The Greatest Life Ever Lived
5 Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. 6Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. 7He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. 8 And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal's death on a cross. 9 Because of this, God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name that is above every other name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. NLTThis message was preached September 15, 2002 at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at toulonbaptist.com
Think of this. A very poor woman gives birth to a child in an obscure village. Without education or political, or economic privileges he grows up there using the simple manual trade of the family to put food on the table. But at age 30, he begins to teach, to heal and to do many miracles. Yet within three and one half years he is dead. What could a life like that amount to? How could there be any lasting effects to such a life.
By now of course you know that the person I refer to is Jesus of Nazareth, the greatest life ever lived. How did he do that? How did such a short life have such a lasting affect on the world?
But the change that was brought about by that life cannot be denied. The question is Why? And how does this apply to me?
- Jesus set aside normal human aspirations to embrace what God had for His life.
- 7He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form.
- Although He was God, He did not hold onto that, but laid it aside.
- He became a creature like He had created.
- He became even a servant among the creatures.
- Most of us set aside God's plan for our lives to follow what we think is best.
- The Bible is filled with could-of-beens.
- Those people who could have been something if they had just let go of their own desires and plans.
- God uses people who are willing to humble themselves as Jesus did.
- There are few opportunities for the proud.
- We want to be somebody, someone who is in charge.
- Jesus became a servant of servants.
- At the last supper He took a towel and washed the disciples feet because they were all too good to do such a job.
- If we could do what we do as unto the Lord and not unto men we could find fulfilment in life.
- Col 3:23-24 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. (NKJ)
- 1 Cor 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (NKJ)
- Col 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (NKJ)
- He focused on the goal & not the track.
- Heb 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (NKJ)
- In a day in age where Christians are promised health, wealth and a general prosperity by some leaders, suffering and self denial have little popularity.
- We often look at the track, and loose sight of the goal.
- The goal is for Jesus to say well done my good and faithful servant. Matt. 25:21
- The will of God became His greatest desire.
- The testimony of the account of Jesus life tells us:
- John 4:34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. (NKJ)
- John 6:38 "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. (NKJ)
- Rom 15:3 For even Christ didn't please himself. As the Scriptures say, "Those who insult you are also insulting me." (NLT)
- God has designed us so that there will always be something missing in our lives unless we are in His will.
- God has a plan for your life.
- Ask yourself how much of your life do you know is God's plan for you.
- How much is just stuff.
- If you want God's will, He will reveal it to you.
- If you do not want to follow Him, then God will let you have your own way.
- But you will someday find that the treasure you have is only fool's gold.
- You will wake up one day to find that the foundation your life is built on is crumbling beneath you.
You may say well pastor, my life is very satisfying. I don't know what you are talking about. Well when you go to the amusement park and enjoy the rides and the food and all the shows, it is hard to be bored. But you are not going to stay in the amusement park forever.
Jesus likened those who did not listen to Him and follow His teachings to those who build their house on the sand. Now it does not say that the house fell over right after it was built. It does not even say that the house might not have lasted for years and years. But it does say that when the storms came, and they will come. That the house on the sand fell. And Jesus added, "And great was its fall."
Remember God is calling you.
If you are lost God is calling you to become a believer.
If you are a believer, then God is calling you to become a disciple.
If you are a disciple, God is calling you to make disciples.
The Christian faith is not for display.
It is for use, to change lives for Jesus Christ.
Jesus did not come for himself.
He came to give His life away, the same thing God has called us to.
God will bless the selfless life for ever.
While the self-satisfying life will only last a few years
Purpose is finding something that will out live us.
Purpose if going beyond ourselves.
Purpose is making a difference..