JESUS CAN GIVE YOU A NEW LIFE

(PART 3)

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

 

  1. This morning, we will conclude our series of the life of Jesus.

 

ILLUSTRATION:

 

He was 9 years old--in a Sunday school class of 8-year-olds.  Eight-year-olds can be cruel you know.  The third-graders did not welcome Philip to their group.  Not just because he was older.  He was "different."

 

He suffered from Down's syndrome and its obvious manifestations: facial characteristics, slow responses, symptoms of retardation.

 

One Sunday after Easter, the Sunday school teacher gathered some of those plastic eggs that pull apart in the middle--the kind in which some women's pantyhose are packaged.

 

The Sunday school teacher gave one of these plastic eggs to each child.  On that beautiful spring day each child was to go outdoors and discover for himself some symbol of "new life" and place that symbolic seed or leaf or whatever inside the egg.

 

They would then open their eggs one by one, and each youngster would explain how his find was a symbol of "new life."  So…

 

The youngsters gathered a round on the appointed day and put their eggs on a table, and the teacher began to open them.  One child had found a flower.  All the children "oohed" and "aahed" at the lovely symbol of new life.

 

In another was a butterfly.  "Beautiful," the girls said. 

 

Another egg was opened to reveal a rock.  Some of the children laughed.  "That's crazy."  one said.  "How's a rock supposed to be like a "new life?"  Immediately a little boy spoke up and said, "That's mine.  I knew everybody would get flowers and leaves and butterflies and all that stuff, so I got a rock to be different."  Everyone laughed.

 

The teacher opened the last one, and there was nothing inside.  "That's not fair," someone said.  "That's stupid," said another.  The teacher felt a tug on his shirt.  It was Philip.  Looking up he said, "It's mine.  I did do it.  It's empty.  I have new life because Jesus' tomb was empty."  The class fell silent.

 

From that day on Philip became part of the group.  They welcomed him.  Whatever had made him different was never mentioned again. 

 

Philip's family had known he would not live a long life; just too many things wrong with the tiny body.  That summer, overcome with infection, Philip died.

 

On the day of his funeral, nine 8-year-old boys and girls confronted the reality of death and marched up to the altar--not with flowers.  Nine children with their Sunday school teacher placed on the casket of their friend their gift of love--an empty egg.

 

  1. Brethren, that young child knew that since the tomb was empty -- that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead -- he had a new life.  He told his classmates that he had a new life because the tomb was empty.

 

THIS MORNING YOU CAN HAVE A NEW LIFE; A NEW BEGINNING THROUGH JESUS.

 

IN TODAY'S LESSON, I AM GOING TO OFFER FOUR REASONS WHY WE SHOULD GIVE OUR LIVES TO JESUS AND FOLLOW HIS TEACHINGS.

 

I.                    FIRST, WE SHOULD GIVE OUR LIVES TO JESUS AND FOLLOW HIS TEACHINGS BECAUSE HE PROMISES US ETERNAL LIFE IN HEAVEN.

 

1.           In (John 6), we read that many of Jesus’ disciples deserted Him because they could not accept His teachings.  So Jesus asked the twelve remaining disciples if they were also going to leave. 

 

 

2.           Buddha, Muhammad, the Pope, David Karesh, or our parents cannot give us eternal life. Jesus is the only one.

 

a.      We cannot get to heaven following our own philosophies & teachings about life.

 

b.     We cannot get to heaven by just living a good moral life.

 

c.      We cannot buy our way into heaven; or hope & pray our way into heaven.

 

d.     The only avenue to heaven is through Jesus Christ.

 

ILLUSTRATION:

 

Minutes after Debbie Armstrong and Cristin Cooper placed first and second in the women’s giant slalom at Sarajevo in the 1984 Winter Olympics, a tall stranger stood by them in the pressroom, congratulating them.  He even got Armstrong’s autograph.

 

The problem was, he had no business being there.  He wasn’t a press agent, a reporter, or an official—or anyone else important.  He was simply a gate-crasher who had slipped past security guards to mingle among the famous.  Two days later he breached even tighter security to enter the main press center. 

 

It’s a hobby with him.  He has successfully crashed World Series press conferences and at least 17 Super Bowls.  He fakes credentials, outwits rigid security, bluffs his way where he isn’t welcome, and makes himself so comfortable that everyone thinks he belongs.

 

3.           There is one place, however, he will never enter if he doesn’t belong—that is heaven.  No one slips in there unnoticed, unwelcomed, or uncalled.  Only those who have given their lives to Jesus and followed His teachings will be able to enter into the pressroom of Heaven.

 

 

4.           If you desire eternal life in heaven, then the only way to get there is through Jesus Christ.

 

II.                  SECOND, WE SHOULD GIVE OUR LIVES TO JESUS AND FOLLOW HIS TEACHINGS BECAUSE HE PROVIDES US WITH AN ABUNDANT LIFE HERE AND NOW.

 

 

1.           Jesus not only promises us life after death, but He offers us an abundant, richer and fuller life right now.  There is joy in being a Christian. 

 

2.           Ever since I became a Christian in 1989, Jesus has changed my life dramatically and has given me a more richer and fuller life here and now.

 

a.      Because of Jesus, 10 years ago I quit drinking alcohol which was wasting my life & getting me nowhere.

 

 

 

 

b.     Because of Jesus, I was able to marry a beautiful & honoree, I mean (honorable) Christian woman who told me what I needed to do to be saved.  I didn’t deserve a woman like that, but God blessed me with her anyway. 

 

c.      Because of Jesus, I regained my self-confidence, which prompted me to go back to college to finish my degree. 

 

3.           If you are living your life without joy, meaning and purpose, then Jesus can change that.  He came to give you life, and have it abundantly. 

 

III.                THIRD, WE SHOULD GIVE OUR LIVES TO JESUS AND FOLLOW HIS TEACHINGS BECAUSE HE PROVIDES US WITH PEACE.

 

 

1.           The Greek word for “peace” (eirene) means an inner contentment, serenity, and tranquillity.  In other words, peace means that during difficult times instead of feeling horrible inside, we feel OK.  We feel at ease. 

 

2.           The world and the things in the world cannot provide us with authentic peace.  Money, alcohol, and fame and fortune cannot provide us with peace & serenity.  True peace can only come from God the Father through Jesus Christ.

 

ILLUSTRATION:

 

Several years ago a submarine was being tested and had to remain submerged for many hours. When it returned to the harbor, the captain was asked, "How did the terrible storm last night affect you?" The officer looked at him in surprise and exclaimed, "Storm? We didn't even know there was one."

 

The sub had been so far beneath the surface that it had reached the area known to sailors as "the cushion of the sea." Although the ocean may be whipped into huge waves by high winds, the waters below are ever stirred.

 

 

3.           If you would like this type of peace in your life, then the only way to get it is through Jesus Christ.  When you become a Christian and live your live for Jesus, He provides you with His peace.

 

IV.               LASTLY, WE SHOULD GIVE OUR LIVES TO JESUS AND FOLLOW HIS TEACHINGS BECAUSE HE PROVIDES US WITH REST.

 

 

ILLUSTRATION:

 

A mother and her daughter, dressed in shabby clothes, were standing outside one of the big department stores, admiring the manger scene in the window. It was a big manger scene with the Wise Men and their lavish gifts, Mary and Joseph, and the Christ child. The little girl kept staring at the face of Jesus, that white plaster face, so pure. Finally, the little girl said, "He's so beautiful, but He doesn't know the pain and trouble that we have."

 

 

1.           Jesus cares so much about our problems that He invites us all to come to Him to receive rest.

 

He invites all:

 

a.      Who are depressed and downhearted to come to Him for rest.

b.     Who are slaves to sin to come to Him for rest.

c.      Who are addicted to drugs or alcohol to come to Him for deliverance & rest.

d.     Who are weary and burdened to come to Him for rest.

 

(1)   The Greek word for rest anapauo {an-ap-ow’-o} means "to become physically refreshed as the result of resting from work."

 

 

CONCLUSION:

 

1.           Why should we give our lives to Jesus?

 

2.           We should give our lives to Jesus because:

 

HE PROMISES US ETERNAL LIFE IN HEAVEN.

HE PROVIDES US WITH AN ABUDANT LIFE HERE AND NOW.

HE PROVIDES US WITH PEACE.

HE PROVIDES US WITH REST.

 

3.           All of these great blessings plus more can be yours if you would just surrender your life to Jesus.  This morning, you can receive these great blessings -- by simply believing in Jesus Christ, repenting of your sins, confessing your love for Jesus, and being baptized for the forgiveness of your sins.

 

4.           I know that some of you may be thinking to yourself: God would never except me because of the things that I have done in my past, or I am not good enough to live a Christian life.  Before you except these lies, listen to this story:

 

ILLUSTRATION:

 

One spring, sometime before the Civil War, a boy in search of work came to Worthy Taylor's prosperous Ohio farm.  The farmer knew nothing much about the boy except that his name was Jim, but he gave him a job.  Jim spent the winter cutting stovewood, bringing in the cows and making himself generally useful.  He ate in the kitchen and slept in the hayloft.

 

Before the summer was over, Jim had fallen in love with Taylor's daughter.  The father refused to let him marry her because he had no money, no well-to-do name, and a very poor future.  Even though Jim was disappointed, he put his belongings in his old carpetbag and disappeared.

 

Thirty-five years passed before Taylor one day tore down his barn to make room for a new one.  On the rafters above the hayloft he discovered that Jim had carved his full name--James A. Garfield.  He was then the president of the United States.

 

 

 

5.           At this time, let the Lord shower you with His blessings and take your flawed life and turn it in to a diamond in the rough.  Please come now as we stand and sing.