I love Easter season – the cheerful, bright colors, the great brunch my wife makes (oh, man, you have no idea), our dynamic church services, and, of course, the excitement of those who come to Christ for the first time! But these are not the things that move me the most. The primary reason I love Easter is because of one thing.
Easter isn’t about studying a book of the Bible, which I love to do! Or teaching on how to have a successful marriage, which everyone wants. Or how to raise kids who don’t embarrass us too badly, which we all hope for. Or how to stewards our finances for kingdom purposes. No, this season shaves away all the secondary things in Christianity and makes us focus on the one, truly important thing:
Jesus – and what He did for us on that cross.
Everything else is secondary and temporary. If you wonder where your contentment went – this is it.
I love how Jesus highlighted this very truth when He commended Mary for spending time alone with Him rather than doing the “responsible” thing, which was helping her sister cook dinner.
“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.’” Luke 10:41 NLT
We all have responsibilities, even ministry responsibilities, but they aren’t as important as being alone with Jesus. You can say you spend time with Jesus while serving, but that’s not the same. Martha could have said that too – she was actually “serving Jesus” by hosting His Presence in her own home! But at the very same time, she was “busy and worried about many things”.
This happens to me in ministry. It happens to my colleagues as well. I recently facilitated a roundtable discussion with a handful of pastors about our intimacy with Christ as spiritual leaders. We were all falling woefully short. Life is busy.
But when I sat down this week to prepare my Palm Sunday and Easter messages I was forced to focus on Jesus alone. How refreshing. I was reminded that when I make the secondary things the primary things my peace and contentment quickly slip away.
The same is true with you.
The truth is:
Church didn’t save you, Jesus did. Friends can’t touch the deepest part of your soul, only Jesus can. Prosperity doesn’t give you inner peace, Jesus does. Serving doesn’t ultimately satisfy your sense of purpose, for you were first designed to be a son or daughter God. And sharing your faith doesn’t draw you closer to Christ, it draws others closer to Him. You draw closer to Jesus when you make it about Him, and Him alone.
Turn off or close out the radio, tv, Spotify, Pandora, FaceBook, Instagram, or Twitter, and talk to Him – and listen. Get up fifteen minutes earlier and read His word. Take walks at lunch, or in the evening, and connect with Him.
I love what Paul wrote to the Corinthians – a very influential, Spirit-filled church:
“But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided, simple devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent.” 2 Corinthians 11:3
Simple. That’s what Christianity is supposed to be – simple.
Jesus loves me. I am loving Him back.
I hope you will join me this Sunday, Palm Sunday, as we meditate on what Jesus did for us on that cross. It will be a deeply moving time for us, re-focusing solely on Jesus, as we prepare our hearts for Resurrection Sunday!
Only because of Him,