Sometimes it feels like God is a billion miles away, but He is always with us. Why then does it feel like He is so far away at times? Pastor Ryan explains a couple of reasons why this may be the case in our lives.
The story of Martha and Mary illustrates how quickly we can become distracted by good things and miss the most important thing. Not only is it stressful to try and do too much at once, it also robs us of the joy that we should have doing those things. Martha did not envision her stressful outcome when she invited Jesus and his disciples to her home for dinner. How many times do we do that to ourselves?
Our brains are not designed to handle more than one major task at a time. However, the pressure to do more in our distracted culture has led many to believe that multitasking is the only way to accomplish anything. Studies disagree with this assumption. A study at Stanford University showed that people who did not default to multitasking actually were able to focus on a single task better and accomplish multiple tasks more efficiently.
Look around and count all the foreheads that you see. Never have foreheads been more prominent. Nearly every person has his or her head down with eyes glued to a device. To say that we live in a distracted world is like saying the earth is round. Some may disagree but the evidence is overwhelming. Jesus warned us that where our treasure is, there our hearts will be also. In other words, what we value with our time and attention will become what we love. Are we going to be satisfied loving our devices or would we rather love people better?
It does make sense with the wider connectivity of the world, the instant feedback to our posts and messages that many people struggle to find their self-worth today. When everyone has an opinion it can be pretty hard to find the right ones to listen to. However, this is not some new byproduct of technology or even a twenty-first century creation which brings us to our 3,000 year old story: An angel meets a coward at a winepress.
Today many church leaders are pushing for more inclusive language so people who are unchurched can understand what the church is talking about. While it is very important to consider our words carefully, certain words need to be clarified and defined not changed. Pastor Ryan believes that sanctification is one of those words. And that is the topic of this weeks Hydrate Break.
Jesus spent a lot of his time on earth simplifying faith for us. He told many stories explaining the kingdom of God to His followers in simpler terms. He even took all the commandments of God and squeezed them into to two: Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself. And He said that by keeping those two commands you will keep all the commandments. However, he never said that it would be easy.