Why we need to be saved: to the runaway, reckless, lost, drifter, & the stuck in all of us

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Life is full of salvation stories.

If you’re like me, it doesn’t take long to think of times in your life when you’ve needed to be saved or rescued…

Like the time when I was five, and I decided to run away from home…

I figured with a full piggy bank, I didn’t need my parents anymore.  And, even though I didn’t get far, I needed to be saved.

I needed someone to come get me and bring me back home.

Or, the time when I was seven, and I wandered away from my mom while we were shopping, and I got lost…

One minute my mom was right there with me, and the next I couldn’t find her.

I needed her to look for me and find me.

Or, when I was ten, and my dad pulled a man out of a burning car near our house…

The man was driving recklessly and took a corner too fast, and he needed to be saved.

He needed someone to rescue him from a desperate situation.

Another time, I watched the Coast Guard rescue some students from drowning at the beach…

They were just playing out in the ocean and got distracted, and had drifted away from the beach and carried out past the waves.

They needed someone who had the power to go out and bring them back to the beach.

It wasn’t that long ago that I drove my family down to Oregon for Christmas in a snowstorm…and we got stuck at the bottom of a hill only a few hundred yards from our destination.

I tried every possible way I could think of to get us up the hill, but nothing worked.

We were stuck.

And, we needed help to get unstuck and make it to our destination.

So, why do I tell these stories?

I tell them because they help us see why we need to be saved.

Some of us are spiritual runaways…we’re running away from God, because we think we don’t need Him.  And, what we really need is for Him to come get us and bring us back to Him.

Some of us are spiritually lost right now…we know God is there, but we’re really not sure how to find Him.  We need Him to come find us.

Some of us are living recklessly and we’ve gotten way off track…our life is a wreck and we need God to rescue us before it’s too late.

Some of us are spiritually drifting…we didn’t even mean to get that far away from God, but we just got so distracted by life that we need His power to bring us back to Him.

And some of us are just plain stuck…spiritually stuck.  We’ve tried lots of ways to get to God on our own, but we just keep getting stuck, and we need God’s help to get us unstuck.

We need to be saved, because we’re all helpless.

We need to be saved, because we’re all sinners.

Our own choices have created this impossible distance between us and God.

And, we need to be rescued.

The Bible says that the wages of our sin…what we owe God because of our sin…is death.  And, salvation is the only solution to our sin problem.

Salvation is the only way…

For the runaway to be brought back home…

For the reckless to be rescued…

For the lost to be found…

For the drifter to be returned and…

For the stuck to be set free.

And, here’s the thing…

God is the only One who can save us…and He loves us enough to do it.

He loves you enough that He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for your sin by dying on a cross.

Think about that…Jesus saved you by dying for you.

Runaway, reckless, lost, drifter, stuck…He did it for all of us.

 

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!).  (Ephesians 2:4-5)

 

When busyness becomes an idol

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Life is busy…

I get it.

When you slow down long enough to ask someone how they’re doing, you’re often going to hear some variation of…

I’m busy.

Busyness has become a badge of honor that we wear.

It’s the way we often choose to identify ourselves in face to face conversations and on social media.

We compare schedules.

We post about our activities and to-do lists.

And, without even realizing it, we’ve let busyness become another idol.

There’s an old saying in church circles that says, “If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.”

The question that we should all be asking ourselves then is, when is being busy bad…and when is it not?

When exactly does busyness become an idol?

The short answer is that busyness becomes an idol when it becomes our identity.

God created us for relationships…

Relationships with Him and relationships with others.

So, our identity should ultimately reflect His purpose for creating us to live in relationship with Him and with each other.

When our busyness hurts either of those relationships, it becomes an idol.

Think about your own relationship with God right now, and ask yourself whether or not busyness is keeping you from knowing Him more.

Are you too busy to spend time reading His Word and talking to Him every day?

Are you too busy to wait patiently for Him?

Are you too busy to seek and worship Him with others at a local church?

Are you too busy at church to really stop to seek and worship Him?

(Those last two questions are tricky ones…we can get it wrong both ways).

Now, think about your relationships with others, and ask yourself whether or not busyness is keeping you from the people God has given you to share life with.

Are you too busy to eat a meal with your family?

Are you too busy to reach out to a hurting friend?

Are you too busy to date your spouse?

Are you too busy to stop and talk with your neighbor?

Busyness is so subtle, because it numbs us to the relationships we really need.

The relationships that God created us for in the first place.

If busyness has become your idol, it might be time to think hard about where you get your identity from…

What gives your life value and purpose?

Is it a to-do list or a full calendar…

Or, is it knowing God and sharing life with the people around you?

 

36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’[e] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[f] 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”  (Matthew 22:36-40)