Pastor's Column: 'YOLO'

1 Timothy 6:12; “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
     Many years ago, the Schlitz Brewing Co. had an ad slogan that went something like this. “You only go around once in life, so you've got to grab for all the gusto you can.”  In this slogan they tried to appeal to the idea that you only have so much time to live your life so you need to live it to the fullest.  Today’s generation uses the acronym “YOLO” as in “You only live once;” pretty much the same thought.  Some use this thought as a motivator to be willing to try new things; some use it as an excuse to foolish, dangerous or careless activities but I suppose it depends on your perspective.
    The thing about the Schlitz Co. ad campaign that is interesting is that as soon as they went away from this advertising plan; sales began to flatten out and then drop off.  It may have been a coincidence or it may have been that beer drinkers want to live life to the fullest and when the beer they were drinking didn’t promote that idea, they moved on.
     We, as Christians, should be the first group to live life to the fullest.  All of our future worries are solved and settled.  God has promised us eternal life and has promised to be with us and to provide for us all that we truly need in this life.  We should be the first to enjoy life.  We can take hold of eternal life and enjoy what God provides here in this world. We do not need to fear the battles of this world for God will provide for us.  There will be times when it will require faith to see our way through.  There will be times when it will be a great battle but God will always provide us the way to face the test.
    It may seem to be more test than faith at times but that is what Paul means when he says to fight the good fight of faith.  We need to battle to keep hold of our faith.  There will be times when the devil will throw all he has against us but we have to fight to hold on.  Because when we hold onto that faith; when we cling to Christ and to the grace that he pours out upon us, we can withstand the devil’s onslaught but we need to hold on in faith.  And when we do, when we trust in God’s Word and promise, we can live our life to the fullest.
    So because of God’s grace, we are free to live our life to the fullest.  We should be the most joyful people in the world but often we are dour.  Celebrate!!  Celebrate God’s incredible gift to you; celebrate your eternal life with Him in perfect life.  We have more than the world can ever expect; we have more than the world can give.  Celebrate God’s goodness in our lives.  Trust His promise and live to the fullest.  It is His gift to you.
Father, in You we have life, in You we have hope.  Help us to live the life that You give us and to live it to the greatness that we can. It is Your gift to us; lead us to the wonder that You give us.  Help those who live in sadness and worry.  Father give them life, give them comfort and give them hope. In Jesus’ precious name we pray, Amen.
God’s Peace, Pastor Bret Bierman Trinity Lutheran Church, Rural Mansfield