Click here for outline – A Life of Celebration – Week 5
What is a celebration? What did it mean when Christ said “I came that you might have life and life in its fullest? Is it okay to have a celebration? Is an attitude adjustment in order?
I enjoy watching a celebration and even more being a part of one! Recently in baseball we have witness both the Texas Rangers and the St. Louis Cardinals advance to the World Series and upon victory a major celebration erupted in both locker rooms. We have seen political candidates claim victories in recent weeks and then watched as confetti and balloons drop from the ceiling. While those are great celebrations the ones I have enjoyed as a minister and Christian are those life changing celebrations!
That’s why I’ve been here, working with students, for twenty years. If I thought there was another job that was more meaningful, if I thought that having a church and talking to adults was more meaningful, I’d do it. But the majority of people who make a decision or commitment to Christ do so before the age of eighteen. That’s why I want to be here. I want you to know that God wants you to live it up. Not to waste it. He wants you to live it up, not to put it down.
So you say, “Okay, Jeff, I want that kind of life. I want to celebrate life. I want to live it up. I know I’m going to have problems, but in the midst of those problems, how do I celebrate? How do I worship Him?” How do you pursue a life of celebration? How do you pursue it?
What I want to do, hopefully in a very understandable way, is coach you. I want to give you some instruction on how to be a person who celebrates. Kind of a step-by-step thing. Developing a life where you celebrate life and you worship God takes time. Progress. I want to help you make progress.
- Step 1 – You change your heart’s ownership.
This is everything. It starts here. If you want to celebrate life, you’ve got to change ownership. I can’t tell you how many people have come up to me in the past 20 years and have said, “Jeff, how do I become a Christian?” By the way, until you do change heart’s ownership, you will be searching and unsatisfied. You were created to have a relationship with God. Until you do, you can try to fill it with all kinds of stuff – money, power, sex, prestige, popularity – but you’re going to be unsatisfied.
- 2. Change your superficial relationships to significant relationships.
Don’t get me wrong all friendships have a purpose. The question is will they be good, bad or in different? You may be asking “You want me to abandon my friends. That’s not very Christlike.” I’m not saying abandon your friends. Some of you need to stay with your friends, and you need to model Christianity to them. What I am saying is if you’re going to celebrate life, your Christian life, make sure you know who you’re picking to party with!
- 3. You change your lifestyle.
This is a biggie, and this may wipe some of you out right here. You change your life style. Matthew 7, “Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to Me as Lord, but they still won’t enter the kingdom of heaven. The decisive issue [Underline “decisive issue.”] is whether they obey My Father in heaven.” Circle “obey.” This means that just because they sound religious doesn’t mean anything. You can sound religious without obeying. You can sound religious without changing your lifestyle. “I go to Church!” Who cares? You’ve talked to people who sound religious. You say, “How you doing?” They say, “Fine, brother. Praise the Lord. God is good. Doing well, just serving Him.” It is one thing to say it…it is another thing to completely live it.
- Lastly, change how you view people.
When your life begins to change, you begin to view and treat people differently. One of the sad things about the student world, in my opinion, is how we treat one another. Mostly, it’s because of our own insecurities. That’s a big issue. A lot of times, we just have these prejudices, and we push people off at a distance by just seeing them. One of the ways you celebrate life is you begin to look at people that maybe aren’t like you, and you see them differently – maybe for the first time. When your life changes, when God invades your life and you’re celebrating, you’re going to look at people in a different way. When you get that, you really begin to win.
Bottom line in order to celebrate life or to live a life where you live it up is going to require some change. And you don’t have to do it alone. Let us help you.