IS LIFE WORTH LIVING
Millions of people have asked this very question and
unfortunately some have answered no. It is estimated that about 1 million take
their own lives every year globally. That breaks down to about 1 death ever 40
seconds. Here in the
Proverbs 23:7 †For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
Thousands of people give up on life every year because fail to develop the inner person. So, what I hope to do this morning is to give you several practical reasons why life is worth living.†
If we help others
One thing that can bring great joy to life is when you have the opportunity to help others. When you help someone through a crisis or even just helping someone change a tire it makes you feel good about yourself because you feel like you have made a difference in their life. When a person realizes there is more to life than just themselves then they begin to understand that life is worth living just to make a difference in other peopleís life. However, if a person is selfish and all they think about themselves they on the road to self destruction because if enough bad things happen to them they can easily reach the point where they donít see any reason to keep on living because their world revolves around them. This is why is so important for us not to be self-centered.
Cain was man who was† self-centered and even though he did not kill himself it didnít stop him from taking his brothers life because all he could think about was how he felt about Gods rejection of his offering and how his brother was accepted. When God ask Cain where his brother was Cain said,
Genesis 4:9 †"I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?"
The fact that Cain asked this question shows that he had little regard for anyone else except himself. Of course the Bible teaches that yes we are our brotherís keeper. There is great need for us to bear one anotherís burdens and help each other out the best we can.
Ecclesiastes 4:9 Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor.† 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up.† 11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone?† 12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
I love this section of scripture because it makes it very easy to understand that trying to do things on your own without help or without helping others is a terrible thing. Just as text stated when you have someone you can help you make a difference in their life by helping them in their time of need.
Jesus gave us an example in the parable about the Good Samaritan.
Lets look at verses that lead up to his parable
Luke 10:25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"† 26 He said to him, "What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?"† 27 So he answered and said, " 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,' and 'your neighbor as yourself.' "† 28 And He said to him, "You have answered rightly; do this and you will live."† 29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
First the we notice is this lawyer was trying to do what every other lawyer and Pharisee had tried and that was to make Jesus make a mistake. However, Jesus as always has the right answer and† so the lawyer is embarrassed so it ask another question, and who is my neighbor. So Jesus answer this question in a parable.
Luke 10:30 Then Jesus answered and said: "A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.† 31 "Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.† 32 "Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side.† 33 "But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion.† 34 "So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.† 35 "On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.'† 36 "So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?"† 37 And he said, "He who showed mercy on him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."
Jesus taught the lawyer that everyone is your neighbor and so you are to help all those who around you. The more you focus in on helping others the less you will† be thing about yourself and how bad your own problems are. Lets look a few more scriptures.
Romans 14:7 ††For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.
Paul makes is clear that† we not to live for ourselves, instead we are to live for God and for those around us. Paul also commands the Galatians
Galatians 6:2 †Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
So, not only is life worth living in helping other as Christians we are commanded to help others. I want to finish this first point with the words of Paul in
Philippians 2:1 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy,† 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.† 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.† 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
If we live to be needed
A newspaper printed an article about a boy who killed his whole family when asked why he said, ďI felt left outĒ. You see of the basic needs of human beings is to feel needed or to belong. When this feeling is lost most people will feel useless and that is why we must all work at keeping this from happening to us. When a person does begin to feel useless it is not always the fault of those around us because each of has a responsibility to search out where we are needed and where we can make a difference. One is for sure when you are Christians there many avenues that you can pursue where you will be needed. You see Christianity is not just a bunch a rituals that you go through every once and awhile. NO Christianity is a way of life.
Romans 14:8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's.
Even if we find it difficult to fit in or to become needed for a short time we must understand that we belong to God and he needs us to live for him and to share his love with others. Paul understood this concept that is why he said,
Philippians 1:21 ††For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. and Philippians †††I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Unfortunately many get the point where the feel left out because they have missed thousands of opportunities to do good. I believe I can say with all confidence that every single person in this room can think of several† instance where we had an opportunity to do good but we didnít do it. We will tell ourselves, man I wish I would have done that. Why didnít I do it? One writer put it this way,
Hell begin on the day when God grants us a clear vision of all that we might have achieved, of all the gifts which we have wasted, of all that we might of have done which we did not do.
So, when we see opportunity knock we better answer it because we may never have that opportunity again. The Bible gives us an excellent example of what can happen if we donít take advantages of the opportunities that we have while we are still living.
Luke 16:19 " There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.† 20 "But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate,† 21 "desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.† 22 "So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.† 23 "And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.† 24 "Then he cried and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.'† 25 "But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.† 26 'And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.'† 27 "Then he said, 'I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house,† 28 'for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.'† 29 "Abraham said to him, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.'† 30 "And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.'† 31 "But he said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.' "†
You see the rich man had ever opportunity to do good with his money but all he thought of was himself and now he finds himself in dead and he suffering just hoping for a drop of water and when he realizes that his opportunities are lost forever he wants Abraham to send someone back to his brothers so they might understand that they need to† use their† opportunities† wisely so they donít end up in the same place as him.
To many people want success to laid right in their lap but this in not a reality. A person must work at being needed by meeting every challenge weather big or small by putting in the necessary time. We can all be needed if we will search for our place in life and we must remember that God will help those who help themselves. God provides food for the birds but he doesnít through it into their nest. They have to go out and find their food just as we must find where we are needed.
If we are thankful
Many times people focus in on all the negative things in their life and they take for granted all the good things that happen to them. Since they are so busy gripping and complaining about their problems they fail to be thankful for the good things in their life. The more you focus in on the negative aspects of life you will become more and more depressed which will lead you to thought that life is just not worth living. But the opposite is true, if you focus in positive things in life and are thankful for† them in spite of the bad things you will find that life is worth living for.†
As American we are so
blessed with all the physical things that† we have and no one knows that better
than someone who has† went outside the
country and seen with their own eyes how some have to live. In the third world
countries they donít have fancy houses they have huts. They donít have fresh
purified water in their house or indoor plumbing no they† have to a community well or creek.
They donít have cars most of them walk where they need to go. They donít have 3
meals a day or snacks
instead they are lucky to have 1 meal a day. When see how these people live and
then you come back to
Luke 17:12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off.† 13 And they lifted up their voices and said, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!"† 14 So when He saw them, He said to them, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.† 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God,† 16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.† 17 So Jesus answered and said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?† 18 "Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?"† 19 And He said to him, "Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well."
You 9 out the 10 of these men took their gift of healing for granted and did not thank God for it. The only one thanked him was this foreigner. We must be careful as Christians not to be like these 9 and make every effort to be thankful for what you have. But not only are we to be thankful for the physical† things† we have we should be very thankful for the spiritual blessing we have.
Ephesians 1:3 ††Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
When† a person becomes† a Christian they plenty to be thankful† for since we now have† access to every spiritual blessings. We need to remember that† song that say count your many blessings name them one by one and it will surprise you what the lord has done.
If we are a New Testament Christian†
All the success and happiness in the world will be a complete failure if your are not right with god. Its is not enough to just be religious or to call yourself a Christian because Jesus said,
†Matthew 7:21 " Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
You can rest assured that God will is found with in his Word. You see happiness in religion doesnít come from a watered down religion or from tradition of men. In fact Jesus condemned the Pharisees and the scribes for doing this very thing and he quoted them from Isaiah in
Matthew 15:8- 'These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.† 9 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' "
God has a certain way that he wants things done and if you fail to do it they way he taught us through his word he will not be pleased because he wants us to worship him in spirit and in truth. One of the greatest feelings in the world is to know that we are serving God as he wants us to. So, when a person is a New† Testament Christian we have the hope of eternal life in heaven when we live a faithful live. That makes life worth living for.
We have looked at just 4 different things that make life worth living and they were living to help others, living to be needed, living to be thankful for all the blessing we have and living to be New Testament Christian which give the hope of eternal life in heaven.