Many years ago, in a galaxy far far away, there was a television commercial promoting beer. The commercial featured several young people precariously perched on a catamaran sailing through the water. As spray hit the lens of the camera, a dramatic voice announced, “You only go around once! Reach for all the gusto you can get.” Then the ad encouraged the viewer to drink their beer.
The ad was brilliant and deceptive.
The ad was brilliant because it played on two truths that motivate every living human being.
1. We only have one life to live.
2. We want to live it with Gusto.
Both of those truths are proclaimed in scripture.
Hebrews 9:26 “Everyone has to die once.” MSG
John 10:10 I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. MSG
The ad was deceptive because it claimed that beer would maximize the gusto in life. The truth is, drinking beer won’t maximize life any more then eating watermelon. The mis-use of beer or watermelon can actually minimize life. (I will save “The Dangers of Watermelon Abuse” for another blog.)
The secret to living fully alive does not come from the consumption of any product. The secret to living “Fully Alive” comes as a result of living out three principles that lead to abundant life.
1. Live with Nothing to Prove.
We waste so much time in life trying to prove our worth with the things we own, the power we yield and the circle of influence we have that we forget all of that can be taken in an instant. None of it is a measure of worth. I spent much of my early life trying to validate my worth with misguided athletic endeavors (I have the hand eye coordination of a carp) and by selfishly motivated attempts to get people to like me.
I felt a surge of life when I finally started to believe that I was one of a kind, a rare work of art painted by the Creator of the universe. I was made in His image with colors and texture and purpose like no one else. Even more, my value was solidified when that Creator sacrificed His Son for me. I cannot be discounted. A rare painting sells for millions. A unique creation….. paid for by God’s Son….. Priceless!
He gave me worth. I have nothing to prove.
2. Live with Nothing to Hide.
I have never seen destruction like that which comes when we try to live two lives. When our energy, time and emotional effort are wasted keeping secret sins hidden from the people we love and the world we live in, everything eventually caves in. A glance at news coverage of the public exposure of political, business, and even religious leaders who have lived with something to hide, reveals a wide path of collateral devastation strewn along life’s path
When we clean out the garbage in our lives and live an open life designed to honor our Creator, it’s like a breath of fresh air. This is hard and painful work. I know. I have been there. But how invigorating it is to open the windows, pull up the shades, and live with nothing to hide.
3. Live with Nothing to Lose
Life was never meant to be a waiting room for death, nor a waiting room for eternal life. Eternal life starts the moment we began to trust Christ to lead us.
From that moment we can live with nothing to prove.
From that moment we are forgiven and given freedom to live with nothing to hide.
From that moment we are also given a hope that transcends death.
Paul said, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” NOTHING scared him. Paul was ready to suffer and die for his cause. He wanted to know Christ and the power of his resurrection. He knew that every situation, no matter how threatening or difficult, had an ultimate out come for good. He writes: “Friends, don’t get me wrong. By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”
We only have one life to live.
We were designed to live it with Gusto
Aim HIGH! ——— No! HIGHER!