The following was first preached as a sermon on April 22. While I won’t here be reproducing every illustration and story I shared with the congregation when I preached it, hopefully the main ideas of the message will still come through.
Grace and Truth,
There was a very cautious man
Who never laughed or played
He never risked, he never tried
He never sang or prayed.
And when one day he passed away,
His insurance was denied,
For since he never really lived,
They claimed he never really died.
Does that describe you? Are you going through the motions, without really living?
Have you ever asked yourself,
- “What is my purpose?”
- “Why am I here?”
- “What do I want my life to add up to?”
- “Where am I heading?”
- “Am I pursuing my purpose or my calling?”
It’s interesting how often we don’t think about such questions. We’re so distracted with activities, television shows, sports, video games, and a hundred other things. That sort of attitude about life led one philosopher to write…
“To be utterly lost in the woods is unfortunate. To be absolutely unconcerned about it is unreasonable.”
And yet that’s how many of us approach life.
Some of us take days to plan and pack for vacation… but how few of us really plan and prepare for life? And that’s often because we don’t know why we’re here… or where we’re headed.
There’s a relatively new book that’s been released entitled, “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.” It was written by a nurse who worked with patients who had only 12 weeks to live.
Here are the top five regrets they had…
5.) I wish that I had let myself be happier.
4.) I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
3.) I wish I had had the courage to express my feelings.
2.) I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
1.) I wish I had had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
That tells us a lot, doesn’t it? Can you relate to any of those regrets?
I’m convinced that it’s a whole lot harder to live a life true to yourself… if you don’t know what that life looks like… if you don’t know why you’re here.
Well, the Apostle Paul tells us a great deal in just the first verse of our Scripture this morning on just this very thing (Romans 1:1).
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God —
I think this verse will mean a great deal more to us when we understand where Paul came from.
And we’ll take a look at that, as well as its implications for those of us seeking God’s purpose in and for our lives, tomorrow.