THE UNWASTED LIFE, Week 1, Pastor Steve

THE UNWASTED LIFE

The Unwasted Life is a powerful series created by John Piper.  He has produced multiple books, sermons and training materials on this topic.  It is an amazing series that I would highly encourage anyone to study. 

I want to take time at our church to look at some of the main points of this Bible Study.  Over the next three weeks, we are going to look at 21 points to an Unwasted Life.  Some of the Points are Pastor Pipers and some are ones I have edited or added. 

First, let’s live in a way that demonstrates that Jesus is better than life.

“Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you!”  Psalm 63:3

Ultimately, God’s grace in our hearts leads to love towards others. One of the results of treasuring Him is that we desire other people to enjoy Him. Our vertical relationship with God begins to have an impact on our horizontal relationships.

? The churches in Macedonia were “being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.” 2 Corinthians 8:1-2

? Grace in the lives of the Macedonains results in joy and willing generosity.

This is what we should expect, too. The call of the gospel is to a life that counts, not necessarily an easy life.

? Circumstances weren’t the source of their joy. Their joy was God.

What makes Jesus look valuable is that we, in our love for Jesus, sacrifice ourselves for the good of others so that it is unquestionably apparent that our treasure is not on this earth.

? How are you going to live a lifestyle that doesn’t just look like a copy of the world?

Sacrifice in the cause of love is the point:

 “In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so  that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:16

? Good deeds are a part of helping others see the light. 

“Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.” 2 Corinthians 6:10

So the key to living an Unwasted Life is doing the kinds of deeds that flow from our hearts.  We may have difficulties and hard times, yet through Jesus Christ these times can be a source of rejoicing. 

21 Ways to Not Waste Your Life

  1.    Dont Waste your Suffering                                      

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” Romans 5:2-4

  • Don’t forsake the hope that God intends for suffering to produce in us. We can have huge faith in God to produce something amazing through our suffering.

“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.”      Colossians 1:24

? When Paul suffered as an Apostle, he suffered in order to display Christ’s pain in his body. Missionaries suffer quite often as well…It’s part of the deal.  Serving the Lord is the greatest thing in the World, but it can be painful!!

  • Remember We serve a crucified Savior. So we do not lose heart and we never give up. “Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!  So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

2.  Dont Waste your Aging                                             

? Aging is simply preparation for  for the kingdom. Those who are aged are blessed with insight and knowledge.

“Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.” Psalms 71:18

  • One of the great blessings of being elderly is not that it isolates us but that, ironically, it ties us more tightly to the people around us.
  • The blessings of growing older can’t be wasted.  So make sure you appreciate the time and live in the moment. 

“My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. If you do this, you will live for many years,  and your life will be satisfying.” Proverbs 3:1-2

3.  Dont Waste your Global Catastrophes                                     

  • Catastrophes are meant by God to drive us to Him. We must speak up, serve and listen when these things happen, because people need to hear from those who know the Lord.

“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” 1 Peter 4:10

?  JJ Watt and the Houston Texans

On August 27 last year, Hurricane Harvey displaced thousands of people in Texas, JJ Watt started a fundraising campaign. His initial goal was $200,000.  When the window for donations closed on that Friday, Watt had raised over 33 million dollars.   Once the news spread about this giving… big donations came in. The Texans donated $1 million. The NFL matched it. Texas grocery store H-E-B, added $5 million to help.

JJ Watt and others  Didn’t waste the Catastrophe.  They gave and served.  It’s awesome to see JJ Watt’s christian faith at work.  That’s what this point is making.   We must speak up and share these things when they happen, because our people need to hear from those who know the Lord.

4.   Dont Waste your Money                                            

“For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:10

  • We have your money as a steward, not as an owner. We don’t own anything, not even our bodies. We are managers of what God provides for us.
  • This means that your money is wasted if it does not achieve the purposes of its owner—God. We have been entrusted with money so that the way you use it will show that Jesus is more valuable than money.
  • How will you do that? That’s the challenge of life in America.
  • Jesus talks about money more than he talks about heaven, hell, or any other sin.  (Luke 6:20, 8:14, 9:58, 12:15, 31, 33, 14:33; Matt 6:19-20, 6:25; 2 Cor 6:9-10; Eph 4:28; 1 Tim 6:7-10, 18)
  • Put a cap on your lifestyle or it will take you over.

5.  Dont Waste your Robbery                                                            

A few years ago, the news had the story of Julio Diaz who was robbed at knifepoint and treated his assailant how Jesus commanded us to love our enemies. I read Jesus was edited out of that video, but you know it doesn’t matter what he said, he is acting like Jesus.

“Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.” Ephesians 5:16

? Julio Diaz was robbed at knifepoint, yet he treated his assailant how Jesus would treat him, with Love.

6.   Dont Waste your Compassion                                            

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 2 Corinthians 1:4

? We become believer’s filled with compassion for others.  Even in tough times, we can step in and help!

  • Compassion is a tough thing these days.  Most people are out for themselves.  But we are called to comfort as Christ has comforted us.  Thats compassion.  Let’s all model it together.

7.   Dont Waste your Enemies                                          

  • One of the big obstacles to loving our enemies is that we feel like justice is not done. We go to great lengths to make sure they get what they deserve!!    
  • However, the Apostle Paul gives a different idea,

“Never pay back evil with more evil…Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone…Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” Romans 12:17-21

? Justice will be done. God will do it. And this promise that he will do it gives us a wonderful freedom to love.

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” Matthew 5:43-44

7 Points, (7 of 21 on How to Live an Unwasted Life)

1.  Don’t Waste your Suffering                                                                                                                          

2.  Don’t Waste your Aging                                                                                                                             

3.  Don’t Waste your Global Catastrophes                                         

4.  Don’t Waste your Money                                                            

5.  Don’t Waste your Robbery                                                         

6.  Don’t Waste your Compassion           

7.  Don’t Waste your Enemies