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