One of The Best Sermons Ever Preached

Last week, in the All Things New blog, I talked about the Joy of Christmas and how when Jesus is the source of our joy nothing can take it from us. Today I want to take the next step, from the joy that is found in the coming of Christ to what that joy looks like played out in our lives.

The sermon that my blog title is referring to is a sermon that John Piper preached at Passion back in 2000 called, "Don't Waste Your Life." I strongly urge you to Click Here and take 40 minutes out of your schedule to listen to it. 

This sermon, at the time, was both shocking and powerful. It moved some of today's well-known leaders and helped produce a heart for Christ in them that has really changed the world. It is a sermon about how easy it is to pursue things that do not matter at the expense of the one thing that does. It is the perfect Christmas sermon.

One of the most powerful things that Piper did in this sermon was compare 2 very different people and to ask which of the 2 stories was the tragedy.

The first was 2 women from his church who were in their 80s and had spent their whole lives serving Jesus. They were in a country in Africa putting on free health clinics and serving men and women in that country when their car slid and went over a cliff killing them both.

The second was a couple that he read about in Reader's Digest who had done well enough in their careers to retire early at 59 and 51. They were now spending their days in Florida collecting shells, working on their golf game, and cruising on their 30-foot trawler.

The tragedy was not the 2 women who died serving their Savior. They would soon stand in front of the GOD of the Universe and hear the words, "Well done my good and faithful servants." 

The tragedy was the couple who, when they find themselves face-to-face with GOD sometime in the near future and are asked to give an account of their life, their response will be, "Here, look at my shells and look at what a great golf game I have developed."

To the world, they were living the dream. In reality they were wasting their lives.

How easy it is to get caught up in the wrong things, the wasteful things of this world that do nothing more than take our focus off of Jesus Christ. To a lesser extent, look at what we have done to our celebration of the birth of Jesus. I know it is just one day of the year, but on that day when the joy of knowing that GOD chose us to be His children through adoption and that He chose to give up His Son to this world to make that happen, we choose...Presents. We choose Christmas lights. We choose family. We choose cookies. 

We do anything that we can think of to create our own joy all the while forgetting that joy that we create is no joy at all. We can create temporary happiness, but we cannot create eternal joy.

If you get nothing else out of this blog, please Click Here and listen to this sermon. When we have the joy of knowing Jesus, nothing will stop us from spreading that joy. When we try to replace the joy of knowing Jesus with money, power, houses, retirement accounts, gadgets, etc. we begin to truly waste our lives.

My goal for this Christmas is to never have to say that I am wasting my life, but to always know and understand the joy that Jesus gives and for that joy to manifest itself in everything else that I do. My prayer is that I never find my self wasting my life on the things that the world tells me are important but that I will live my life in the joy of Jesus Christ!

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