ML-5 - What are the Greatest "Things" in Life?

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Transcript

MOTIVATIONAL LESSONS

In John 10:10 Jesus said, “I came that you may have life and have it more
abundantly.”

Today we're going to be considering: What are the greatest things of
the Christian life?
We hope that you'll stay tuned as we think about this motivational
lesson on the great privileges of the Christian life. The greatest privilege of
the Christian life is to be called sons and daughters of Almighty God. To be
adopted into the family of the God of heaven is the greatest privilege we
could ever have. In fact the Scripture says in 1 John 3:1, “Behold what
manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we can be called
children of God! And this we are!”
Look at the love that God has exhibited toward mankind. When we
were separated by sin, God sent His Son to this world and through His love
and through the sacrifice of Christ, we can now be called sons of God, and
not only sons but heirs of all that belongs to God. “For as many of us as
were baptized into Christ we've clothed yourselves with Christ and we've
become heirs of the things that are God's,” Galatians 3:26-27.
When you think about the great privilege of being called sons of God,
you know it's such a great privilege, because then we really can look up to

heaven, as Jesus taught us and pray ‘Our Father who art in heaven,’
Matthew 6:9. As you think about the great privilege of being sons of God,
that means we must also be children of God to be heirs of God. Romans
8:16-17 clearly teaches us that if we are children, then we are heirs of God
and as heirs, joint heirs with Christ. Galatians 4:4 says that we have been
adopted into the family of God. In the fullness of time God sent forth His
Son born of a woman, born under the law that we might receive the
adoption as sons.
What a privilege it is that though we were separated from God,
though we were wondering aimless aimlessly in sin, God was willing
through His Son to adopt me and to adopt you into His family.
And so the greatest privilege a man could ever have is to look up to
heaven and say, “Our Father who art in heaven.”
Let's think about another great principle of the Christian life, and this
is the greatest joy. What is the greatest joy in life? Friend there's no greater
joy in life than the joy of salvation. You remember the conversion of the
Ethiopian eunuch. Philip and Ethiopian eunuch are traveling down the road.
He teaches him about Christ. He learns what he's got a do to be saved. He
obeys the gospel. He comes up out of the water and the Bible says that
Ethiopian eunuch, who we know nothing else about, went on his way
rejoicing. Why was that man so happy? Because he had learned the
gospel, because all his sins had been washed away, because now he has
a purpose and something to look forward to: a home in heaven with
Almighty God.
David prayed in Psalm 51:12 “Restore to me the joy of your
salvation.” 1 Peter 1:8, it is that joy that we as Christians look forward to
and we build upon in our faith. There is now no condemnation to those who
are in Christ. What makes Christianity such a great joy? On that that great
day, that judgment day, as a child of God, I can hear the words and you
can hear the words: ‘Well done good and faithful servant enter into the joys
of your Lord.’ Our joy is based on the fact that we can enter into the
fullness of God's joy and His love in the eternal realm, by following the
teaching of Christ. You see, as a Christian salvation is found in Christ
Jesus. 2 Timothy 1:10-11 the Bible says that we have all spiritual blessings
in Christ. No wonder then the apostle Paul would later say to the church in
Philippi, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.’

Friend I hope you'll listen real carefully, there a lot of things in this life
that may give one a sense of passing pleasure, maybe even a sense of
passing happiness, but friend you will never find true lasting eternal joy
outside of Christ. He is our joy. He is our hope. He's our peace. Everything
that we have is in Him and without that there's no real happiness or joy in
this life.
Then I want us to think about another great aspect of the Christian
life, and it's this, the greatest fellowship, joining together in communion that
Christians have in this life is with Christ and other Christians. Now to fully
understand this, we've got to realize that before Christ, we weren't in
communion with God or Christ. The Bible says in Isaiah 59:1-2 that our sins
had separated us from Almighty God. We had been severed from Christ,
Galatians 5:4, by sin, and we had no brotherhood or fellowship outside of
this world which is passing away. And yet the Bible says of those who
obeyed the gospel in Acts 2, they continued steadfastly in the apostle's
doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread, and in prayers, Acts 2:42. We have
that that joint effort that communion, that closeness with Christ and other
Christians. And friend that's an encouragement, because we know we're
not in it alone. We know God is indeed on our side. We know that Christ is
our Lord and Savior, Acts 2:36; and if we trust in God, we can overcome
the things of this world.
You see the Bible teaches us, ‘Have no fellowship with the unfruitful
works of darkness.’ This world and all that is evil of it that's not what I'm to
place my effort and my emphasis, rather I'm to have that joint fellowship
with God and other Christians. You see this world, so many people, hope
you’ll listen carefully, so many people are in fellowship with a world that is
passing away, a world that is against God, and in a world that doesn't look
on the eternal principles that Christians desperately need to.
The Bible says, ‘Do not love the world or the things of the world, for
all that is in the world lust of flesh, lust the eyes, the pride of life, it's not of
the Father but it's of the wicked one and the world and all that's in it is
passing away, but he who does the will of God that's the man who will
endure forever.’ And so instead of having our fellowship, our closeness, a
relationship with the world, we want to be in closeness with God and
naturally with other Christians.

Listen to this verse. One the most beautiful in all the New Testament,
the Bible says “if” here's the condition, “If we walk in the light, as he is in
the light we have fellowship one with another and the blood of His Son
Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.” That fellowship not only looks up
and goes up to heaven itself with God and Christ, but it laterally as with
other Christians who are trying to walk in the light and live as God wants us
to live. And so, greatest fellowship, having a joint communion with Christ,
and other Christians.
Well what then is the greatest work in this life? There is work to be
done. A lot of people get caught up in work. In fact in my life and in yours,
we spend a lot of time on the job and at work. But what's the greatest work
in all the world? Friend the greatest vocation or work in all the world is the
Christian work that is a life of service to God and others. You know when
you think about serving God, and you think about the things that are really
important, I'm reminded of that question that the lawyer asked Jesus in
Mark 12:30. “Teacher what is the greatest commandment of all?” Jesus
said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and
strength. And the second like unto it, is love your neighbor as yourself.”
What's the greatest work that a person could ever do? Working in the
kingdom of God, seeking first the kingdom of God, Matthew 6:33. Being
busy about the Father's business, Jesus in Luke 2:49-52 was questioned
by His parents. “Why did you leave the caravan? Why did you go and do
these things?” And He was in the temple listening and hearing what they
were saying. And so when they questioned Jesus, “Why did you do this?”
His response was, “Did you not know, I must be about my Father's
business?”
Friend that's what we're here to do. Our work that we need to put the
most emphasis and interest upon is working for Almighty God. And you
know the things that we do for God, that's what's really going to count in
this life. Do you remember Paul's words to the church in Corinth? In 1
Corinthians 15:58? The apostle Paul said to the Corinthian Christians, ‘Be
steadfast immovable,’ listen to this, ‘always abounding in the work of the
Lord knowing that your labor is not in vain.’ Not only am I to be abounding
in God's word, to be fruitful in it, but when I think about the work of God, I
know that labor is not in vain. What's that mean?
The things I do for God and for Christ and to serve others in this life,
those are the things that are really important and really of esteem principle

importance in my life and yours. Think about Jesus’ words in Mark 10:45
the Bible says of Christ, “For the Son of Man came not to be served, but to
serve and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Now friend I just want you to think about your life, and let's think
about our own lives for just a moment. All the work, all the effort, all the toil
and all the labor that we do, how much of that is for God? How much work
are we really doing in the kingdom for the cause of Christ and to promote
God and the gospel?
Christians sing the beautiful hymn, “I will work, I will pray, I will labor
every day,” we sing that; we believe that, but are we really doing that every
day in our Christian life?
Let's then think about another great thing about the Christian life. And
we ask this: What's the greatest knowledge that a person could have in this
life? And friend, the answer is the greatest knowledge in life is to know God
and His Son Jesus Christ. In fact, did you know, listen very carefully; did
you know that knowing God is what eternal life is all about?
When we think about eternal life, we think the idea of just living
forever; that's not the real essence of eternal life. Jesus said in John 17:3
as He looked up to heaven and prayed to the Father He said, “This is
eternal life what that they may know you, the true and living God.” What's
the greatest knowledge? To know God and to be known by Him.
Jesus emphasized the power of knowing the truth when He said in
John 8:32, “You shall know the truth and the truth will make you free.” ‘I
know,’ Paul said, ‘whom I've believed in and am persuaded. He's able to
keep that which I've committed unto Him until that day.’ On the very last
day when we stand before God, we can have confidence knowing that our
faith has been placed in something that's sure and solid and will not fade
away.
I want you to think for just a moment about Jesus' words in John
14:6, as Thomas said to the Lord Jesus had just told them, ‘I'm about to go
away where I'm going you cannot come at this time.’ and Thomas said,
‘Lord we don't know where you're going. How can we know the way in
essence?’ Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life no man comes
to the Father except by Me.”

Jesus is the way, without Him there is no going. Jesus is the truth,
without Him there is no knowing. Jesus is the life, without Him there is no
living. Do you see the greatest things of this life include knowing God and
knowing His Son Jesus Christ?
Now friend as we talk about knowing God and knowledge of Him it
isn't enough just to say, ‘Well I know the facts.’ Knowing involves keeping
God's commands and being approved by God by the life that we live. You
know, when we say we know someone, it creates the idea of a relationship
and creates that idea of some kind of a communion and fellowship involved
in that. The same is true of God and Christ. If I'm to know God, it requires
more than just the facts, requires me to submit to and obey the will of God.
Jesus said this in Matthew 7:21 Jesus said, “It's not everybody that
looks up in heaven is says, ‘Lord, Lord,’ that's going there, but he who does
the will of my Father in heaven.” Friend it is essential that more than just
paying lip service to Christ, I obey Him. Jesus said to the Jewish elite in
Luke 6:46, “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do the things which
I say?” And in Hebrews 5:8-9 the Scripture affirms the idea that if we're
going to obey Christ, if we're to follow Christ, we must obey Him. He is the
author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. And so, I must walk in the
footsteps of Jesus Christ every day to say that I really know Him.
Well let's think about another great thing about the Christian life. As
we think about motivational encouraging ideas from the Christian life, let's
realize the greatest victory in life is to overcome self and this old world.
Friend the struggles that I face and the struggles that you face often
deal with self and often deal with the temptations of this world. Do we
realize that in Christ we can overcome and be victorious, even over self
and this world? 1 Corinthians 9:27 Paul said, “I discipline my body and
bring it into subjection, lest when I've preached to others I myself should
become a castaway.” This was even up a challenge for Paul, but Paul
through his obedience to Christ could overcome that. Friend the same is
true for us. We might at times say like Paul, ‘The very things I don't want to
do sometimes those are the things I do; the very things I do want to do
sometimes those are the very things that go undone.’ Yes, it's a fight; it's a
battle, but in Christ we can have the greatest victory ever.

When I think about that victory there is a key to that victory and it's
found in 1 John 5:4, ‘this is the victory we have even our faith.’ What's that
mean? When I think when I think about having the victory, I think about
overcoming self, overcoming sin, overcoming this world; it all happens
based on my faith and my trust in God. “If faith comes by hearing and
hearing by the word of God,” Romans 10:17, then my faith in Christ,
trusting Him implicitly would help me to win the battle and be victorious.
Thus we can say, as Paul so beautifully elaborated, “Thanks be to God
who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
As a Christian, friend you've got the greatest victory in all the world.
Let's then think about another item that is so encouraging about the
Christian life, and that is the greatest gift. What's the greatest gift in this
life? Well you can probably imagine the greatest gift ever given was given
by God. The greatest gift in this life is to give oneself unto God and of
course to others. Now we see that in the prime example of our Lord and
Savior. You remember the passage very well John 3:16 Jesus said, “God
so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes
in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
When I think about the greatest gift, I think about God giving His Son
for mankind and for others, so that they could be saved. And as I think
about the practical aspects of that the greatest gift in this life is to give
oneself to God and to others. Do you remember the words of Jesus
recorded only in Acts 20:35? The Lord said, “It is more blessed to give that
it is to receive.” We can all understand that. It makes you feel better to give.
It feels good when you to do good to others, to help out and especially as it
relates to the cause of Christ. In fact of the Macedonians, it was clearly said
in 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 that, “They first gave themselves unto the Lord.”
Here's a group of people, who before they put the first dollar in the
collection plate, made up their mind the greatest gift ever is not what we put
in monetarily, but giving ourselves unto God. Jesus said, “Give and it'll be
given to you. Good measure pressed down, shaken together, and running
over will then be put back in your bosom,” Luke 6:38.
And so, let's think about sacrifice. Let's think about giving. We live in
the ‘me generation’ but that ‘me generation’ will never make us happy.
Giving to God and giving to others and serving them, that's the greatest gift
that a person could ever have in this life.

As we think about great things, it's also important for us to emphasize
the greatest loss in this life would be ones' soul. Oh there are great things
about Christianity, but friend let's realize that it would be horrible, it would
be a tragedy, it would be the greatest loss ever if one were to lose his soul.
Do you remember the words of Jesus in Mark 8:36-37? Jesus asked two
rhetorical questions, “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world
and loses his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his
soul?”
My soul and your soul is the most important thing ever. And friend to
lose that, to put selfishness, to put worldly interest, to let the devil into my
life, and have his way with it that would be the greatest, most horrible loss
you could ever imagine.
Let me give you an illustration. Luke 12:15-21, there was a man there
who had a great harvest, so much so that he said to himself, ‘Soul you've
got many goods laid up for many years take it easy,’ eat, drink, and be
merry in essence. He said, ‘I'll tear down my barns and build bigger barns,’
that he did. But you know what thing he left out? Jesus said to that man,
“You fool this night will your soul be required of you, then whose things will
those be whom you've acquired?” So is he who is rich, but not toward God.
Friend the greatest loss, the absolute most horrible devastating loss
ever is the loss of someone’s' soul. And I hope you'll listen real carefully to
these words, each of us possess a soul that soul is going to live
somewhere forever. Now is the time that I have opportunity and the ability
to do something about it. If I squander that time, if I if I don't take action, if I
ignore it, if I say to myself I'll deal with that later, and the chance and
opportunity never came, can you imagine what a horrible loss that would
be?
Think about it this way, let's say that you said yourself, out ‘I've heard
the gospel; I believe in the gospel; I want to become a Christian; and one
day in the near future I'm going to do that.’ And you said yourself and even
made a promise, ‘I'm going to become a Christian one day,’ and before that
day came your life was snuffed out. Can you imagine a greater loss in all
the world than that? Your soul and my soul is the most important thing that
we have in this life.

But then along those same lines, I want us to think about one of the
greatest neglects in this life, and that is the neglect of salvation. Listen to
Hebrews 2:3. The Hebrew writer asked this question, “How shall we
escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” You know all of us from time to
time are prone to neglect things. Maybe we neglect our chores. Maybe you
neglect mowing the yard, because it's hot outside. Maybe you neglect
doing some chores in the house, maybe even neglect doing a few things at
work, and we can probably skate by with neglecting those things if we're
careful. If you neglect salvation, you have neglected something that is of
eternal importance. And listen again to that question, “How shall we escape
if we neglect so great a salvation?” If I fail to take advantage of salvation,
that’s greatest neglect in all the world.
Friend we want to close on a positive note by noting this: of all the
great things we might find in Scripture the one great question that rises
above all else is found in Acts 16:30-31. The Philippian jailer asked of Paul,
‘Sirs what must I do to be saved?’
There's no greater question in all the world than that. And Paul gave
him that answer, and we find it throughout the book of Acts. On the day of
Pentecost when they realized they'd killed their own Messiah, they cried
out ‘Men and brethren what shall we do?’ And the answer was, ‘Repent
and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the
remission of your sins,’ Acts 2:38. To those who heard the message about
Jesus, and believed it, John 8:24, if they were then willing to change their
life and repent turn from sin to God, Acts 3:19, having acknowledged Jesus
as Lord and Savior with the mouth, Acts 8:36-39, those who did that were
baptized in water, immersed in water for the forgiveness of their sins.

Friend we ask you today, have you really taken advantage of the
great things of Christianity?
There's no greater life, no greater joy, and yet at the same time no
greater neglect than the neglect of salvation.
If you've never obeyed the gospel, friend we're encouraging you today be a
Christian. Obey the gospel. Enjoy the great life.

Study Questions for: “Motivational Lesson 5”

1. According to John 10:10, why did Jesus come?

2. Christians are children of whom according to 1 John 3:1?

3. According to Galatians 3:26-27, Christians become heirs of what?

4. What did David pray to be restored in Psalm 51:12?

5. What do we have in Christ according to 2 Timothy 1:10-11?

6. According to Isaiah 59:1-2, what separated us from God?

7. In Luke 2:49-52, when questioned by his parents, what did Jesus say he
must be about?

8. According to 1 Corinthians 15:58, why should we always be abounding
in the work of the Lord?

9. According to Mark 10:45, why did Jesus come?

10. Who is going to Heaven according to Matthew 7:21?