Sunday, September 15, 2019

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - More Than Just the Physical

Over my lifetime and as far back as I can remember, I have heard thousands of people ask the same questions over and over. They ask about what they would wear, eat or where they should go. It seems that we are consumed by the most mundane and uninteresting parts of our lives. We are always asking about what we should eat, wear or where we should go.

As I look at social media sites and see everyone’s posts, most posts just tell me about what someone is wearing, eating or about a place they are visiting. It seems that we are just self-absorbed and believe that everyone needs to know what we are doing at any given moment in time.

Many years ago, I was told by recruiters that I should have a social media presence to show prospective employers that I have a life outside of work. I followed their advice and signed up to a few of the social media sites. Since that moment, I have regretted doing so and wish I had never signed up.

In just a short period of time, I had friends who wanted me to start a farm so that they could get a load of fertilizer or some sort of farm equipment to help them plant a virtual farm. Others wanted me to lead a group of gangsters in taking over more territory by building a criminal empire. Each day, I got “poked” repeatedly by friends. To this day, I still don’t understand why I get “poked”.

Instead of sharing our lives with a few close friends, we prefer to share everything with the entire world. Employers, doing background checks, regularly check social media sites to see what sort of person they are hiring. Instead of remembering that fact, we post pictures of ourselves that we wouldn’t show our parents or would be embarrassed to show to family publicly.  Given that and the ease for criminals to hack our lives and steal our identities by just pulling together all of the information we post to the world, I still don’t get it.

We are consumed by putting ourselves out into public and sharing the littlest and most inconsequential details of our lives. Just the other day, I saw a post from someone asking, “What do I feel like eating tonight?” That individual’s friends began to suggest different cuisines and locations. Are we so vain that we need to post questions like what should I eat, wear or do?

Paul, in his letter to the Christians in Rome, writes in chapter 14, “For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

As Christians, we should not be preoccupied with what we do in our physical lives, but, rather, what we do in our spiritual lives. We should be concerned and consumed by what God wants us to do with our lives. We should be, as Paul puts it, “living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”.

A couple of days ago, I was reading an article discussing the breakdown of society after a major catastrophe. With this being the eighteenth anniversary of 9/11, I found the article very interesting. Contrary to popular belief, people, after a major devastation, tend to come together to help one another. In that article, it was pointed out that people tend to become more social and work together. In one example provided, the authors pointed to a theater fire. What they found was shocking. When I began to read about the example, I immediately thought how this situation would end. People would trample others and not even help those who had fallen. More people would be killed or injured by the resulting stampede than by the actual fire or subsequent smoke. I was wrong. People actually worked together in small groups to help one another exit the theater and many, after escaping, went back into the theater to look for others who may have gotten trapped or lost in the smoke. Groups worked together to help those in need until fire and police arrived. The story completely shattered my original cynical thought about the people in the theater.

The article cited more and more cases where people came together to help others after disasters and worked to organize themselves until help got to the location. Like you, I was taken in by the news stories of all of the bad things that happen during times of trouble. The authors pointed out that there were way more stories of kindness and compassion for others than stories of looting and mayhem.

When we move outside of ourselves and begin to focus on others rather than worrying about what we should eat, drink, wear or where we should go, our lives are filled completely with goodness, peace and joy. We can do something wonderful not only for others but also for ourselves. By doing things in the name of God and out of love, we move beyond the realm of our physical lives. We move to a higher plane that is righteous and filled with love.

In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul writes in chapter 8, “It’s true that we can’t win God’s approval by what we eat. We don’t lose anything if we don’t eat it, and we don’t gain anything if we do.

Paul, in his letter, answered a question regarding the eating of meat sacrificed to an idol. People, during this time, believed that eating meat sacrificed to a god or idol constituted worship. Paul points out that it is nothing more than meat. Whether we eat it or not, does not do anything one way or the other.

In the case of asking those meaningless questions and spending time wondering about what we should do from moment to moment, the same holds true. It does not matter what we eat, drink, wear or where we go as long as we do those things that glorify God. 
Jesus tells us in Matthew 6, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?

Life is more than just eating, drinking and all those things that we seem so concerned about. God blesses us each and every day by providing us with what we need in accordance to His will and rich mercy. We have all that we need.

When you get down to it, the real question that we should be asking ourselves daily is if we are doing what God wants us to do. Are we truly following His will and walking with Him daily? Or, are we more concerned about the physical aspect of our lives. 

Jesus, in that same chapter of Matthew, said, “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

When you seek God above all else and live a righteous life, you can know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God will not only provide for you but also know that He loves you more than you can fathom. By having this knowledge firmly planted in your heart, mind and soul, you can stand firm in His grace.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

No comments:

Post a Comment