THE UNWASTED LIFE 2
The Unwasted Life is a powerful series created by John Piper. We started last week in teaching this message, and it had an Impact on many of us. Today we are continuing our study of those things that can keep us from wasting our lives.
This series is a good time to think through our ways, actions, and faith.
What can I work on, what should I study, who may be able to help me, what can I do for the rest of my life? Maybe its time for Impact to think over some of these things. If we are going to continue to be Spirit-led followers in a life-changing church how are we to live?
The author of Hebrews, writes, “Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remained faithful…” (10:32) Are we still as strong as those days? Do we have the same passion that we had when we first believed?
Maybe this series will help all of us to remember what we “first learned” and apply it to our lives.
The key to living an Unwasted Life is living out our lives in such a way that we grow, work on our weaknesses and strive to follow even closer to Christ. 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
As many of you know we did #1-7 last week, the message and notes are on our website. Okay, week 2, let’s start with point 8 of 14.
8) Don’t waste your Youth
- One of the ways people often waste their youth is, Always wanting to be older! It is a sad state when youth can’t enjoy life as is. They have to be at the next age, have the next thing and be at the next stage. Quite often this leads to youth forgetting who Created them. (and their textbooks don’t help much with that…)
“Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old…” Ecclesiastes 12:1
- Wasted youth…TV, video games, computer…a lot of fun but not a lot of meaning. We need to encourage our youth to a life of meaning and purpose…and fun!!
- Sin vs. Fun: For something to be fun it doesn’t have to be sin. So often we can equate the two. We really miss the point of our whole created beings. God made us to enjoy life and have it to the fullest, but quite often the youth will sacrifice what is right for what is fun. Maybe a lot of adults do that too.
- Three good ideas:
- Decide to be Different. Different than those students and friends who live their lives for someone other than Christ.
- Be an Example of How to Live for Christ. “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12
- Have Fun. Being young is such a great opportunity to play, swim, run, travel, etc.
9) Don’t waste your Retirement
Famous missionary Ralph Winter wrote, “Most men don’t die of old age, they die of retirement. I read somewhere that half the men retiring in the state of New York die within two years. Save your life and you’ll lose it. Just like other drugs, other psychological addictions, retirement is a virulent disease, not a blessing. . . . Where in the Bible do they see that? Did Moses retire? Did Paul retire? Peter? John? Do military officers retire in the middle of a war?” – Ralph Winter
- Not wasting your life means Taking Risks.
- For Joab and His Brother: “If the Arameans are too strong for me, then come over and help me,” Joab told his brother. “And if the Ammonites are too strong for you, I will come and help you. Be courageous! Let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. May the Lord’s will be done.” 2 Samuel 10:11-12
- For Esther and Mordecai: “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.” Esther 4:16
- The great New Testament risk taker was the Apostle Paul: Picture him first on his way to Jerusalem after years of suffering for Christ almost everywhere he went. He had bound himself in the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:21) to go to Jerusalem. He had collected money for the poor, and he was going to see that it was delivered faithfully.
+ There is no ultimate risk when you risk for Christ.
10) Don’t waste your Sexuality
“Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:15-20
- Sexual purity means chaste abstinence before marriage and faithfulness to one woman or one man after marriage.
- People say that the Bible isn’t very clear on sexuality, but in reality if it is very clear…
“The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.” 1 Corinthians 7:3-4
11) Don’t waste your marriage. (short video)
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ…As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.” Ephesians 5:21,24-25
- Marriage is to model the Church. The meaning of marriage is the display of the covenant love between Christ and his church.
- The Apostle Paul is arguing 3 things…
v21 – submit to each other
v22 – wives submit to your husbands
v23 – husbands love your wives
12) Don’t waste your singleness
“I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband. I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.” 1 Corinthians 7:32-35
- Paul loved his singleness. There is a glorious freedom in singleness for Christ. And there is a glorious partnership for Christ in marriage.
- You can use the place that God has you in to do awesome things.
13) Don’t waste your prayers
“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” Matthew 6:5-6
- Jesus is telling us to pray, pray to the Father…pray so the Father is blessed not the crowds. A pastor friend used to ask, “Is your prayer a routine or an act of love?”
- God sent His Son to earth to pay for your salvation so that God can be in a relationship with you. One of the biggest ways we live out is the connection we have in prayer.
“You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. ” James 4:2-5
- James challenges his readers to pray and ask God for what you want, “you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.” Ask God for everything you need and then use it for his glory.
14) Don’t waste your Importance
- God created you and made you a very important person…
“The very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Luke 12:7
- Don’t waste Importance…let go of your Ego!! Look at King Herod in Acts…He was a bit too important in his own mind and the crowds…
“An appointment with Herod was granted. When the day arrived, Herod put on his royal robes, sat on his throne, and made a speech to them. The people gave him a great ovation, shouting, “It’s the voice of a god, not of a man! Instantly, an angel of the Lord struck Herod with a sickness, because he accepted the people’s worship instead of giving the glory to God. So he was consumed with worms and died.”
- Everybody is prominent with somebody. Ego is more dangerous than money. And the issue isn’t really your words but your heart. So don’t be like Herod and get eaten by worms.
- Close: Let’s use what God has given us to help others, serve the church, and love the people in our lives. God made us important, now we can help others know they are important to God and to us!
We have to decide if we are in or out on not wasting your life, are you going to get engaged…fishing or no fishing…striving for a new life in Christ and in loving others or the same old life…your choice…
8. Don’t Waste your Youth
9. Don’t Waste your Retirement
10. Don’t Waste your Sexuality
11. Don’t Waste your Marriage
12. Don’t Waste your Singleness
13. Don’t Waste your Prayers
14. Don’t Waste your Importance
Prayer – Close Message with Prayer
Word on Offering