Sermon: I can’t get no satisfaction

Sermon preached at Westonia Miners Hall on 27 June 2021

When I’m driving in my car, When a man come on the radio
He’s telling me more and more 
About some useless information
Supposed to fire my imagination
I can’t get no satisfaction 

When I’m watchin’ my TV, And a man comes on and tells me
How white my shirts can be
But, he can’t be a man ’cause he doesn’t smoke
The same cigarettes as me
I can’t get no satisfaction

When I’m ridin’ ’round the world, And I’m doin’ this and I’m signin’ that
And I’m tryin’ to make some girl, who tells me
Baby, better come back maybe next week
Can’t you see I’m on a losing streak?
I can’t get no satisfaction
Copyright © 2000-2021

Early in 1984 a BBC documentary told of the famine in Ethiopia. On November 25th of that same year Bob Geldof from the Boomtown Rats called together 40 other pop stars to form a super group called Band Aid. They produced a song called “Don’t they know it’s Christmas?” He expected to raise $72,000. It became one of the fasted selling records of all time with over 3 million copies sold; he raised $15 million and created a worldwide awareness of the plight of Ethiopia
Since that day we regularly see situations in our media where people are going without basic necessities like food and water as famine and starvation hits a nation decimating millions of men, women and children.
In our COVID world, we see yet other kinds of crises, with people in certain sectors of the economy losing their jobs, going crazy in lockdown situations, small businesses closing and travel being limited.

Today however I want to talk about another kind of need in our own land. Not a famine of food and water in the physical sense or the consequences of the COVID pandemic but something far more significant – a lack of purpose in life; uncertainly about the future and minimal spiritual satisfaction.
Someone once said, “You don’t have to be a Christian to be concerned about the state of our country, you just have to be awake.”

We live today in a rich but spiritually bankrupt nation, and we can’t find any real satisfaction as Mick Jagger sang back in the 60’s. A more recent U2 hit reminds us that “I still haven’t found what I am looking for”.
These songs lyrics could well be the heartbeat of the world. They underline a deep rooted problem in our society, the endless quest for satisfaction in life.
It seems that whatever we pour our energies into, whether its fame – money – pleasure – possessions – family – we seem to remain unsatisfied…

Freddie Mercury in one of his songs asks, “Does anybody know what we’re living for?”
John Rockefeller once said, “I have made millions, but they have brought me no happiness. I would barter them all for the days I sat on a office stool in Cleveland and counted myself rich on $3 dollars a week.”
Boris Becker, who was declared bankrupt in 2017, said “I had won Wimbledon; once as the youngest player. I was rich. I had all the material possessions I needed; money, cars, women, everything…..I know that this is a cliché . It’s the old song of the movie and pop stars who commit suicide. They have everything, and yet they are so unhappy….I knew that I had no inner peace. I was a puppet on a string.”
Kenneth Williams, from the Carry On movies took his own life, recording his last words in his diary, “Oh, what’s the bloody point. I wonder if anyone will know the emptiness of my life.”
Kurt Cobain rose to extraordinary success with Nirvana wrote in his suicide note on April 8th 1994. “I can’t fool you, any one of you; it simply isn’t fair to you or me. The worst crime I can think of would be to rip people off by faking it and pretending as if I am having 100% fun.”
And Princess Diana said, “Being a princess is not all it’s cracked up to be.”

Let me tell you a little story about a little 5 year old boy at his first day at school. This little boy had one goal in life; to have as much fun as possible. He was really excited it and he was determined to have fun. Mum kissed him goodbye at the school gate and then went home. About lunch time there came a knock at the door. It was her son.
“What are you doing here?” she asked.
“I’ve quit school!” came the reply.
“Why?” said mum.
“It’s too hard, too long, and too boring” replied the boy.
“Well,” said the mother, “we better get you back on the bus because you’ve just described life!”

Life is tough and if are honest, there are times when we feel just like that little boy. We just want to have fun, but fun doesn’t always deliver satisfaction.
In my life, I’ve had fun, I’ve lived life well, I’ve been generally free to do what I’ve wanted to do. But I must confess, large parts of my life have been totally unsatisfied. I’ve found myself returning to that point the little boy found himself at the front door with his mother, “It is too hard, too long and too boring.”

Do you feel like this little boy about life?
I have to be honest with you… If it wasn’t for my relationship with Jesus Christ, I would be utterly miserable because He is the reason that I live. He is the one who has finally brought me lasting satisfaction.

In John 6:35 Jesus says, “I am the Bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”

At the time when Jesus said this, there were people following him because he had just feed 5,000 people with only five loaves and two fish. It was an awesome miracle!
They were following the miracle-worker!
Jesus had brought physical nourishment to their stomachs and they were physically satisfied and they wanted to be around him because they thought that he could give them some other satisfaction! (John 6:26 – you are looking for me because you ate the loaves and had your fill.)
But spiritually they remained unsatisfied. They didn’t yet believe in Jesus as “God with them.” They simply wanted to see more miracles (John 6:3O – what sign will you give so that we may see it and believe in you). But Jesus wasn’t here to entertain them with miracles.
He said, “The sign is ME. I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”
“For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” (John 6:33)

In this we see Jesus confirming his identity and the reality of lasting satisfaction through faith in him. To find real satisfaction we must come to terms with the person Jesus Christ, we must come to Him and realize whose presence we are in.

A missionary once wrote, “While …serving in Paraguay, a Maka Indian named Rafael came to sit on my porch. I was eating and went out to see what he wanted. He responded, “Ham, henek met.”
Again I asked what I could do for him, but the answer was the same. I understood what he was saying but not its significance: “I don’t want anything; I have just come near.”
Later another missionary explained that this was Rafael’s way of honoring me. He really didn’t want anything; he just wanted to sit on my porch. He found satisfaction and pleasure just being near me.

When Jesus says that he is the Bread of life he is saying that he can bring lasting satisfaction into your body and soul so that he can satisfy your deepest longings. Ultimately it is through the crucified death and bodily resurrection of Jesus, that satisfaction has been made possible between God and humanity. Jesus alone can satisfy our lives, he is the one who brings lasting spiritual nourishment.

Jesus Christ is the one who can bring real permanent lasting satisfaction into your life….
To be really satisfied you need to come to the one who said in John 6:35 “I am the Bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty” because you will only be fully satisfied through a relationship with God Himself.

There is a story of a man who got lost in the desert. After wandering around for a long time his throat became very dry. Then he saw a little shack in the distance.
He made his way over to the shack and found a water pump with a small bottle of water and a note.
The note read: “pour all the water into the top of the pump to prime it, if you do this you will get all the water you need”.
The man had a choice to make, should he trust the note and pour all the water in and hope that it worked so that he would have all the water he needed? What if it didn’t work? He would still be thirsty and he might die.
Or should he choose to drink the water in the bottle and get a little immediate satisfaction? What if it wasn’t enough, he still might die.
After thinking about it the man decided to risk it. He poured the entire bottle into the pump and began to work the handle, at first nothing happened and he got a little scared but he kept going and water started coming out. So much water came out that he could drink all he wanted, could wash himself, and could fill all the containers he could carry for the next part of his journey. Because he was willing to give up momentary satisfaction, he got all the water he needed.
Now the note also said: after you have finished, please refill the bottle for the next traveller.” The man refilled the jug and added to the note: “Please prime the pump using all the water, believe me it works!”

We have the same choice to make, it’s not about finding the things for immediate satisfaction.
It’s about fully trusting God to provide all the satisfaction we need.

Then once we have experienced what God has to offer, we need to tell other people, “Go ahead prime the pump, believe me it works!”

I said earlier that I have found the greatest satisfaction for life in the relationship that I have had with Jesus since I was 27 years old.
And you have heard Kerry and Doug’s story – everyone who has decided to follow Jesus has a similar story. A story which tells of the greater satisfaction through faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, Saviour of the World and Lord of their life.

Pray with me … Lord Jesus, You say that you are the Bread of Life who can satisfy all my needs, who can give meaning to my life now and who promises eternal life on the last day. Today, I come to you with a desire for a new purpose. Let me not go away hungry. Lord God, grant me faith in the One whom you sent, that I might believe with my heart and soul. Amen.