Sunday September 25, 2022
“Exodus 25:8-9- “Have the people of Israel build me a holy sanctuary so I can live among them. You must build this Tabernacle and its’ furnishings exactly according to the pattern I will show you.”
“So I can live among them!” God’s, heart, God’s desire, has always been to live among the people He created. God created us for family!
Genesis 3:8-“- “When they heard the sound of God strolling in the garden in the evening breeze,..”
Leviticus 26:12- “I will walk among you; I will be your God, and you will be my people.”
Let’s look to Eternity. Let’s look to the end of the Book.
Revelation 21:1-3- “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.”
And right in the middle!
Matthew 1:23- “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.”
WHAT HAS BEEN REVEALED IN THESE SCRIPTURES?
God desire to dwell among His family! He’s not some distant God, He walks among us, lives among us! That’s His desire!
HIS DESIRE IS FOR YOU! HIS LONGING IS FOR YOU!
One recent study found that in the next 30 years, 50 percent of the churches in America will close. Over 42 million young people will walk away from the church, the family of God!
20% of people who attended church before the pandemic are nowhere to be found. In person or online.
HOW DID WE GET TO THIS PLACE? AS FOLLOWERS OF JESUS CHRIST HOW DO WE RESPOND?
Some believe the answer is theological. If we just had a more educated church. Yet we have more theological training and resources than the early church, the church of the Book of Acts could ever comprehend!
Some believe the solution is political. We need to fight for a return to our sacred past. We need to reclaim the highest offices in the land and the highest courts.
As good as this may sound we cannot legislate love for Jesus in the heart.
We have had more political and cultural power than those in the persecuted church could fathom and yet our love grows cold!
HERE’S THE TRUTH! We don’t need more ideas about what we should do.
We need deeper intimacy with the one who holds wisdom and power and knowledge in is hand.
THERE’S A STORY IN THE BIBLE THAT REVEALS THE DESIRE OF GOD AND WE SEE TWO RESPONSES.
Luke 10:38-42- “As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “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.”
- Distractions are Draining Us
Distractions are draining us of the abundant life that Jesus came to give us.
Distractions in the church. Distractions in our homes, in our workplaces. Busyness, anxiety and demands. DISTRACTIONS ARE DRAINING US.
Draining us of the power of God, the life of God, the peace of God and most important, the love of God!
Jesus told Martha, “you are worried and troubled by many things!”
If there’s one sentence that I believe sums of the state of the church today, “you are worried and troubled by many things!”
HERE’S THE PROBLEM: As close as Jesus may be, WE NEVER ENCOUNTER HIM!
BECAUSE WE’RE DISTRACTED! By many things
2. One Thing Changes Everything
We’re distracted by many things but ONLY ONE THING IS NEEDED.
Jesus told Martha, “One thing is needed..”
Matthew 6:33- “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
(TPT)- “So above all, constantly chase after the realm of God’s kingdom and the righteousness that proceeds from him. Then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly.”
You see it’s not Mary verses Martha! It’s Mary BEFORE Martha!
In the Kingdom of God there are first things, first works, and first commandment.
The Bible tells us that if we will do the first things first, it will affect everything else we do!
If you will do the first thing, it will set a trajectory for many other things to be aligned in your life!
David said it this way!
Psalm 27:4- “The one thing I ask of the Lord— the thing I seek most— is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.”
David said, “The one thing I ask…” That leads to the third point.
3. I have to choose what God has chosen for me.
Jesus told Martha. “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
It has always been the desire of Jesus for his people to be people of prayer and for his house to be a house of prayer!
I must choose to sit at the feet of Jesus, FIRST!
MARY HAD TO CHOOSE, JESUS DID NOT MAKE THE CHOICE FOR HER!
Can you, in the midst of all the distractions, the allurements, voices, seductions, opportunities, money, political dysfunction in our country,
CAN YOU CHOOSE TO SIT AT THE FEET OF JESUS WITH A BIBLE OPEN AND AN ENGAGED HEART, LISTENING TO HIS VOICE?
CAN YOU CHOOSE TO JOIN US CORPORATELY AS WE SEEK GOD TOGETHER THESE NEXT 10 DAYS?
Acts 1:14- “They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.”
In the simplest terms it means making a time and a place sacred and consistent, where you meet with God, BOTH PERSONALLY AND CORPORATELY!
CONCLUSION: Distractions are draining us. Only one thing is needed. I/you/ we have to choose.
Will you join me and others for this 10 Days of Prayer?
JESUS IS GIVING THE INVITATION!
Revelation 3:20- “Look! I have been standing at the door, and I am constantly knocking. If anyone hears me calling him and opens the door, I will come in and fellowship with him and he with me.”
What is the Holy Spirit saying to you through this message?