TEXT:  I John 5:1-6
THEME:  Without Christ there is no meaning for life, but
with Him, life is rich with meaning
TITLE:  "In Search of. . . ?"

Series B
Second Sun. of Easter
Our Savior Lutheran Church
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
April 6, 1997

             

I

INTRODUCTION
 (The search for paradise on 48 Hours....)
I.  DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR?
	A.  Like everyone else, we ususally look for "happiness".
		1.  There is a basic problem with looking for happiness.
			a.  Happiness is not a goal...it is a by-product of life.
			b.  Happiness is something we enjoy for brief periods of time, not a 
			     constant condition of life.
		
		2.  Happiness presumes the absence of tough times...a totally unrealistic view.
			a.  What life comes without difficulty...without trauma...without times of
			      real tragedy?
			b.  If happiness is to be an on-going feeling of well-being, then we hope 				     in vain for an unattainable, unreachable and unrealistic goal.
	B.  Others look  for satisfaction through the accumulation of things.
		1.  T-Shirts:  "The one who dies with the most toys, wins." v. "The one who dies 			     with the most toys...still dies."
		2.  The race is on!
			a.  The best house...the finest car...the most prestegious career...the 				     ideal spouse...the vacation home.
			b.  ILLUS:   The lady whose husband passed away who bought a 
			    parrot...
	C.  We can become so preoccupied with all the mirrors, ladders, bells and 		  	     whistles that we loose the very thing we are seeking...to be satisfied with life!
		1.  Contentment is the goal, not happiness.
		2.  To be able to be satisfied with what we are and who we are, no matter what 			     our station in life may be.  (Phil. 4:11-13)
	D.  How has your search gone?
		1.  Have you found contentment?  Satisfaction?  Peace with life?
		2.  Have you become disillusioned, frustrated and at odds with life?
                        3.  Are you tired of the constant search for happiness through the 				     accumulation of stuff?
		4.  Maybe you've had a bellyful of trying to keep up with the expectations of what
		     society says is the measure of your happiness?
III.  JESUS CHRIST HAS WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR?
	A.  Like the family in our drama, everything from the world's point of view can be 		     in place and yet, something is missing.
		1.  Without that something, life simply doesn't hold together very well.
		2.  What is that something?  It is a vibrant, living relationship with God!
			a.  Without that relationship, there will be no peace with God.
			b.  Without peace with God there can be no peace with ourselves.
			c.  Without peace with God and ourselves, there can be no peace with 				     others.
			d.  Without peace with others, there will be no peace with life.
	B.  Peace with God comes only through knowing Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
		1.  If you are in search of a relationship with your Creator, there is only one point 		    of access...Jesus Christ.
			a.  Through His death and resurrection, our salvation is obtained as a 				     free gift.
			b.  This gift is truly a gift...ILLUS:  Suppose a friend stops by with a 				     present for you and you take out your wallet or purse and attempt to 
                                         pay for the gift..You would insult the giver...
		2.  God has paid an incalculable price for your life...don't insult Him with any 			     thought that you can help obtain it or think that you can add something to 			     make it better...you can't
	C.  Having a relationship with God give us meaning for our future.
		1.  It makes our days have a goal....to serve Him....to glorify Him!
			a.  ILLUS:   So many people engage in life like people who are 					     attempting to play basketball without any hoops on the 					     backboards!  There's a tremendous amount of activity, but nobody 
                                         knows why?
			b.  This does not mean that all of us should quite our jobs and become 
                                         missionaries...it means that were we live is God's place for us...a 				     place of honor in which to dedicate all that we are to Him and His 				     Kingdom.
		2.  Knowing where we are going changes our understanding of how we now 			    conduct our lives.
			a.  Age is irrevelant!  Serve God at the age you are.
			b.  Job is irrevelant!  Serve God in the job you have.
			c.  Place is irrevelant!  Serve Christ where God has put you.
	D.  Knowing who you serve and where you are going will bring contentment to 	    	     your days now and forever!
		1.  If you're fed-up with not knowing what's missing in your life...embrace the 			     cross!
		2.  If you've found the world's answer for contentment to be the foolishness that 			     it is...Look inside the empty tomb of Jesus Christ!
		3.  If you've hear about all you can stand of philosophers and psychologists 			     offering one contradictory solution after another for man's lack of 
                             contentment...then it's time to rest in the embrace of Jesus Christ!
CONCLUSION
    What are you in search of?  Have you tried it all and found the attempts in vain?  Has every attempt to merely cope with life resulted in a desperate attempt not to think about it anymore?  Then know that your day of contentment is at hand, because Christ, your Savior is ready to deliver to you what you have been in search of...Contentment, joy, and purpose in life.  Amen.

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