I'm sure you've been on a vacation somewhere, or maybe even stepped into a friend's house, and the first thing you thought was, "Now this is living! I'm mean, wow, look at..." you fill in the blank. Today I'm here, not to cause you to stop thinking about what real living must be like, but to get you to see the difference between True living and Foolish Living so you may begin to fully enjoy living life, and all the while being able to say, "Now this is living...living life up for God!"
I would like to give you three lies (though there are tons more) that the carnal man believes concerning living; and if a spiritual person finds himself believing these lies, he will have the spirituality sucked right out of him. So heed my warnings and stay far away from believing lies about living, the way a carnal man does.
Lie number one: I must have the riches this world has to offer in order to be happy. Really? Let me give you a Bible verse to combat this foolish way of thinking. Proverbs 15:16 says, "Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith." Seeking great treasures in our lifetime will only cause our spiritual life to be meaningless and full of trouble. Also, think about what we do with God when we view our lifetime as one big treasure hunt for wealth and prosperity...we make Him take the backseat when He should be driving! Fear the LORD, my friend, and depart from the foolish evil of earthly treasure hunting.
Lie number two: I must hang with the cool friends in order to be happy. Really? Now this all depends on your definition of "cool". Typically, someone who refers to their friends as "cool" would not categorize those same friends as godly, nor would he even consider inviting these "cool" kids to church because he already knows their answer would be, "No way!". It's these types of "cool friends" that will always get you into trouble. For instance, King Solomon instructed his son that, "If sinners entice thee, consent thou not." (Pro. 1:10; also read vs.11-19) Here, Solomon warns his son to never look at the cool kids and think, "Now this is living!"
Lie number three (this one is a general lie across the board): I have to have a lot of stuff (you name what you're coveting) in order to be happy. Really? Notice the words of Jesus in Luke 12:15, "And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." Can I finish with what your life should consist of? Everything you do, think, strive for, and believe should be to glorify God. Your life exists because of God, and therefore, your life should continue on in contentment with Him and not in covetousness for the next best possession. 1 Timothy 6:6-8 says, "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content."
As we close today, remember what true living is all about: 1. True living is fearing God, and not wanting the trouble that accompanies riches; 2. True living is with godly friends and not ungodly friends; and 3. True living is with contentment for what God has already given you and not covetousness, which is greedy of gain. Please take the advice of Scripture, and "forsake the foolish, and live" the life God intends for you to live. A life that has found true happiness in Christ can honestly say without any guilt, "Now this is living!" JMS