Good, Better, Best

Everybody wants to live “the good life”. The problem is, no one really knows what the good life looks like!   Is it hanging out at the beach while the sun sets with a cold drink in your hands?    Is the good life found in a deer stand on a Saturday morning with the 12-point buck in your field of fire?    Does the “good life” mean traveling to exotic locations?  Is it making a lot of money for something that you really enjoy doing? What is the good life?

The Good Life?

Jesus describes the “good” life in Matthew 19:17.   In this verse a guy comes to Jesus looking for answers.  He wanted to how to get to Heaven.  He believed that being good got you into Heaven.   Jesus made it pretty clear that if you’re going to try to get to Heaven by being good – you’re going to have to be as good as God!

By every standard of his day this guy was already living “the good life”. He had a lot of money- which is what most people consider to be the good life today as well.   So you can imagine his concern when Jesus says that if you want the good life give away all your money. (Matthew 19:21)   Apparently, the good life does not mean having a lot of money to Jesus.   Even Jesus’ disciples were freaked out by this. They couldn’t understand how having a lot of money could be a bad thing.  They couldn’t see what Jesus could see; that this man not only had a lot of money – money had a lot of this man.

Jesus taught this rich man that the good life is found in a deep relationship with him.   It doesn’t matter how much you have; it doesn’t matter how much you don’t have; having Jesus only means that you have “the good life”.  Good enough to get to Heaven!

Better than…

Let’s go to the book of Ecclesiastes for just a second.   Chapter 7 was written as a description of life amidst toil and difficulties.   Solomon, was teaching what a better life looked like.   Several times in this chapter he defined what’s “better” for us.   His list probably looks a lot different than your list:   Sorrow is better than laughter (Ecclesiastes 7:3), a rebuke is better than praise (Ecclesiastes 7:5), and the end is better than the beginning (Ecclesiastes 7:8).

Better than for Solomon is not about choosing between good and bad.   Sometimes, “better than” means choosing between bad and worse.   Sometimes, “better than” means choosing between better and best. The challenge from Ecclesiastes is to take a look from the end of your life backwards.   Think about your death.    What do you want to accomplish before you die? What do you want people to say about you when you die?  What legacy do you want to leave after you die? What are you doing right now to accomplish those things? When forced with the choice between good and better- bad and worse-  let the end of your life determine the way you live your life right now.   Let the thought of your death help you live your best life now.

Your best life now…

Your best life is when your daily schedule matches God’s plan for your life today.   Your best life is when you allow King Jesus to be the Lord of your day to day activities.   Your best life is found in Ecclesiastes 7:14.   Some days God gives joy.   Some days God gives adversity.   When you can trust to Jesus with the good days and the bad days you start to live the best life.

If you realize that we can’t be good enough to get to Heaven on our own.  If you realize that only the death and resurrection of Jesus for your sins can make you right with God.  If you believe that God has a good life waiting for you in Heaven.  If you’re certain that the way you live your life will be examined by God in Heaven- this should cause you to live your best life now.  Will you trust Jesus for your best life? Will you allow him to set your agenda today? Will you find strength in him alone for the challenges of the day?  Will you trust him only to make you good with God?

Further reading

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