Sunday, March 29, 2009

Live Like You're Dying

The sermon at A Restoration Church today is Luke 21:5-38 - "Serene Living in Turbulent Times!"

The bullet points are:

  • Norhing is permanent
  • Nothing is easy
  • Nothing is hopeless
  • Live in HOPE!
How can these concepts be translated into "child language" for a children's page?

Lots of thoughts going round in my head:

  • Noah's family on the ark. They were sure living in HOPE when they walked up the gangplank into that huge boat with all the smells and sounds of all the animals and birds in the world.
  • Peter walking on the water toward Jesus, getting scared, starting to sink and finally taking hold of Jesus' hand. Once I took a Red Cross life-saving class. One thing they taught us was to rescue a drowning person from behind so he/she can't get a "death hold" on you and drag you down with him or her. I can only imagine how scared Peter was and how much he needed Jesus to reach out His helping hand of HOPE.
  • Then there's the story Jesus told about the two contractors. Each built a house - one on sand, the other on rock. Then the rains and storms came. The house on the rock stood. The house on the sand went smash!

Well, I went with the "Three Little Pigs" instead. They each built a house: one of straw, one of sticks and one of bricks. When the Big Bad Wolf came calling, he huffed and puffed and blew down the houses of straw and sticks. Only the brick house offered HOPE and safety from the Big Bad Wolf!

In the story of the two builders, one was smart and one was stupid. In the "Three Little Pigs," two were lazy and stupid and one worked smarter and harder.

Then I checked my email and read a church planting blog giving the advice to "live like you're dying" when planting a church. I guess that was the essence for both Noah and Peter. They had to face the reality of the alternative before they could trust the HOPE!

I've had my own experience with living like I'm dying. It's scary stuff, but it's also where the most real reality of life is!

Country singer Tim McGraw wrote a song about "Live Like You Were Dying" based on his personal experience. He expresses doing all the things he shoved to the back burner to do later - doing them right now - like sky diving, rocky mountain climbing, two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu! "And I loved deeper ... and I gave forgiveness I'd been denying"!

What happens when we "live we are dying"? What's important shifts to what's really important! Risks don't matter except to become worth the cost. People and relationships mean more. Living God's purpose becomes a matter of life or death! Time races and we race with it as we live like we were dying!

I guess it goes without saying that "living like I'm dying" means my heart changes, too! My prayer becomes: "Lord, give me dying eyes and dying ears and a dying heart to see and hear and love with life or death urgency!" That's how Jesus lived His last days, for sure!

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