Jon Taylor – Lead Pastor
In this week’s message, we continued to look at how Jesus elevated women and rose above cultural norms of the day to counter the lies in that culture and show women’s inherent value that they’ve had since Genesis. Both men and women are created by God and given worth and value by nature of our creation and Creator. It was a lie in the culture (women are inferior) of Jesus’ day and still is a lie in many cultures today. He showed that value in a story told in Luke 10.
There we read a story about someone who was too concerned about the doing that they pushed the relationship with Jesus to the side. “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’” (Luke 10:38-42)
Have you ever been so busy “doing” that you forgot about “being with” whoever you were with? Have you ever been so distracted by being busy that you neglect your relationship with the important people in your life? So busy or distracted that you neglect your relationship with God? I know I have.
God’s first priority is you: to be in a loving relationship with you and to bring you into oneness with Him. Being comes first, and doing is second. God will sometimes put your life on hold to have your heart. Even if you are doing well, God will prune your life back and lead you into a seemingly unproductive wilderness season to gain a greater grip on your heart. Your union with Him and growth in being conformed to Christ is much more important to Him.
I think we all want to live an on-purpose life. Here’s how you do that. First, develop a deep intimacy with God and others; become a person who is full, with an over-flowing capacity to love. Second, give yourself to a significant mission in life; have a total commitment to be a unique part of God’s eternal purposes and leave a legacy behind. Third, find joy in the journey. The ability to find contentment in your lot in life based on being rooted in the deeper reality of Christ’s love. That’s how people in the slum in Nairobi, Kenya can have joy. That’s how the persecuted church member in China can have joy. That’s how an incarcerated prisoner can have joy. That’s how a person with a mediocre job living in Central Phoenix can have joy. Be content with your lot in life by being rooted in the depth of Christ’s love for you.
As you deepen your relationship with God and live out of the overflow of that relationship, you can be content and find joy in the journey – regardless of circumstances.