Sunday, January 12, 2020

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Choose What is Important

Now that the holidays and 2019 are behind us, we look forward to the new year and what is in store for us. Some look forward to a future with hope while others only see dread and doom in the days to come. If we see only the dread and doom in store for us, then we choose a path that leads to sadness. We worry about so many things that really should not matter in our lives. We, as human beings, are the only species that is conscious of our own mortality. We literally can worry ourselves into an early death if we continue to see only the gloom and doom of life. 

I, like many of you, sometimes fall into this rut and only see the negative aspects of life and it takes something profoundly amazing to snap me back to the beauty and blessing of living a life dedicated to loving God and serving others. 

Earlier in the week, I watched many videos of Australians who risked their lives to save animals trying to survive the brush fires that are ravaging the country. Each time I watched a video, I prayed for all who lost their homes and for those who risked their lives daily to save lives, homes and animals from the fires.

When you watch a tragedy unfold, everyone who survives with only the clothes on their backs say the same thing, “I’m alive and that’s all that matters.”

I read articles about people who risked life and limb to come to the aid of their neighbors. It seems that tragedies, no matter what the size or situation, bring out the best in people. Each, out of love for one another, gave all that they could not only for people but also for animals. People opened their homes and hearts to those in need. It didn’t matter whether they walked on two legs or four. All were welcome. 

When you begin to put things into perspective, you begin to realize that life is really beautiful and we are truly blessed. Even after losing everything, we can truly say that life is wonderful and we are alive. It is all in what we choose to see and how we choose to move forward in life.

We can either choose a life filled with nothingness and fear or we can choose a life that is full of wonderment and love. We can concern ourselves with what will we eat, drink or wear. Or, we can trust that our Heavenly Father will provide all that we need. 

Jesus, in chapter six of the Gospel of Matthew, tells us, “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.

If we choose what is important and gives our lives meaning, we don’t have to worry about anything. The Lord God will provide our every need. Instead of looking for more of the things of this world, we should be seeking the Kingdom of God and living righteously in service to God and those around us. Those who seek things of this world will be disappointed. The treasures of this world are fleeting and disappear like the morning fog. They are briefly here and quickly gone.. 

Our Heavenly Father has given each of us a life filled with love and beauty. It is our choice how we wish to view it. We can lament each moment and demand that we should have more or we can say, like those who survive a tragedy, “I am alive and that’s all that matters.”

In chapter ten of the Gospel of Luke, Jesus visited Mary and Martha for dinner. While Martha worried about the big dinner that she was preparing, Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to his words. Martha was very upset and thought it was unfair that she had to work hard while Mary just sat and did nothing. In fact, Martha asked that Jesus tell Mary to help her.

Jesus responds to Martha, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.

While Martha worried about the details of a dinner, Mary was interested in only one thing, the living bread provided by Jesus. Mary knew what mattered most and didn’t worry about the details of a meal. She was being fed by the Word.

When you choose what truly is important, you will not be disappointed. Choosing the things of this world will only bring disappointment and the desire to demand more. The things of this world will not satisfy you or fill that void in your life. What you receive in this life is temporary and will just fade away in time. The things of this world will not matter to us once we have, in the words of Shakespeare, “shuffled off this mortal coil”.

In his letter to the Galatians, Paul writes, in chapter two, “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

By choosing salvation, Jesus lives within us. We do not live for ourselves or our desires. We live by trusting fully and completely in the Son of God. He gave his life for us so that we could have eternal life with the Father. It is strictly our choice.

You can choose a life devoted to the details of this world or you can find rest at the feet of Jesus. You can concern yourself with the things of this world and worry about everything or you can put your trust in the Lord and know that everything you need will be provided. The choice is really up to you.

Jesus said, in chapter twelve of the Gospel of Luke, “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?

If you choose to put down your worries and concentrate on what is truly important, you won’t be disappointed at all and will live a life where you can stand firmly in His grace.

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

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