Purposeful Life

New Beginnings   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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A lot of you know this but before I was a pastor I actually worked a job where I was basically a telomarketor that called people about enrolling in an online college degree or certificate.
And as you can imagine when you call people all day long you kind of get to a place where you ask your self what am I doing with my life?
Because calling people and getting yelled does not seem like the most fulfilling life.
But you know the truth is even if you are not a tellomarketer, I think there are times we catch ourselves maybe questions what am I doing with my life?
Why am I at the job that Im at
I feel like I have no purpose other than to eat, sleep and work,
And I think if we are honest its easy to get to a place where we look at our lives and our schedules and go whats the point? Whats the purpose here?
In fact I found an article and it broke down how the average life is spent and how long we spend on certain activities throughout our life. This is what the article said:
The average person spends 13 years of their life at work or doing their job.
And then we spend almost an additional 4 years in the car driving places
Women spend 136 days getting ready for their day
Men spend 46 days (Sorry these are statistics)
We spend over 11 years just in front of the TV
We spend 3 years on social media
We spend 4 and half years eating
And then this is the big one. We actually spend 26 years sleeping.
And an additional 7 years trying to sleep
And if you are like me you read this and go “Wow, thats the outline of my life?” What in the world am I doing?!
But truthfully it brings up an important question: “How are we spending the lives that God has given me?”
And really “How do I make the most out of the time He has blessed me with.”
And so today we are going to do is be looking at this passage in Ephesians 5:8-20 and Paul brings attention to the way we are living and not just that, but he tells us how we can live a full life.
And so lets look at this first part in verses 8-14, because Paul starts by telling us the change that has been made in our life.
Look what he says (starting in verse 8):
Ephesians 5:8–14 NIV
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
So Paul starts by saying how our lives used to be in darkness but now we are children of light
Meaning the light of Christ that shines to everyone around us is in us.
So people should literally be able to see the light of Christ in us.
But heres the thing that we do not pay attention to because in verse 11 Paul actually tells us to have nothing to do with fruitless deeds, basically these things in our life that are toxic, but he said if they are a part of your life expose them.
And this is really counter to what we like to do, because if I have a dark secret, I want to hide that from everyone, I don’t want you to know about it.
Its almost like if your roof was leaking and you can start to see the mark on the ceiling and its clear so you decide I am just going to cover it with primer and ignore the issue.
Well that might be okay for a little bit, but the issue is if you keep covering the problem, eventually mold begins to grow, the home can start to have structural issues,
And what happens something that may have cost a few hundred dollars to fix will cost thousands.
And can I just say so often we have these areas in our life, and we get this idea that if people knew this habit or this trait in my life they would hate me.
But heres the thing if your sick with something serius, you usually cannot get better on your own, you need someone else.
And I am not saying go announce your sin on a Sunday morning, but maybe find a councelor, find a closer friend, find a small group to talk with,
Because I really believe God heals us, but to often he has given us people around us to walk through life togeher with.
And when someone has come to me and tells me somthing that they are wrestling with I have never thought wow, I lost so much respect, but I almost always go “wow, I am so proud of that person for taking the hardest step to get help.
If your in that boat find someone, because those areas weigh you down and keep you from living the free life Christ has called you to live.
To live a life to the full, we need to live a life in the light.
Look at this next part in verses 15-17 and this is really the core of the passage. He says:
Ephesians 5:15–16 (NIV)
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
So now Paul tells us we need to be careful with the way we are living.
in fact He says a phrase we have probably all heard “Make the most of every opportunity because the days are evil”
Basically life goes by so quick, and I just have to point out how true this is because if you have a child they are a baby, and then you blink your eye and they are already grown.
Whenever I sit with a person who has reached more the end of their life I think almost every person would say “wow that went fast”
I mean the days are evil, and before you know it you will find yourself further along, but the issue is to often we push off these God given dreams or callings in our life,
And the truth is if we just keep saying ill get to that next month or next year, when God wants us to do it now, we will find ourselves in a place where we will ask ourselves why did I wait?
Because the truth is sometimes we can be great at stewarding the money we have, but we do not steward the time that has been given to us.
Because this is one of the most for granted resources we have.
Find a way to live interntionally, thats why we are starting to give these at our baby dedications, because we want you guys to see how fast time goes and go how can I make every marble count.
We need to make our time count.
And look at what Paul says next (verse 18):
Ephesians 5:18 (NIV)
18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,
So Paul points out not to get drunk, but to be filled with the Spirit, and he means this literally, but he is also painting a picture for us,
Because drunkeness would have been associated with a reckless living
and really even this philosophy that was around then but most us have heard of which is the phrase “Eat drink, be marry, for tommarow we die”
Basically this idea of just do what feels good and let that guide how you live your life.
But here is the thing, because Paul tells us instead of letting that be our guide we are called to live a life filled and guided by the Spirit.
Because the thing that fills us is going to directly impact how we are able to live out where God is desiring us to be.
Think of it like a car, a car is meant to move right?
Well lets say you decide to fill your car will water, it will probably not work the way it was designed too, will it?
But it you fill it with gas, it will work exactly how it was created.
And to often as Christians we catch ourselves filling ourselves with the water, (the thing that looks appealing because its cheaper), but will not allow us to live the life we are called to live.
God wants us to live a life filled with His Spirit.
And lets look at this last part in verses 19-20 because this is how Paul closes this section:
Ephesians 5:19–20 NIV
19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Has anyone here recently sang a hymn or a read psalm to someone recently?
It sounds a little odd, but heres the thing because this is how the early church would minister to each other.
So Paul is telling them make sure you are being active with other Christ followers around you.
And can I Just say this is important, because we live in a time where it is really easy to come to a church, watch an online service and be poured into, but then leave and thats it.
We do not need to talk with anyone, serve anywhere, or get involved in a small group.
And if something is not exactly how we want we leave.
But the picture Paul paints here is really counter to what our vision of the church is, because he paints a picture of us being poured into, but also pouring into others.
And really Paul is moving us from being Christ Consumers to Christ Followers
because the truth is we need eachother to live a full life.
Because I talked about tree roots a couple weeks ago and how they go down as deep and the tree goes high.
But whats neat is when a tree is grown by other trees its roots entangle with other tree roots and they actually make it so when a storm comes the trees strengthen each other and they grow better because of each other.
Can I just paint that picture that this is how the church should look, because person across the sanctuary, might have went through what you are going through right now.
The person in the front or back might have the encouragement you need today.
I mean I really believe we grow better when we are together, and when we are living life together we are better able to live a life to the full.
Let me just finish with this because each of us have a jar, for some there are 936 weeks until your kid is out of Highschool- (Maybe include how Arika and I were counting and realized the moments that have passed for Liam and Finn)
For some we have 300 weeks until retirement
for a lot of us we do not know a lot of the exact amount of moments we have left.
None of us know how much is left in our life
We do not know how much is left in a period of life
But the question I want to finish with is how do we make the beads we have (the moments we have) count.
And really how do we live a life to the full.
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