about to participate in the Supper. Please prepare your hearts and minds as we meet once again with our Lord in a very special way and as we come together as the body of Christ, proclaiming Jesus is Lord and we are one together in him.