Hey, so 14 months ago, my wife and I were hit by Hurricane Josiah. It is one of the -- he's a very cute kid. He gets his looks from his mother. And there [were] a couple of things that happened when he was born that we started to realize that our family rhythms were just now out of sync. One of the things I realize is that you can never take old methods of operation into a new season, so if you're doing something, when things change your operations and your systems and your rhythms and your practices also need to change. We found ourselves drowning and I mean drowning and things to do seven months into the process and to Josiah being alive. We were waking up about two or three times a night and we were absolutely delirious from lack of sleep, not just lack of sleep, but it felt like everything in our life was just upended. We were always stressed. By the time 7:30 would roll around and we would put the boys to sleep, it honestly felt like the greatest feeling on the planet. Like I can just sit down on the couch and for maybe 20 or 30 minutes [and] do nothing. That was until the baby started crying in the middle of the night or the email came in and more and more things started to pile up. So much so that my stress levels went to almost an all time high. In the whole month of October, my migraines came back. I grew up having pretty bad migraines and for the whole month of October, I had vertigo. And it's a feeling like, you know, you had five too many, but it's nine o'clock in the morning and it felt like this: the world was spinning around me. And I called up a doctor and he said, Hey, are you stressed? I said, yes. He said, Are you sleeping? I said, no. And he was like, well, you might want to change those things before we prescribe you any medicine. Now, a piece of me knew that having a second child would introduce a lot of complexity to our life. I knew sleeplessness was on its way, but the biggest unexpected thing that happened was in my relationship with my wife, Jessica, Man, I really felt like closeness was slipping away. For the first time in my life, it felt like we were roommates. So much of our closeness and intimacy just felt like it was completely nonexistent. Now, I don't want to belittle challenges that other couples have because there are legitimate challenges across the spectrum. But for us, our biggest problem was not a person from the outside. Our biggest problem was not my sneaker collection, though Jessica may tell you differently. Our biggest problem was this never ending growing To-Do list that drowned out any ability for us to actually connect with each other. In that season, I learned something profound about the nature of relationships and what is required to have real connection and real intimacy with anyone, a friend, a parent, a loved one, and certainly God. Here's what I found as the essential ingredients for intimacy. You need to make sure that you have a clear priority, that the other person knows without a shadow of a doubt that they are a clear priority for you. Not just that, but you show them that they are a clear priority by giving them your most precious resource. Unrushed time. Now, a lot of us have been around someone, they give you the time, but they couldn't wait. They were counting down the seconds until it could end. You knew they were in a rush. You knew they had another thing coming up right after. And that's not really a fertile ground for connection. And not just that they're a priority and not just that you give them unrushed time, but that in that unrushed time, you give them undivided attention, that you can focus on them.


One of the things that I've discovered over the years is the ability to focus on something when you actually give it your time. There's a series on Netflix and it talks about... It's called Abstract and it highlights a lot of different creatives. And there's one creative -- there's a photographer named Platon and he's known for some of the most famous and beautiful portrait pictures in the world. He's taken the Obamas, he's taken everybody. And one of the things that they discovered about platen in his photography, what made him a genius, was that in a lot of ways, he's actually dyslexic and he has a problem doing too many things at once. So what he did was he reduced all of his energy and all of his time to shooting one subject on a camera and not even a digital camera on an old school camera because he says, I just want to focus on the person. And by giving someone your undivided attention, you're able to create something absolutely masterful. I'm concerned about Christians in America today and certainly in our church and in my own life, that there is an epidemic happening in which the statement of our life, the statement of our mouth, that we want a connection with God. And I don't know all of you guys, but I would imagine that you're here today because you want to be closer to God. We have these goals and these statements that we would make, and I'm concerned that the rhythm of our life is lived in such a way that makes connection, real connection with God impossible. God is not our clear priority. There is no unrushed time. And there's very few moments in which God has our undivided attention. For most of us, the great danger is that we will become so distracted and rushed and preoccupied that we will settle for a mediocre version of faith where we will just skim our lives instead of living it, that you would be so busy with the things going on in your life that God is never your clear priority. You don't have much time and he never gets your undivided attention. We're going to turn to a passage of scripture today as we are continuing our Distracted series and in this Distracted series, we've been looking at different things that would pull us away from God. This one today is not something catastrophic. It's not something salacious and scary. It's our To-Do list. It's all of the things that we have to do. And left unchecked, those things that we have to do crowd out what is essential to do. It comes to us in Luke 10 verses 38 to 42 and scripture should be on the screens to my sides. It's about two women named Mary and Martha, two followers of Jesus. "While they were traveling, he entered a village and he was talking about Jesus and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary who also sat at the Lord's feet and was listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks. And she came up and asked, 'Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.' The Lord answered her: 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things. But one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice and it will not be taken from her.'" Now, this is a passage about two sisters, two followers of Jesus, and interestingly, this is the only time in the New Testament with the word distracted is actually used by Jesus or any other author. And that word distracted means pulled away from, drawn away from. In essence, Jesus is telling her, Martha, despite your good intentions, despite your work effort and your work ethic, the thing that has pulled you away from me was all of the things that you had to get done on your to do list. You let a good thing stop you from doing an essential thing. And this is what we see in the scripture that our To-Do list is a good thing that can keep us from an essential thing to do. Our to-do list is a good thing that can keep us from an essential thing. What is that essential thing? Life with God that you can meaningfully connect to the creator of the universe who invites us into a relationship with him. Now, really quickly, before we die too deep into scripture. Today, a lot of people read the scripture and it kind of sounds unfair that Jesus would somewhat rebuke Martha for doing something for him, like she's helping you out. She was making you fried chicken and you have the nerve to, like, stop her and to correct her for that. Sometimes people have gone so far as to make this about something that, like Jesus doesn't value work or Jesus wants you to live in la la land and go and join a monastery and quit and leave everything and just read the Bible all day. And this is not what Jesus is saying in the scripture. The scripture is not devaluing work. This scripture says that some things are better than other things. There was nothing in life that was below Jesus. There's a scripture at the end of the Gospels what Jesus is eating dinner with his closest disciples. And it says after the dinner, after the meal was finished, Jesus got up, got a towel, wrapped it around his waist. Got a water basin and started washing his disciples feet. There was nothing about Jesus that made him feel like he was bigger than work. Jesus was a servant by his very nature. So this scripture is not me saying it's not God saying that work doesn't matter or the things in your life don't matter. But it is a warning to us to make sure that we don't let good things replace the essential thing in our life, that we don't live a life where we don't have God as our true priority, that we're not giving him unrushed time and we're not giving God our undivided attention. It's a warning against a shallow life like that. Now, there's also an aspect of the scripture, which is an invitation, one of the things that's so fascinating about any time we talk about scripture like this, we tend to approach it from the concept of there's 10 things on my to do list. Jesus wants to be number one on my to do list. That's not what I'm saying. This is an invitation to receive something altogether very different. This is an invitation away from everything else that we've been doing to actually receive life from Jesus and Matthew 11:28-30. Jesus gives us this invitation very expressly. And anyone who's who resonates with Martha, I hope these words are sweet to hear for you. In Matthew 11:28: it says "Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take up my you can learn from me because I am lowly and humble and heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Now, it's an interesting choice of words that Jesus uses. Jesus says, "come to me, all of you who are weary" and weariness is a different form of fatigue than just being tired. You could be tired from overactivity in a one day period. A couple of weeks ago, I was hanging out with my nephew and my niece, and we went to the playground and my niece runs track and she challenged me to a game of tag. My brain said it was a phenomenal idea. My hamstrings did not say the same thing. Halfway through the game of tag, I evaded her for like 20 seconds and I was devising plans on how to get out of this game because she was catching up to me at a pretty fast pace. And like 10 minutes into it, I was like I was done. I just lied on her. Like, know, she's cursing. She's over here talking crazy about people, she needs to be. Let's sit down for a little bit. She's still on punishment to this day. Not me. But that's tired running around too much in a day. You'll be tired for that. Weariness is when you are exposed to something that is hazardous to you for a prolonged period of time. Here's a crazy thing about weariness, it's so subtle in your life that you can learn to operate with it and not even really know what's there. There's just this fatigue, there's just this exhaustion that never seems to leave you. Martha thought the solution to the problem was that she would do more work and a lot of ways that solution is like drinking salt water when you're thirsty. It might quench a thirst immediately, but eventually it makes you more and more thirsty. By adding more things to our To-Do list, by believing that by getting this thing done or that thing done, all that does is actually make us more weary. Now, this scripture is also a really great one for people who are new to church and new faith and new to Christianity, and let's just say you're back in Renaissance and Church time for the first time in five, six years. When you first read this scripture, it does kind of sound harsh, right, like Jesus said, rebuking someone who by every measure really does seem like she wanted to serve Jesus. It almost seems like Jesus. You know, this has to be better things you can correct someone on than this person who was willing and able. And they're trying to give you their absolute best. I think this is such a great point for you to enter into the conversation, all because it shows you the nature of what a life rhythm with Jesus looks like. Jesus will not be added to your 6:30 PM slot. One of the greatest dangers of life is adding Jesus and to a life that you have already chosen. Jesus is not the person who will just, you know, take a back seat. Jesus is that crazy friend that you have that you don't even invite him to everywhere because you like, you know, he's liable to do. I don't even know he's liable to do when he gets in here. Jesus is unpredictable, he will not be confined to one little crevice of our life, but to call him Lord means that you are giving him permission to access every single crevice of your life. So part of the reason that Jesus rebukes Martha, it shows us the nature of what it looks like to have a faith relationship with Jesus, that he wants it all. The better news is he deserves it all. So this scripture is one that is confronting for me for a lot of different reasons, because in a lot of ways I see myself in Martha. I'm not someone who naturally can just relax. Most people who are not from New York have moved to New York to get it. You came here for the job, for the school, for the gig, for Broadway. And you're not going to just come here just to sit at Jesus's feet and relax. That's not something that's in your natural wiring. New York has something just in the water that speeds us up. Every time my wife and I go out of town, like I'll be at a red light and the light could turn green within two point one milliseconds, I'm like, I'm leaning on the horn. Like "Yo what are you doing? Go!" She's like, "Jordan. We're in a one stoplight town. We don't even have anywhere that we're going. We don't even know where we're going. What are you in a rush to do?"


We're kind of programed to work and there's a couple of things that make the scripture almost hard to receive for us, that Mary has chosen the better thing to sit and to be with Jesus, to sit in silence, to receive something from him than Martha, who's knocking our stuff off of her to do list. One of the first reasons why I think this is so hard for us is I don't know if you ever noticed this, but the things in life that really matter, this is not a set it and forget it type of deal. You remember the infomercials from the 90s, like you put your turkey in this thing, set it and forget it. Our priorities don't don't work like that. Our priority does not need to be set. It needs to be maintained. So in some ways, I just don't think that we have practices in our life that reinforce a life abiding rhythm with Jesus because we're just kind of letting things happen naturally as they go along. And I think that's because deep down inside, we value organic over intentional, right? If something is organic, we feel like it's more true, that it's more authentic. We think that if we were intentional about something that for some reason it just it just doesn't feel the same way. We want to want to read scripture like we want to wake up in the morning and we want to have a desire in us that just wants to spend time alone with God. We want to just wake up and say, you know what? No, no, no, no, no, no. Turn off ESPN. I'm not going to watch that. I want so much to spend time with Jesus as if that's more authentic or more real than being intentional about it. But here's what I've discovered in my relationships with people and certainly in my relationship with God. Intentional practices create room and make space for organic connections. Intentional practices create space and make room for organic connections. One of the things that my wife and I did, which was revolutionizing for our relationship, was every single month we have a family meeting where we get together. We throw everything we have to do on a To-Do board, and we make sure we schedule a schedule, intentional time away from the kids, away from work where we can just have a conversation and not be interrupted. That intentional planning has allowed it for us to have an organic, real connection. But our culture, for whatever reason, values the organic over the intentional, as if that's better than the other in scripture, doesn't approach life with God as something that you should just stumble into and do whatever feels good. There's actually a scripture in the Bible in 1 Timothy 4:7 where it says to train yourself and godliness. Train. What is this talking about? Paul was talking about this in the same way of a track athlete. As I prepare for a race. My wife and I ran a half marathon, I should say, I jogged a half marathon. The people who ran a half marathon lapped us at like mile six and -- the whole time we trained for that half marathon, like there were so many mornings where the last thing I wanted to do was intentionally get up in the cold and go out and run. I hate running. I don't think anybody likes running. By the way, have you ever seen the faces of people when they run, their lips are bouncing and they looks miserable. Training requires that you do things that you don't want to do, knowing that you're going to get a good result in the end, it doesn't require that you and I rely on our feelings to motivate us to do one thing or another. It means that we give intentionally, give every effort, as another scripture writer writes, ought to do it. Making Jesus a priority in your life is not going to happen organically. It's not going to happen just because we somehow mustered up the internal desire to do it, it's going to happen because we planned for it, we make intentional decisions to make Jesus a priority. And it doesn't mean that it's going to be cold and detached, but it does mean we're going to create space for connection to happen. Now, another reason it's really difficult to really keep and maintain Jesus as our priority is because if this is true about me and it might be true about you, I just kind of prefer to do things where I can get tangible results, right. Like our whole lives, we've spent them doing things and getting feedback for them, like going to school. Growing up, you knew that they were tests, there were quizzes, there was a report card coming up. There was something to tell you how you did on everything. At your job. There's performance reviews, there's a paycheck. There is something that you get in return for the time that you've spent. Time with God. Unrushed, focused time with God doesn't give us those results. If you wake up tomorrow morning and say, I'm going to give 10 times to praying to the Lord's Prayer in my life, when you get up from praying, there's not going to be anybody there clapping like, "oh, my God, that was so that was amazing. The way you went through that second line. You know, you killed that joint." It's such a temptation that actually Jesus warns against people praying for the feedback of other people. And Matthew 6, Jesus warns these Pharisees are hypocrites. "They pray with their tassels down to make these loud, crazy shows so that other people will tell them well done, they have just received their reward. But you, when you pray, go and secret, know that you will receive a reward from your Heavenly Father."


Jesus doesn't want us even searching after results because the goal of it is not a result. I think one of the reasons that it's so difficult to really have an abiding rhythm in life with God, uninterrupted, uninterrupted time with God is because I think we go into it with the wrong expectation and the wrong motives. We go into it adding it as our to do list number one. And as a result, it just feels like another thing we have to check off. And in the process, we might miss God. Absolutely, completely. The entire story of scripture is not about getting things done and checking off the to do list in your life. It is about these three words, God with us. That God in the person of Christ has come for us. God has gone to great lengths to bring us back so that you and I could be in relationship with him and experience closeness and intimacy with God. Those three words, God with us. In the beginning, God created us. Then Sin separated us. By the grace of God. Jesus redeemed us. By the gift of the Holy Spirit, it lives in us. And now we are promised eternity with him that he will live with us, God with us. That's the whole purpose of any time with Jesus is not that you would feel better about yourself or that you get God himself. The whole goal of the gospel is not that you get salvation, although salvation is a beautiful thing to avoid judgment, the whole of the Bible is not about forgiveness. Although forgiveness is a beautiful concept, forgiveness just says you can go away unpunished. The goal of the gospel is that you can come and be received as one of my children. This is what God offers us in the gospel. And when we make our life about accomplishment and not relationship with God, it turns into a sour drink to drink and it doesn't feel the same way. And that's partly because that's not the goal in the first place. A couple of years ago, my wife and I broke every parenting rule that we had. We had rules in the beginning, right. Like so everybody without kids has pristine visions of how their kids would be if they ever had them. My wife and I were like, oh, you know, we not gonna let them have all these sugary drinks and after life and the children beat us down. Now it's like, is it illegal or is it illegal? No, they could have it as long as it's. Listen, you can have it. We got Jamison addicted to these vitamin waters, and he loved them and he would like every time the refrigerator would open, he would check the fridge, the fridge to see how many were left in it. And if you wanted him to behave, all you had to do is offer him some juice and he would be the most best behaved child on the planet. One Saturday, I was headed to a meeting and Jamison came running and screaming down the hallway. I had to stop in the kitchen to grab a juice and some a sandwich on my way to my meeting. And Jamison came running down the hallway screaming and crying. I'm like, man, I was like, "I broke, this kid's heart, like, I'm leaving. He wants to hang with his dad." I'm like, "Come here, buddy. Come on, come on." He was like, "Daddy, you took the juice." I got up and he didn't even hug me, he just stormed away in his disappointment. I think that if we're not really careful, we'll be running after God for what he can give us and not God himself. That we want. We're coming to God so that he would make us feel less guilty about our lives and that we've done a good job that God will give us. He would punch our loyalty card and say, all right, you come today. Here's your loyalty. Punch nine more and you get a free drink. And not be going up to God himself. That's the goal of the gospel: to get God himself. Jesus rebukes and corrects Martha because her mind is off. She's not going after the one thing that is essential. She's let good things keep her from the essential thing, and that is the essence of distraction. Now, it's not just that we have our values criss-Cross sometimes, but I also think that just living in New York City, there's so much social pressure to accomplish and Martha certainly had to face a lot of social pressure in verse 40. We see this in her life where it says, "but Martha was distracted by her many tasks and she came up and asked, Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand." What Martha is talking about and the reason Martha is so bold to even tell Jesus this is because it is a cultural norm and expectation that when you invite someone to your home, that you serve them food and you prepare something for them, that you don't just come in, you don't just invite them into your house and not have anything for them to have. So in a lot of ways, Jesus is going against the cultural norms that are existing in their life. We too have so many cultural norms and expectations that are placed on our shoulders. Here's a freeing thing about all that culture expects you to do: Our culture expects you to work however many hours a week and be so productive and still maintain a phenomenal relationship with all your friends and your family and babysit someone once a week and do all of these things and get all of these things done. And they put unrealistic expectations on our shoulders. Jesus is not looking for culture's OK before he commands us to live in a certain way. Here's a crazy thing about culture. Our culture is we never could see it in the present, but the things that our culture, our beliefs and values now, one day people will look back in horror of some of these things. In the 1940s, there was an entire government led medical campaigns to stop people from hugging their children. They believe that by hugging their children, by hugging your children, you were creating an attachment on them and that they would never be able to truly thrive in the world. What that led to was a lot of people with a lot of emotional difficulty to attach to people in general. People have heard about the experiments where they left a child by themselves with no human contact and that kid died even though they had food and oxygen and there was no other health condition, they later realized that human connection was vital for survival. Now we can look back 80 years from that and say, how could anybody ever believe that it's wrong to hug like a newborn kid? But they did. Everybody believed it. There are things that everybody in New York City believes you should be doing, and one day people will look back in horror of how wrong we were. Jesus doesn't go along with whatever culture says to do. Now the last reason why I think it's so hard for us is even bigger than these. This one is internal. This is the belief that you actually can do it all. Most of us operate with guilt that we're not getting things done because something about us makes us believe that we should be able to do it. We referenced this quote, a couple of weeks ago when we first started the series. But one of the ways that we will be able to make Jesus a priority is by first reckoning with the fact that we cannot do it all. There's a limitation that's placed on our life that is a gift to us that we need to embrace. Author Greg McCowen places it like this. He says: "the word priority came into the English language in the fourteen hundreds. It was singular. It meant the very first or prior thing. It stayed singular for the next 500 years, only in the nineteen hundred nineteen hundreds. Did we pluralize the term and start talking about priorities illogically. We reasoned that by changing the word, we could bend reality. Somehow we would now be able to have multiple first things people and companies, companies routinely try to do just that. This gives the impression of many things being the priority. But in actuality, nothing is. We first have to embrace our limitation that there is a limitation on our lives, what we can actually accomplish, and we're so distracted by our to do lists because we think we can focus on multiple things. We think we can have multiple priorities. And that's not true. Now, the results of this, of having our priority out of line is something that is harmful to our souls. Jesus diagnoses Martha in the scripture as having an unhappy, unsettled and unanchored soul. Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and when she came up and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand." The Lord answered her. 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things. But one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice and it will not be taken away from her.'" Now this word worried that Jesus uses is similar to destruction. It means torn up in pieces in many directions, and upset. In this context means tossed around almost like a small ship in the ocean with no anchor in it that is just tossed around and capsized over. Jesus is in essence saying that if we prioritize our to do list over him, it's going to leave us with unanchored, worried and anxious souls. I don't have to convince you of that. You guys know what that feels like? I certainly know what that feels like. And it's so it's so subtle in our lives because we're not talking about bad things that we're doing. We're talking about just getting our priorities out of order, our priority out of order. There's an ancient African theologian by the name of Saint Augustine, and this is what he says about the nature of our lives and the nature of sin. He says this: "The root of all sin isn't that we're loving the wrong things, but that we're loving the right things in the wrong order. Here's the root of the disruption and the anxiety and the frustration in your life. It's not that what you're doing or what you're loving is necessarily wrong. It's that we're loving the right things in the wrong order, that we have no clear priority in our life."


Last month, The New York Times ran an article entitled You Accomplished Something Great, So Now What? And it talks about this belief that you and I operate on, that once we accomplish something or once we finally check this thing off on our To-Do list, then we'll finally feel settled. The author talks about this feeling that we have and he calls it arrival fantasy, arrival fallacy. He says it's the illusion that once we make it, once we attain our goal or reach our destination, we will reach lasting happiness. Now he talks about why so many people, even in Hollywood and actors and musicians struggle to live a life after their career and athletes as well, because once you reach that thing and that thing doesn't give you happiness, now you move into despair. Back in the day before you reach that pinnacle, before you reach that accomplishment, you thought once I make it once I had this many followers, once I accomplished this job thing, once I had this many zeros in the bank account with an actual number in front of it, once I reached these things, then I will finally feel settled. Here's a dangerous part about arrival fallacy. Once you get it, you realize that all along it never can give you what you wanted. And then now you're even more anxious and more upset because now you have no idea where to go from there. The author calls it a rival fallacy, the Bible calls it idolatry, where we have believe something that has over-promised us and always will under deliver. Jesus warns against these things because it wars against our soul, and I think it wars against us so much because not only is it just that we put our priorities in the wrong order. But in some ways, we believe that this is who we are. There's a piece of us that believes that what we do is, is who we are and our identity is kind of rooted in what we get accomplished. And as a result, we're not able to turn off activity because we believe that our activity is our identity. Tell me if any of these things resonate with you. This is a good litmus test to see if there might be some deeper things going on beneath your surface. Tell me if anything is hit home with you that we believe if I don't do as much as I possibly can, I'll never make it in life. I'm going to fall behind. I won't be accepted. Man, that's a huge one. I'll disappoint someone. And my personal favorite is I won't measure up. There's a piece of us that will always war against us, this belief that our being and are doing is interconnected. And actually when the devil comes to test Jesus in Matthew 4, he says, "Jesus, if you are the son of God," a question of identity, "then turn these stones into bread, a demand for activity." He tried to merge and connect Jesus, his identity and his activity. And Jesus resisted it. Not because bread is bad, not because Jesus had something wrong with gluten. This was because Jesus refused to have his identity and his activity merged together because he knew how dangerous it was. If your identity is your activity, you'll never be able to establish Jesus as a priority because that in of itself is time with you. This is not an activity. It's a relationship. One of the struggles I've had recently, quite honestly, has been leading up to my sabbatical, and today is the last day until August, some time that my family and I will be here. Quick commercial break. Yeah, we got some bangers come in this next term. A series called Mixtape. Yes. Give it up for that. You guys definitely are not going to want to miss any week. I got some of my favorite preachers coming in from around the country and it's going to be really good. But really, if I have to look into my own soul, so much of what I truly believe is that if I don't do as much as I possibly can, I won't measure up. And it doesn't matter what I do in life, and the crazy thing is that that metric always changes every time I reach whatever level of success I think I have that no longer is satisfying. And I need to read something else. And it keeps on moving and moving, going farther and farther down the field. And I truly hope for a sabbatical is that we would really, truly be able to receive Jesus an invitation to us to rest and to not tie my identity to my activity. And it's a challenge that I've had ever since I became a pastor. And I thought that becoming a pastor would rid me of all temptations. But if anything, it kind of intensified some things. The temptation to believe I am what I do became even more that much more close to me. But if we're being perfectly honest, what's beneath all of these false assumptions that we carry is unbelief, what do you mean by unbelief? I mean that deep down inside, when we worry that if we don't do everything we can, we're not going to make it. We're going to fall behind. We won't be accepted. We're not going to measure up deep down inside. What we're saying is, "Jesus, I don't believe you are the resurrected savior that never slumbers or sleeps and has promised to never leave me or forsake me. That has promised that he's working out all things right now for my good." Not that he's not telling you to not do anything. Please don't hear that. But he is telling us not to not to worry. Jesus was asked this question in the book of John, Jesus, "what can we do to perform the works of God? What is it that God has for me? What is it that is the work that God wants me to do?" Here's what Jesus replies with. "This is the work of God that you believe in the one that he has sent." One theologian takes it so far as to say that Jesus's command is to relax. You cannot worry and show us at the same time, so much of our anxiety is really rooted in the fact that we are not believing in the one that God has sent. They would never leave us, never forsake us that he's always working. Jesus says, "my father is always working." Now, we would trust that we would relax, be able to relax and we would be able to live with ourselves, with our to do lists not being fully done so that we can set Jesus as our clear priority and live in that. This warning to not let a good thing keep us from an essential thing is a real one.


So in an overstimulated society, it is an act of resistance to rest. It is an act of violent resistance to sit in silence, to not do anything. This week for you, if you are newer to Bible reading and you might not know your way around the Bible, you might pronounce the book of Malachi as Malachai. It's all good. Listen, here's what I want you to do this week. There's something that you might have heard of called the Lord's Prayer. I want you to set aside 10 minutes this week, not as another thing to do, but to receive something, Jesus's invitation to get something from him. And I want you to pray to the Lord's Prayer line by line slowly. Our father who art in heaven. God, you are not my boss. You're not the boss that said mean things about me. You're not the boss that's always trying to make me measure up. Jesus, you have promised that God doesn't want to just be a father to me and just like my dad, but a perfect father. Pray to each line, line by line in that prayer and spend some time doing it. And for those of you who may have more experience with the Bible or Bible reading, I want you to commit to what is vital this week. Don't wait for your don't wait to feel it like to feel like wanting to do something, schedule it. What gets planned, gets done. The Bible is not against planning. The Bible is against presumption. So God is not against you planning to do things. We want to create intentional space for organic connections to happen again. We want to create intentional time for organic connections to happen with you and with God. And we're actually going to end today with what for a lot of people is pretty scary and it's just silence. I want us to spend 60 seconds in silence, and if you're a physical person, you could put your palms up in the act of receiving. There's a scripture in the Bible that talks right before right after Jesus was baptized that it says a voice from heaven came open and says, you are my beloved, and whom I am well pleased. The nature of the Christ of Christianity, the nature of the gospel is that those words can now be said of you that you are God's beloved. You're not the one that God is frustrated with all the time. You're not the one that God is shaking his head up every time your name comes to his head through the gospel. We are God's beloved. And the second part of that statement is equally true, that in whom you are well pleased, you can relax, you can chill God as well, please. But Jordan, what about all the things that I've done that make it impossible for God to be pleased with me? Things I did this week, today, things I'm going to do, all of that is now to the Cross past, present, future. Since Jesus, when he says it is finished, he meant it. It is finished. So I want us to sit in silence, and your brain will no doubt wonder and wonder. As your brain wanders, I want you to silently or you can say out loud, repeat those words, I'm your beloved and whom you are well pleased.


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