Our humility now can be the kind that is obedient and active, willing to take up its cross. We are like David, small enough to know our need for something beyond ourselves yet big enough to step into the fray-even if it’s with nothing but a sling. (Smith, Mandy. “Unfettered” pg 127)
Day 41 of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Click here to read the latest updates on this horrible conflict. Nothing could be more shocking than the news that came out yesterday over the massacre at Bucha.
Yesterday, I mentioned returning back to the basic truths we need to refresh ourselves on every so often. One of those truths is touched on in the passage above from Ms. Mandy Smith. As she puts in the writing above: we have to be “willing to take up its cross”. We need a daily commitment to take up the Cross of Christ. What does that mean? Well, it is simple, really. What can you do everyday to show that you Love God, and what can you do everyday to show that you Love God’s greatest creation: people? Everyday, find some ways to honor both of these principles. Praying is the most important and easiest way to connect to God and keep ourselves plugged into the Holy Spirit. Reading the Bible in its entirety also displays a love for the Father as the Bible is God’s gift to mankind, the writings of God speaking to prophets and forming the foundations of our guide to living lives that would please the Father.
To demonstrate we love people, most of us have opportunities to do that every day in our daily interactions with others. Are we always treating those we interact with with respect, grace, compassion? Are we demonstrating the love Jesus had for ALL people to everyone, regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, political party, social class, financial status, etc, et?. The most wonderful part of our creation as Children of God is that we were all created differently. God celebrates our unique identities, we should too!
Our main problem in the last century is that we allow the world to push us away from God. In American culture, we allow distractions to consume our time and our lives. I just allowed that to happen yesterday. I spent my evening watching Disney+’s fantastic new series, Moonknight, and then finishing off The Book of Boba Fett, all while keeping the corner of my eye on my phone, which was streaming the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. I was all in on worldly distractions. What I could have been doing, should have been doing, was reading the rest of “Unfettered” so I could get back ahead of the reading schedule. I am about halfway through Chapter 7, which is our reading for next week, so if I allow myself to be anymore distracted, I could be behind in the reading for you guys and not even have good content to share with you! The rabbit hole of entertainment is endless right now, which is a HUGE part of our culture’s problem with our relationship with God. People would rather spend their time together scrolling on their phones instead of talking with each other. I see it everywhere I go. They would rather play silly games on their phone then play silly games with their own children in person. What I could have, and should have, done last night was finish my revision to “Common Sense REBORN” so I could relaunch that novella to the world. I could have, and should have, done all kinds of proactive activities to better my life, but, instead, I just watched the flashy images and scenes from Star Wars and Marvel entertainment.
What worldly distractions are you allowing to keep you separated from having a strong connection to God? What worldly distractions could you easily cut out? I have been on a social media fast since Fat Tuesday and I can say that has been extremely liberating to the point that I am not sure I will ever go back. I think I have finally broken free from seeking affirmation from likes and shares. God does not care what I post on Facebook or Instagram. He cares about how I live my life and treat others. Of course, how we treat others online does affect our relationship with God and Jesus. But God would rather us have a personal connection with others instead of a digital connection.
To help you cut out some of the worldly distractions, here is Pastor Steven Furtick’s latest sermon: another great word he preached from the Book of Ruth. Click the image below to fill an hour of your day with some words of anointing.