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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » James Meehan » James Meehan - 4 Questions Every Person Should Ask to Live a Good Life

James Meehan - 4 Questions Every Person Should Ask to Live a Good Life

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    James Meehan - 4 Questions Every Person Should Ask to Live a Good Life

Well, we are in week two of our series, Big Questions, Honest Answers. And this week, we are answering the question, how do I live a good life? Now you can find answers to that question in lots of different places, but most of the answers you will find are awful. Like just open YouTube, scroll through TikTok, jump around Tumblr or look on Netflix. And the amount of voices trying to tell you who you are, what you are supposed to believe and how you should live is overwhelming. And there's a problem. Because the loudest voices are often giving the worst answers.

That's why more than anything and possibly more than ever, we need truer, we need better, we need more beautiful answers to life's biggest questions. Because the answers that we've been getting just aren't working. And like you don't have to just take my word for it either. Look around you, people are not okay and they're not getting better. And if things keep going the way that they are, they're probably just gonna keep getting worse. You see, what we need is Jesus because his words are always true. His way is always good and his invitation is always beautiful. Jesus himself, in John 10:10 said, "My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life".

This is what Jesus is inviting all of us into, a rich and satisfying life, the good life. But, and this is a big but, finding that kind of life doesn't come from just wanting it really badly or being true to ourselves or doing whatever makes us happy. So pay attention to what Jesus says at the end of his most famous sermon. "'Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise. Like a person who builds a house on solid rock, though the rain comes in torrents and the flood waters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won't collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn't obey is foolish. Like a person who builds a house on sand, when the rain and the floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.' Now, when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching for he taught with real authority quite unlike their teachers of religious law".

So a few things to note. Jesus is talking about wise people. These are the good life people and they listen and follow his instructions. And because they do, what Jesus tells us is that their life will not collapse because it's built on something solid. But then you've got the fools, these are the not good life people who they hear what he says and they do not obey it. So what happens? Their lives collapse with a mighty crash. And I think what's so interesting is that when the people heard Jesus, they recognized him as someone who has real authority. That means Jesus knew what he was talking about, and everybody who heard him knew that he knew what he was talking about because he's the kind of person that you can trust what he says because his life, his entire way of being was modeled by the truth that he spoke. His authority was born from his integrity.

So if you want to live a good life, you have to learn from Jesus and live for Jesus. If you want to live a good life, you've got to learn from him and live for him. Now, what I wanna do with the rest of this message is get even more specific so that we can learn from Jesus the answers to life's biggest questions. Now, as we walk through this, I want you to think of these different answers as like the key landmarks on the map that leads to the good life and Jesus is going to be our guide, leading the way on the journey.

The four questions that we need to answer are question number one, who is God? Question number two, who am I? Question number three, where do I belong? And question number four, what difference do I make? These are the four questions that every human on every continent speaking every language from every generation and culture have been trying to answer.

And so for us, starting with question number one, who is God? Now earlier in that same sermon, we read these words from Jesus. He says in verse nine, "This is how you are to pray. Our Father in heaven". Then he goes on to talk about the birds who don't plant or harvest, but they are taken care of by their Heavenly Father. And he says, "You are far more valuable to God than birds are". He tells us that our heavenly Father knows what we need so that if we seek him above everything else, he will give us what we need. Because according to Jesus, God is a good and loving father who always wants what is best for his kids.

Now, four weeks ago, my wife and I got to celebrate the birth of our daughter, Micah Rose, and it has been so special to get to be her dad. Now here's the thing that you have to understand is that because she is my daughter, I love her so much, even when she wakes up every two hours in the night to poop and I wake up every two hours in the night to change her diaper. There are very few things about poopy diapers at two in the morning that are lovable, but she's my daughter, I'm her dad, and because of that, I love her no matter what. And the love that I have for my daughter is a drop in the bucket compared to the love that your Heavenly Father has for you. Because God is a good and loving father who always wants what is best for his kids.

Now, question number two, who am I? Well, if God is our loving father, then that means by definition, we are his kids. But even more than that, we are also created in his image. Like if we jump all the way back to the first page of the Bible, this is what we read. Genesis 1:27. "So God created human beings in his own image, in the image of God, he created them, male and female, he created them". So who are you? You are God's child and you are made in God's image. Now, this matters so much because like when you know who you really are, you will know what makes you valuable and what you were created to do.

Like think about the difference in price between a pair of limited edition Nikes and a pair of dupes that are made from the same material that happen to be the same quality and durability. What makes one of them valuable and the other one not? What's the name attached to them? It's what makes you valuable. It is not your height, your IQ, how pretty you are, how athletic you are, how successful you are, how much money you have, or how aesthetic your Instagram feed is. What makes you valuable is that the creator of everything made you with love and purpose as a work of art and as a child and as an image of the creator. Your purpose is to love and be loved by your Heavenly Father and to be his image, be a walking, talking, living, breathing, laughing, loving picture of his goodness to the world because you are his child and you are made in his image.

Now, question number three, where do I belong? Galatians 3 tells us, "For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus and all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female for you are all one in Christ Jesus. You belong in God's family as a member of God's church". You see, as children of God, we are now brothers and sisters and the church is just another way of saying God's family. Now that means I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that as many of you know, your family will often drive you crazy and you will sometimes wish you weren't actually related to them.

But the good news is that no matter what, they will always be your family. And in the family of God, that means that you will always have people who love you and want what is best for you. I think about when I was in high school, my older sister and I, we fought all the time, getting into screaming matches that would often end up with both of us getting in trouble. But no matter how badly we fought at home, when we were outside of the house, at school and other places, we had each other's backs. As a follower of Jesus, other Christians will often annoy you, but rest assured that they, that we here at Switch will always be for you. Where do you belong? You belong in God's family as a member of God's church.

So question number four, what difference do I make? You see Jesus at the end of his ministry past his mission and his authority onto his followers, he said in Matthew 28:18, that he has been given all authority in heaven and on earth. So it's time for us to go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them, other people in the name of God, the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We are called to teach these other people, these new disciples, to obey all the commands that Jesus has given us. And we can be sure of this, that Jesus is with us always, even to the end of the age. So what difference do you make? You have been invited by God to partner with him in his good plans for the world.

This matters so much because when we understand what we are here to do, the level of effort and intensity we bring goes way up. It's like the difference between just shooting hoops with some friends after school versus playing in an actual game. Like when you're playing in the actual game, you'll work so much harder. You'll play so much better because you actually care about the result. And the same is true with following Jesus. You see, he did not die on the cross so that you could chill on the couch. He died to give us a purpose that is bigger than ourselves so that we could work with him to change the world. What difference do you make? The God of heaven has invited you to partner with him in his good plans for the world?

Okay, great. So how do you take all of that and apply it to your life? It is simple but not easy. You see, it's what we already talked about. If you want to live a good life, you have to learn from Jesus and you have to live for Jesus. So study his life by reading the gospels. Pay attention to everything he says and does, and do your best to put it into practice because when you do, you will be on the narrow path that leads to the good life. In Matthew 7:13, Jesus says, "You can enter God's kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad and its gate is wide for many who choose that way, but the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it".

All of us are presented with a choice to take Jesus seriously and follow him into the good, life with him now and forever. Or to ignore him, to do things our own way and follow the crowd on the highway to hell. Nobody else can make that choice for you. But I am telling you that if you decide to trust Jesus with your whole life and follow him with all that you are, you will see time and time again that life with him is better than anything. Because life with him changes everything. And he was not kidding when he said he came to give you a rich and satisfying life.

So Heavenly Father, I pray for all of these students that you would help them to see that the good life is available if they are simply willing to trust in you, to obey your son, to follow him with all that they are, because you will lead them into the life that is truly life. It's in Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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