Title: Make the Most of Life
Summary: God wants us to make the most of life by recognizing that life is more than just existence, but is submission to his word of life, which means we can come to know God, which is our life. This will enable us to love as he loved, which is life.
Scripture Reading: 1 Jn 3:14-16
1. I Ran Out of Things to Say on - "Make the Most of It"
2. Wrap it up with - "Make the Most of Life" - Seems appropriate
3. The older we get, the more we realize how fragile life is
a. Every passing year, more people you knew are gone
b. Sometimes it comes suddenly and unexpectedly
c. You realize you may be here one today, but not tommorrow
4. At times, we reflect on life
a. What is life? Death?
b. How do we make the most of life?
c. There are many opinions on this - Scientist, philosopher, politician, entertainer, social reformer all have their opinion
d. Will not refer to them, but go to the source - What Bible say?
I. Death is not natural
A. We often say - "death a natural part of life"
1. I understand why, want to comfort people
2. So we tell them that it is a normal part of life, don’t fret
3. Nothing could be farther from the truth
B. Consider Jesus' actions in John 11:
1. His friend, Lazarus had died, so he went to visit family
2. Martha met him as he walking up the road - "If you had been here, you could have kept him from dying"
a. Jesus did NOT say: "Death is natural part of life"
b. Jesus said: "He who believes in me will never die"
c. Family and friends broken hearted, wailing, weeping
3. V.33 - Jesus is “deeply moved”
a. "Deeply moved" - Grk: embriaomai
i To “snort” like horse, to scold, act indignantly, censure
ii Get idea of how he was "moved?" - indignation?
b. V.35 - "Jesus wept" - Tears of indignation, anger
i Jesus (dakruo - shed tears)
ii Everyone else (klaio - wailing, weep bitterly)
c. Deeply moved -to do what?
i Not: Not weep same way as everyone else
ii Their tears were tears of defeat, hopeless,
iii His tears were tears of indignation
iv Instead of life, death destroyed loved ones!
d. So - was deeply moved - to call Lazarus from dead
i Not say, “It okay, death is normal part of life”
ii Jesus came to kill death - not accept it as normal
4. (1 Cor 15:20-26) - The last enemy to be destroyed is death
a. What is death? Our ENEMY!
b. No matter who you are, death is your enemy
c. Whether you are Muslim, Buddhist, Scientist, Atheist
C. ILL: Sometimes we forget death is our enemy
1. We try tone down the harshness of death - not in polite company
a. Use euphemisms - "Passed away, gone, no longer with us
b. Build beautiful coffins, mausoleums, cemeteries, flowers
c. All to try and tone down the offensiveness of death
d. All of this can make you forget that death is ENEMY
2. ILL: There have been many public enemies throughout history
a. Tyrants, dictators, despots wreak havoc on people's lives
b. People may put up with it for a season
c. Eventually, they will try and do something about it
i They usually not say, "Oppression is natural part of life, so just accept it."
ii Sooner or later, they will do something about it
D. This is what Jesus did
1. Did not just accept death as normal. Thank God!
2. He raised Lazarus from the grave
3. In fact, he will raise everyone from the grave (Jn 5:28-29)
a. "…an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment." (NASB)
b. Wording: expect life v.s death, not life vs. judgment
c. Opposite of life is NOT non-existence, but judgment, which is the essence of death
II. Life is more than Biology
A. People have different views of life
1. Atheist - Life is a result chemicals
a. There is life in the zoo, greenhouse, houses - all the same
b. Life strictly from naturalistic causes, evolutionary process
c. Our thoughts, ethics, etc. are just chemical impulses
2. Really? Even atheist knows intuitively he is more than biology
B. ILL: Let’s take a trip to view an example of true life
1. Drive past the greenhouse - teeming with all kinds of plants
2. Past the zoo - With the monkey house, giraffe house..
3. Stop at the man house - Walk up to the glass, look in. . .
a. Here is a man who suffered bad accident
b. He is breathing, eyes open, but unresponsive
c. They are saying he is a "vegetable" - like plants in greenhouse
4. He is "alive," breathing. But would we call this life? Living???
C. If life is more than biology, then what is life? - - 3 Passages:
1. (Jn 6:60-68) Jesus said he is the bread of life
a. This not like food on dinner table - Will eventually die
b. But bread Jesus gives - eat it and never die
c. What is this bread of life? - - His words
i "My words are spirit and life
ii Jn 12:50 - "I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me." (NASB)
d. Life is to be nourished on his words in faithful submission
2. (Jn 17:1-3) - Eternal life is not about time, but knowing God
a. What does it mean to know God?
b. (Prov 3:5-12) - Life is walking with God in faithfulness
i V. 6 - In all your ways acknowledge (lit: "know") him - Make him central in all you think, do, plan, etc.
ii V.5 - Trust him, do not lean on your own insight
iii V.7 - Fear him, and turn away from evil
iv V.9 - Honor him, do not despise his training
v V.2 - They will give you "life" and peace
c. (1 Jn 2:3) We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands
i If you say you know him and do not obey, you are a liar
ii Knowing the Bible, commands, not mean you know God
iii Knowing God and doing his will go hand in hand
d. Life is knowing God
3. (1 Jn 3:14-18) Life is loving
a. Love is a "test" of whether I have life from God
i 1 John not warm fuzzies about love
ii 1 Jn is dealing with false teachers and anti-Christs
iii Test for false teachers - obedience to his commands AND love
b. (1 Jn 4:7-8, 12, 20-21) Love is a test of knowing God
i If I fail to love my brother, I fail to love God
ii Part of loving God is loving my brother
c. (1 Jn 1:6-7) Walking in the light is fellowship with God
i What does it mean to walk in the light?
ii (1 Jn 2:9-10) - To love is to walk in the light
d. Life is to love God and love my neighbor
4. NOTICE: This all ties together
a. Word of God, knowing God, love of God, life, and light are all connected together
b. ILL: It is like an electrical circuit - For a circuit to work, it all has to be there
c. If a part is missing, circuit is not complete, nothing works
i Need to be nourished on his words in obedience
ii This means trusting, faithful obedience
iii This means loving others
d. (Jn 10:10) I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
D. Abundant life is much more than what we think
1. It is much more than biology
a. Jesus not satisfied for you to be a vegetable
b. Jesus didn't come merely to cure physical disease
c. Jesus didn't come merely to feed the hungry
2. Jesus came to give you TRUE life
a. Feed your inner hunger
b. Cure the disease of your spirit
c. Bring you eternal life
3. Truly, life is more than just biology
1. Make the Most of Life - Starting to get an idea of where to start?
2. Start by taking care of what threatens life: Death, darkness
a. Jesus came to destroy the power of death
b. 1 Cor 15:56 - Sting of death is sin
c. ILL: A lot of things sting, bite, poison - Poison Dart Frog
i. Used by natives to poison darts
ii. Just a touch, and poison is deadly
d. Sin is like that, just a touch, and it brings death
3. But Jesus took the sting of death on himself
a. Opposite happened
b. When death touched Jesus, he killed death!
4. Now - Jesus offers a way to have abundant life (inv)
a. If you have responded to the Gospel, make the most of life
b. Live in the word - they are life
c. Know God, be submissive, obedient, faithful - This is life
d. Love God, love neighbor - This is life