What’s on your bucket list? (Hear answers from the congregation.)
Don’t we have quite a few tasks, site, and events we want to do before we die? They sound awesome. There might be a few I add to my bucket list. I hope you are able to safely accomplish all that is on your bucket list.
I want you to know I have something you will want to add to your bucket list. That’s right, I want you to add something to your bucket list. You will want to do this something before any other item on your bucket list. If we don’t do this something, then it won’t matter what is on your bucket list. For we could accomplish and complete everything else on our bucket list, and still not live. What is this something we all need to have as the primary activity on our bucket list?
A. Repent (13:1-5)
1. We are no worse or better than the Galileans whose blood was mixed with the sacrifice
2. Jesus: “Unless you repent, you will all perish as they did.”
3. We are no worse or better than the 18 killed when the tower of Siloam fell upon them
4. Jesus: “But unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.”
– This change of heart is a requirement!
5. We all sin. We know that our sins lead to our death. We are separated from God because we want what we want, when we want it, and it don’t matter who gets in our way. We can call it iniquity, transgressions, or trespasses. Our choices of activities and words separate us from God. Our choices of activities and words separate us from each other. This usually happens at the same time. For when we separate ourselves from God, then we are also separating ourselves from each other.
6. “Therefore, I will judge you, O house of Israel, all of you according to your ways, says the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions; otherwise iniquity will be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the Lord God. Turn, then, and live.”
7. It sounds like God wants us to turn to him! What are we waiting for, the invitation has already been extended!
B. Git-r-done (13:6-9)
1. The man had a fig tree planted in a vineyard!
2. When produce is needed for life, production is important
3. Yet, the gardener asks for more time so he can tend the fig tree
4. Manure, it may seem like waste, it actually provides nutrients to dirt & plants
a. Isaiah 55:1-9
– God has love for us (55:3)
– God brings praise to his people (55:5)
– God has mercy for us and will pardon us abundantly (55:7)
– God’s ways are not our ways, by God’s ways we may live (55:8-9)
b. Psalm 63:1-8
– God loves us (63:3)
– God satisfies us (63:5)
– The Lord helps us (63:7)
c. 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
– Even if we believe once in Christ, we continue to do so, otherwise we may not please God, then we perish (10:1-5)
– We stay away from idolatry, sexual immorality, & church conflict (10:6-11)
– If we have once repented, be aware of falling into sin again! (10:12)
– When we are tested, God provides a way out so we can endure the test (10:13)
5. When will we be cut down? We don’t know when our life will end
6. God has so much good for us. Keeping on doing whatever we want, regardless of what God wants for us means we will miss out on what God has for us. The good we find when we turn to God is a wonderful incentive. We get God and all the mercy, love, and help we need for this life. If we continue on our own way, then we won’t get God, we won’t even get our own lives. For when we die away from God, then we are cut off from God. That is a death that does not sound appealing to me.
Before you fill up your bucket list, do one thing. Repent of your ways. Turn to God, receive what God has for you. Then you will have live. No matter what you do on your bucket list.
When we persist doing our own thing, when we allow our nature of sin to rule us, then we die away from God. When we mistreat people and fail to repent before our own death, then we miss God and the good God has for us. Unless we repent, we will all perish.
God has given you time to turn to him. That time won’t last forever. Today is the day you can decide to turn to God. What do you say, are you ready to repent and live?