Don’t you ever get tired of trying to figure out life? It feels like you run from this thing to that, from this promise to that, and still – it rarely feels like “life”. Jesus had something special to say when it came to filling that insatiable desire for life – He had a special way of presenting it. Tune in this week to learn about the life Jesus offers. Need prayer? visit my.oswegochristian.com/pray to post a request. Subscribe to our podcast on your phone to automatically have new messages downloaded weekly: in iTunes (http://my.oswegochristian.com/iTunes) or Android (http://my.oswegochristian.com/Google)
It’s Christmas Eve and my wife and I are out in the yard in the middle of the night trying to put together a trampoline. I’ve got a little head lamp on and we’ve got some lights in the back yard on. But from the beginning, it was destined to be a disaster. I start reading the directions and they say, “This should take you about 2-3 hours, unless you are super man” and I think, “Ha, good, should only take me an hour and a half” and I did what all the rest of us do in that situation. I threw the directions in the chair that was near by and got to work… Jenni came out and I had that bad boy all put together, the ring was on the ground, I was starting to put the legs on and screw them in. I’ve put together my fair share of trampolines in my time, never in the freezing dark, but I’ve done it. My wife, God bless her, still thinks the instructions are important and she starts reading the instructions and that’s when it all went down hill. I had put all the springs on and she says, I think these posts aren’t on right… Listen, I’ve got a deadline here of 1.5 hrs. No joke, we put the springs on and took them off 3 times. It took us 5 hours, in the dark – and it still wasn’t completely put together.Turns out you shouldn’t try and put together something in the dark, without the instructions in the freezing cold…Can I tell you, as I look at our world, it feels to me like there are a ton of people out there who are trying to put their lives together without the instructions and in the dark.I don’t know how many people I know who are trying to figure out life-we are confused about what Gender we are-we grab ahold of memes and little pithy statements and write our lives by them-we bounce from essential oils, to salt lamps, to eating clean to a million other fads that are all playing on this insecurity thatWhat I call life doesn’t feel like lifeIf you google “How to be happy” you will get nearly 10 billion results… 10 billion…That tells me, NO one has the answer…We want to fix ourselves, but we are all bumbling around in the darktrying to figure out the solutionsYou may stumble on to some partial solutionsPeople try to meditate and center themselves, they try to find balance, but what I see is it all coming up emptyHere’s the deal, you don’t have to be in the dark – you don’t have to live life without the instructionsOne of my favorite passages comes at the beginning of John’s Gospel – this is the story of Jesus coming into the world… He says thisJohn 1:1-5In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.I don’t know how much you know about Jesus-maybe you know he’s was a person – you’re not sure who he was exactly or what He was doingJohn, who was an eye witness, lived with him, cooked with him over a fire.John said, Jesus was God – He was literally the Word of God in the form of a person – the instruction of what Life was to be likeYou want to know how to face challenges in your life – you look at JesusYou want to know how to face temptation – you look to JesusYou want to know how to party – you look to JesusJesus makes life better and makes you better at lifeActually – when you become a follower of Jesus-the primary way the bible talks about that is that you become a disciple of Jesus’The job of a disciple was to become exactly like their Rabbi – to teach like them, talk like them, eat like them, interact with the world like them.Did you hear what John said,4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.If John is right, that Jesus was life and His life meant light in dark places. And if you are not at the very least willing to explore that life you will ALWAYS feel incomplete — like you’re going through life putting pieces together in the dark.I love that description that the darkness has not overcome it-I’ve been in some deep darknesses – but all the darkness in the world cannot overcome even the smallest spark of light-Throw all the darkness you want at light and it doesn’t even touch it.Jesus’ life is lightand you may be surrounded by tons of darkness – but as long as you embrace the life and light of Jesus – it can’t overcome youYou do know – He came for you, right?CLOSING ILLUSTRATION:When I was a kid, I had been playing basket ball with some friends – the ball had rolled out into the grass and I jumped on the ball. My friends all jumped on my back, on top of me and I let out a terrible scream. I rolled over and all I remember was my pants leg was filling with blood. I had holes in my knees on my jeans and as I looked down, I could see my knee had been slip open, and not like a little bit, like a deep gouge that went all the way across the knee – actually, they said I was about 1/8 of an inch away from paralyzing myself from the knee down. My buddies dad came out and picked me up and put got me to my mom. I’ll never forget sitting in our station wagon with my knee gushing blood and a shirt or something wrapped around it as we waited for my dad to get home. He got home and we floored it to an emergency medical center. They rushed me in and started working on my knee, they gave me several shots inside the wound and started stitching it up with me awake. It was the most painful thing I’d ever gone through in my life. My dad used to love telling this story, because I was there squeezing his hand, turning it white because I was squeezing so hard. He said he turned to me and said, “Kent, I wish I could take your place”and I said, “I wish you could too…”Ha, he would always die laughing when he told that story…But that, is the real story of the life Jesus broughtSee, He knew you and I would be stuck in a life that wasn’t lifeand so, he did something to fix it:Romans 5:6-86 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Look, you may not be convinced that Jesus was a real person or that he was God – but at the very lest – look at the story itself and see if that rings true to you…God, looked down at you and I and saw how messy our lives were and instead of restarting the whole system – wipe it and start over-He entered it so He could take our place and offer us His lifeIt’s like He was standing there holding our hands and had the ability to switch us places and so He did…Why would you not at least explore that life?I want to ask you to consider taking the next 3 months and going to church every Sunday – to explore Jesus-to find out if He really does make life better and make you better at life!