The Great Pumpkin Talk

Yep – Halloween is just around the corner. Longtime Team interlínc dude Mark Pittman created this talk when he was a youth pastor in San Diego. We’ve posted it before, and thought that now’s the perfect time to get it back in circulation. You’re welcome!

Theme:

What do I want them to do? To keep on seeking meaning in our lives or find meaning in a relationship with Christ.

Intro:

(Or your story own involving someone stuggling with not getting what they want, when they want it.)

Connor loves to play & watch movies. Simpsons and Legos are big in our house! His life pretty much revolves around half/hour spans. ‘Daddy, I want to ____.’ Whatever he wants to do right now is the most important thing to him, most of the time its okay and we do what he wants to do or watch. Sometimes, like right before bed, he’ll ask to do something and we’ll have to say no, “it’s time to get ready for bed”. Then come the tears, he’s sad and disappointed because he didn’t get what he wanted. It’s tough to get him to see through that disappointment and into the fact that he needs rest. It’s tough to get him to think that we will allow him to do this thing tomorrow, but for now, he needs to sleep.

Transition:

We all lived like that when we were two, but then we started to see past the disappointment of the immediate.

Some times we got what we wanted – only it took a little longer and learning we could work toward the things we wanted. We could do chores for our parents and earn an allowance; we could save that up and buy the things we wanted. Life then became more than just stuff.

We learned how to do and say things to get friends. We learned how to interact and decide we needed to be liked. We started working on the need to be liked – The right conversations, humor, etc.

Meaning:

The bottom line is MEANING… How do you give your life meaning?

We all look for things to place into our lives to make our life meaningful and worth living. We have no choice than to deal with the issue of meaning:

  • To search for it
  • To fight for it
  • To envy it in others
  • To react against those who might take it from us
  • To grieve when it has been lost

Let me read to you about a guy who dedicated his life to look for meaning in things.

Ecclesiastes 2:17-23
So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the work into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless. So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. For a man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then he must leave all he owns to someone who has not worked for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun? All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless.

There are some pretty strong words from this Scripture: Life is meaningless.

People work their whole lives thinking if they get to the next rung, then they will be happy and their lives will have meaning – yet when they get there they find they are still empty inside or there’s another rung to climb.

We can end up just like Private Ryan. Not sure if he’s lived a life of meaning or not – “Tell me I’ve lived a good life, tell me I’m a good man.”

The Pumpkin:

So what makes life worth living… a relationship with God?

God created us to have a relationship with Him! That’s what we’re here for – Audio Adrenaline has a really cool old song I love. The premise of the song is simple – there’s a God-shaped hole inside of each of us – we can try to fill it with all sorts of stuff, but there’s only one thing that fits!

Same principle as a jack-o-lantern, other than pumpkin pie, the purpose of a pumpkin is to be a jack-o-lantern after you scoop the junk out.

Listen to what your life is like with a relationship with God

1 John 3:1
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him

Ephesians 2:4-10
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

We can choose to live life with the meaning of having a relationship with him – our meaning is being a child of God… we are his work!

Just like the pumpkin that sits, waiting to fulfill it’s purpose, someone change us…

Cut into it, remove the smelly junk from inside

A light is placed inside of us…

God does that in our lives: First

God cut & sacrifice was made by his son, death on a cross to remove the sin (smelly stuff) inside us,

God gave us his spirit inside us & we become a new creation… God’s hand made work.

Ending:

Tonight, choose to live… find meaning on your own and that life is meaningless. Find the perfect meaning by having a relationship with God. Maybe you have it and you have just covered up the light… remember what you were created for – Remember, your meaning is found in and through God.

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