The One Thing You Need | Kylen Perry

Kylen Perry // Mar 5, 2024

Are you addicted to being busy? Finding satisfaction in an ever-growing to-do list? While it's easy to slip into achiever mode, this week Kylen Perry takes us through Luke 10 to show us that when we live distracted we risk missing out on the one thing we really need — to focus fully on Jesus.

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Porch, how are we doing? Let's go! Put your hands together. It's Tuesday night. It's so good to be back with you. Thanks so much for trusting us with your Tuesday, genuinely. I don't know where you're coming from, but we love that you would be here with us. We want to make the most of this time together. I think God has something for us. I believe that every week, but as we've stepped into this week, as I started to prep what we're talking about tonight, I think God very specifically wants to engage you.

I don't think he wants to engage only the people in this room; I think he wants to engage some friends who are joining with us around the nation. Porch.Live Tulsa, Porch.Live Midland, special shout-out to you guys as well as to all of our Porch.Live locations. Can we give it up for them, please? Love that y'all track with us. Thanks so much for being here.

Well, it wasn't long after college in my first job that I found myself itching for the next thing. Has anybody been in that place where you're on the hills of your first job and you're thinking about what's next? Some of you are shaking your heads, like, "Yeah, that's me right now. I want that right now."

For me, at that time, I was itching. I was so eager to get out there and prove to myself just how much I had to offer. I wanted to show people, "Hey, I actually do have what it takes to make a difference in the world." I wanted to do something fulfilling, something that actually made an impact. So, I found myself moving toward an evaluation of what was next, and as I did, all of these thoughts of what God might do started to fill my mind.

It started to sound like the voice of those posters in your grade school classrooms, where it's like, "The world is your oyster" or "You can do whatever you want. You can be whoever you want to be when you grow up." I started to believe, like, "Yeah, man, that is true. I can be whatever I want." So I started to consider, "God, what would you have me do next?" I didn't just want to carve out a nice little life for myself. I had these great aspirations of global domination.

I wanted to do something epic. I wanted to make the most of the years I had. So, I started thinking, "It doesn't matter what ladder I climb. I just need to find a ladder and climb up that ladder as quickly as possible." Yet here was the issue: I had so many ladders at my disposal. God, in his kindness, had given me a variety of different things for me to look at. At this point in my life, it was all at once. It felt like, "Man! There are so many different opportunities."

I found myself staring down the barrel of helping my church start a college residency. I found myself looking at the opportunity to step into a tech start-up, a new job in the marketplace. I was dating a girl who was way outside of my league. I was part of a sermon prep team with a pastor who had decided to mentor me. I was part of a ministry that was making a difference in our city, and they were all asking me to take another step with them.

It's everything I wanted, yet it was so overwhelming. I found myself taken aback by the fact that everything I wanted… All of this opportunity was here at my feet. It was finally available to me. I thought the sky was the limit, yet in the midst of all of this, it felt like the sky was falling down all around me. I had these hopes of global domination, and now it felt like the world was coming after me. Does anybody resonate with this?

This is a feeling we find ourselves in whenever we see, "Man, there's a lot I want to do, yet I don't know what to say 'yes' and what to say 'no' to. So I'll just sensibly say 'yes' to all of it," and it starts to sweat you out. It starts to get hot, because it starts to feel really heavy. I don't know if that sounds like your experience. What I do know is that, according to most research, this is characteristic of our generation.

We find ourselves struggling with something we like to call workaholism. (That got a reaction.) In 2016, a survey was conducted by Project: Time Off, widely regarded as one of the leading analyses in the last decade on the topic of workaholism. They surveyed 5,000 young professionals, and they found that out of those 5,000 young professionals, people just like you, 43 percent of them (that would be just less than half of this room) identified as work martyrs, that they were sacrificing their well being on the altar of whatever job they were a part of.

They identified with these statements: "No one else in my company can do my job while I'm away. I want to show complete dedication to my company and my work. I don't want others to think I'm replaceable. I feel guilty for using my paid time off." Forty-three percent of people just like you said these statements. They agreed that this was their reality.

If you want a study that's more recent than 2016, in 2020 Forbes found that 66 percent of young adults suffer from workaholism. The number just increased in four years from between one study to the next. Forbes identified this as work addiction. The fact that they would identify it as that is interesting. That's a pretty strange phenomenon that we would say it's work addiction. Considering all other addictions in the world, we don't brag about them.

Nobody is walking around bragging about their drinking problem. Nobody is walking around bragging about what they watched in the secrecy of their home on their computer, yet we do like to walk around and brag about the fact that… "Yeah, man. I did just pull a 50- to 60-hour week last week." There's something glamorous, something sexy about work addiction, yet we know the effect is pretty consequential. But this is who we are.

In that same study, 70 percent of people were available and actively working on the weekends. Seventy percent…on the weekends! I don't know what you do on your weekends, but I don't like to work. I like to take off. I like to have good boundaries. Sixty-three percent claimed to work while sick, which is ironic, because that's what you have sick leave for. It's to leave the work behind because you're sick. And 32 percent admitted to working even while on the toilet. I don't know what you call that. I call that a problem.

Put in short, y'all, we're workaholics. The line between our personal lives and our professional lives has grown dangerously thin to the point that the world is looking at our generation and saying, "You're the burnout generation." Phrases such as hustle culture, quarter-life crisis (some of you are resonating with these), vacation shaming, and career fatigue are more common than ever before.

Now, some of you may hear this, and you may hear my story, and you may be like, "Kylen, I hear you. I'm not addicted to my job. I'm not sacrificing myself on the altar of my performance at work. I don't care, actually, what my boss really thinks of me. I'm free of that kind of pressure." But here's what I would say. Even though that is probably true, for some of us in the room the issue is not that we're addicted to our work; the issue is that we're addicted to busyness.

We love to fill up our calendars and build out our checklists and line up for ourselves a list of achievements to seek after over the course of a day. This is characteristic of our generation. You see, if you look, we're more statistically hurried, anxious, and stressed today than we've ever been in human history, and it's for a variety of reasons. It's not just because "I want to succeed at my job." It's not simply for that.

It's because you want to make an impact in the world. It's because you want to belong to that group of people. It's because you want to have a positive reputation. You want to leave a legacy behind you. There's a variety of reasons we hurry ourselves, yet the reality is we do, in fact, hurry ourselves, and in the process of doing that, busying our lives, we find ourselves stressed, anxious, regretful, confused, and empty.

Why do I bring all of that up to you? Because in the sea of everything you feel you need to do, Jesus wants to look at us tonight and say, "Hey, there's one thing you need to do that is most important of all." Well, what is it? He tells us in Luke, chapter 10. This is what we see. As we turn to Luke 10, we're going to see that Jesus is interacting with some really good friends of his.

For many of you in here, if you grew up in the church, you may be familiar with this story. If not, you'll be able to catch up pretty quickly, because the story reads fast, yet it is so steeped in depth and detail. So, here's what I want to do with you. I just want to walk through the story little by little. Does that sound okay? We'll just take it piece by piece. As we go along, I think we'll see the one thing we need to prioritize above anything and everything else in life. This is Luke 10. We're going to pick it up in verse 38.

"Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, 'Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.' But the Lord answered her, 'Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.'"

We can't see it from this passage alone, but by the time we catch up to Jesus in this story, he has built somewhat of a reputation for himself. He has gone about the Galilean countryside and performed miracles, and he has taught to massive crowds far larger than this. As he has done so, he has demonstrated a kind of authority that has left people in utter amazement.

So, he shows up, and he's kind of the guy in this moment. He has a reputation, he's renowned, and Martha knows all of this is the case. She understands his status quite well, so she does what you would do. She rolls out the red carpet and invites him into her home. What we see is that she welcomes him. The word for welcomed here is the technical term for hospitality in the Greek. If you go and read it in the original language, it means to be received under.

Brooke, my wife, is really amazing at hospitality. She thrives at what Martha is doing here in inviting Jesus into her home in the sense that she loves to kick open our doors and not just invite people over to our house but welcome them into our home. Are you tracking with what the difference is there? I'll explain it for you. It ends up being a laundry list of to-dos for Kylen, because there's a lot we have to do to get ready if people are coming over to our house.

It's not enough to say, "Hey, we'll cook you dinner. Come on by. We'll have some good conversation." That's not enough. In fact, what I have to do is mow the yard, blow the patio, clean the bathrooms, vacuum the house, and clean the gutters. No one is looking in the gutters! They're not getting up there. Why? Why the to-do list? Because she wants to receive people under her care. She's hospitable. She wants to outdo them with honor.

That's what Martha is doing right here. Martha is outdoing Jesus in honor. She's welcoming him into her home, which tells us something really important about Martha. She has made it. Martha is thriving, because she owns her own house. Not only is she a woman in the ancient Near East, but she owns a home in the ancient Near East. So she's independent. She's thriving.

She has bought her first house. She's having people over. She's pulling out the charcuterie board, and she's making sure everybody's needs are taken care of. "Hey, what do you want to drink? Do you need a refill? Don't worry. I've got it for you." She is on top of it. She's the epitome of what we would want to be true of ourselves. She is self-sufficient, she's confident in her abilities, she's put together, and she's eager to help people.

It says in verse 40 that she was serving, which seems really right. She's keeping busy hosting Jesus, serving him as best she can. She is doing everything for him, but here's the issue: she's not doing anything with him. She's doing everything for Jesus, but she's not doing anything with him. Why? Why is that the case? Because she's distracted. That's what it says in verse 40. She's distracted, and the greater the distraction the greater the danger.

What do I mean by danger? Well, if you just look at the descriptors that come around Martha, you see she's in danger, because we see in verse 40 that she's lonely. "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?" She's not only lonely; it escalates. In verse 41, anxiety pops up. "Martha, Martha, you are anxious…" But it doesn't just stay there. It goes even further. It says in verse 41 that she's troubled about many things. The Greek for that word troubled doesn't just mean she's slightly bothered. It means she's panicked. She's disturbed.

Now, I want to be really clear what this is not saying. This Scripture is not saying it's bad to be busy. It's not saying it's wrong to work. This is not an endorsement for you to come in from a long day, sit down on the couch, and let the television just bathe over you. That's not what's being described here. This is not articulating a "path of least resistance" mentality. The path of least resistance is never the path of greatest faith.

So, what then is this saying? The Bible is littered with so much Scripture that endorses the idea of work. If you go and read through Proverbs, what you see in the Wisdom Literature is that slothfulness is decried over a dozen times. It's good to work. God designed it. But it's not good to be distracted with work. It's not good to be obsessed with work. That's what we need to see, because according to scientific research, work addiction leads to a rise in divorce, anxiety, insomnia, obesity, and depression.

Winston Churchill was notorious for his work ethic. Like, notorious for it. The guy averaged 16-hour workdays seven days a week. He didn't just work really hard; he wrote 43 books. The idea of writing a book is intimidating to me on its own. He wrote 43 of them in 72 volumes. The guy was a workaholic. He applied himself diligently, yet, if you go and read the record of his life, biographers cannot recount his story without detailing in depth the severity of his depression, that "black dog," as he called it, that haunted him all the days of his life.

You see, there's a danger in distracting ourselves with work. The really sinister thing is you can have the best of intentions and still be wrong. That's what happens to Martha right here. Everything she's doing appears really good, but it's actually really wrong. How so? Because she's missing the one thing that's necessary. She's missing Jesus.

Friends, here at the top of the evening, this is the case for some of you tonight. You're not busy with bad. You're not a heathen. You're not out there burning something down. The cops aren't looking for you right now. If they are, just raise a hand and we'll escort you out and help you to find them quite quickly. No. You're not busy doing bad. You're busy doing good. You do want to make a difference in the world.

You want to do something fulfilling that makes an impact in the lives of other people. You're committed to volunteering on the weekends or you're mentoring that group of guys or girls or you're serving in your church or you're making sure you're leading that Bible study faithfully or you're showing up to Community Group. And you're not just showing up; you're actually confessing sin. You're engaged. You're doing good.

You're volunteering in some organization that you care about. You're busy doing good. Yet what we know is that despite all the good you do for God, all of it is in vain if you've done none of it with him. You can do all the good in the world, yet if you do none of that good with God, all of it's vanity. All of it's useless. All of it's pointless. Friend, what you need to know is the busier you become, the blurrier God gets. The more distracted you get with all manner of other things to worry about, the harder it is to actually see him.

That's why distraction is dangerous. It not only affects your physical well-being; it affects your spiritual well-being. If that's you, listen to me. That does not have to be the case. As we walk through the rest of this story, we're going to see how we can get dislodged from that being our reality. Isaiah 26:3 helps us with where we should start. It says, "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you."

What do you turn to to keep you in perfect peace? What do you go to? Is it doing? Is it busyness? Is it something else? Is it a creature comfort, a hidden habitual pattern? What do you do to bring peace to yourself? What this Scripture is saying, what Isaiah wants us to know, is God keeps him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on him. The way to find perfect peace is to focus your mind's eye on God. The way to find peace is to trust in him.

Why should I trust in him? Because he's God and he controls everything. He is sovereign over all. Nothing in this world comes to pass without his allowance. He is greater. He is grander. He is in control of everything. So, whatever it is that's disrupting your peace, I bet he can handle it. God is trustworthy, so we need to fix our minds on him.

It is actually possible to work really hard and have peace in life, but only after you understand that your posture toward God reflects your priority for God. That's what we find as we look back into this story. As you look at the setting, what you realize is Martha's house is really full. It's packed in there, which may surprise you. When I read this at first, it didn't feel like it was a full house. It felt like it was Jesus, Mary, and Martha, yet contextually, if you read it, he has shown up with his whole group of disciples. They've all rolled in.

So, his entire posse comes into her house. The house is packed, yet that escapes us, because Luke wants us to know there are three people you should focus on, and the rest should fade away. You should focus on Jesus, Mary, and Martha. The reason you should is Mary and Martha serve as contrasting points. You should look at them in comparison to one another, because their postures are virtually opposite.

Look at it. They're described by two verbs each. Martha's posture? She's serving. She's speaking. Mary's posture? She's sitting. She's listening. That's opposite. They could not be more different. Let me put it to you like this. Let me explain to you why posture matters when it comes to engaging with God and receiving the benefits of meeting with him.

Is anybody in here a "quality time" kind of person? Okay. Quality time people, you tell me which one is more engaging. Is the quality of your time better off with someone who is distracted and busy and focusing on all manner of other things and multitasking really well or is it better, instead, with somebody who's sitting and listening and engaging with you? What would you say? Absolutely. Sitting and listening and engaging with me.

Multitasking is not the quickest way to maximize quality time with somebody. We should be like Mary. Her posture is one that tells us "She wants for me. She is eager to know me." As a result, our quality of experience together has so much more potential. Martha is busy with so many different things. She's serving; Mary is sitting. Martha is speaking; Mary is listening. Martha is preoccupied with many things; Mary has prioritized one thing. Mary is not distracted like Martha; she's devoted to Jesus.

Charles Spurgeon describes this scene like this, talking about Mary: "She is down there in the place of humility, but she is where she can catch each word as it falls, and she is there with [one purpose]. She wishes to hear all that Christ has to say, and she wishes to hear it close at hand. She wants to hear the very tones in which he speaks and the accents with which he delivers each precept. She loves to look up and see that eye which has such meaning in it, and that blessed countenance which speaks as much as the lips themselves."

You see, Martha is drowning in the stress of life, and Mary is drinking in the words of life. It's because of her posture. It's because she's sitting. She's listening. When we see that written, that's in the active voice and imperfect tense, which means she's not only doing it intentionally; she is doing it continually. She's not just here for this moment but she's here for every moment she can sit and listen, and she's not just doing it passively; she's doing it actively. She wants to hear every word Jesus has to say.

She's doing something really scandalous, which escapes us, because we don't read this in the original language, and we're not familiar with this context. She is doing something that would be characteristically true, and only true, of disciples. She's a talmid. She's sitting at the feet of her teacher, her rabbi, and she has committed all of her faculties to observing and listening to him that she might become like him.

Why is this so scandalous? Because that spot was reserved for men and men only. She's doing something so inappropriate. What would compel her to do that? Because she knows "When Jesus is in the room, I've got to get close to him. When the Word is in the room, I need to hear every word he has to say." What's fascinating is she knows the inappropriateness of it, yet she does not care what people think. She's willing to embrace the indignity and endure the embarrassment for the simple sake of being close to him.

In contrast to her, what's Martha doing? Martha is doing what is actually appropriate. She is in a position of domestic service, which was right in the ancient Near East. She's up and working. She's hosting. She's serving. She's doing everything in her power to take care of her guests. She's doing what everyone in that house except for Jesus would consider as right and good. She's totally appropriate in her conduct, yet Jesus looks at her and says, "Martha, one thing is necessary, and it's what your sister is doing. She's chosen the good portion, and I'm not going to take it from her."

What portion are we choosing? What portion are you choosing in your life? Where do you think you'll find all of the satisfaction, joy, and gratification available? Is it through doing what the world would say is appropriate? Like, "Yeah, you should get up early. You should stay late. You should grind all day and as hard as possible. You should. You should give up some of your free time on the weekend so you can serve in these other capacities.

You do need to conform yourself so you can belong and blend into this group of people. You should compromise some of your decision-making, some of your morals, some of your integrity. That way you can find acceptance." Are you doing what's appropriate in the eyes of the world or are you willing to endure what's inappropriate in the world's eye for the sake of being found right before Jesus and enjoying the good portion?

What is it for you? When you look at your life, are you distracted with doing good or are you devoted to being with him? Do you feel what Mary feels? "When he's in the room, I drop everything. Sure, I should be doing all this other stuff, but I will drop it, because I want to sit with him. I want to listen to him. I want to know everything he has to say." What's it for you?

What we see here in the final scene is when you've devoted your life to something, you can actually devote yourself to the one thing that's really good. What it does is it convinces us that the goal is not completion; the goal is connection. That's the goal of the Christian life. The goal of the Christian life is not completion; it's connection.

The way we know this is if you look at the story and the detail of it, Mary is not just sitting with Jesus. She's sitting with him, which means she wants to know him. She wants to hear what he has to say. She wants to learn from him, but she's also sitting near to Jesus. She wants to be connected to him. She wants to be close to him. That's what the Greek word for sat (parakathizo) in this text means. Para means beside and kathizo means to sit.

Mary is sitting right beside him. She can't get close enough. She is as nestled up underneath his feet so she can hear every word as possible. She's like my Golden Retriever growing up. If I went to pet him and decided to step away, he would inch his way over and put his head underneath my hand. Why? Because his whole life revolved around me. He loved me. He couldn't get close enough to me. He wanted as much of me as he could get. God, I miss that dog.

That's how Mary is behaving. Mary can't get close enough. She wants as much of Jesus as she can get. She will sit as near to him as possible and forego all things that would distance her for the sake of being close to her King. You see, Jesus is the object of her affection. Because he is the object of her affection, her goal now becomes connection.

As I was prepping this talk, I was like, "Okay. I actually feel like I'm preaching the same talk for the third week in a row in this series." Yet that's kind of the point, Porch. There's one thing that is most essential in all the world, and it's to get as close to God as we can. It's to know him, and it's to be near to him.

This is a pervasive issue today. We have found ourselves satisfied with an intellectual acquaintance to God. "As long as I'm intellectually acquainted, I'm good. As long as I know the details, I'm fine." Yet what the Bible is absolutely putting in front of us is it's not enough to be intellectually acquainted; you must be intimately acquainted with God.

This is the whole story of the Scripture. God, from the very beginning of the Bible, has moved his way toward us after we distanced ourselves from him. He has done everything in his power to move into your neighborhood, into your life, because he wants you to be connected to him. He's not concerned with you completing all of the to-dos. He's not concerned with you checking off all of the "did-goods." He wants you, instead, to be connected to him, to be close to him, to be like Mary.

Here's the thing. It's so wildly clear from the Scripture that the goal is connection, but so many of us are like Martha and just want to know the to-dos. "Okay. I get it, man. I'm supposed to be close to him, but what am I supposed to do to get there? What am I supposed to complete? What's my checklist? What are my marching orders? What are the instructions? Give me the recipe." That's what we want. We just want to know what we're supposed to do.

If you're wrestling with that thought tonight, you're missing the point. The point is not to just do good to earn the smile of God. That's what Martha does. The point is to recognize "You're beautiful. You're so good, and as I see you, God, in the person of Jesus, it compels me to move in to you, to move close to you, to come nearby."

Some of us are wrestling tonight because we resonate more with the story of Martha than the story of Mary. We hear what Martha says right here. We hear her say, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?" and we register with that. We resonate with that. "Lord, do you not care? God, don't you care? Look at all that I've done. Look at everything I've done, all the good I've amassed. God, I've read my Bible. I've prayed three times today. I've attended church faithfully for the last month. I show up to my Community Group."

Or maybe you're not a believer, but you're in the room and you're like, "God, I volunteer on the weekends. I give my hard-earned money to charity. I care about humanitarian causes." I don't know what it is for you, yet so many of us feel like, "I'm trying, God. I'm doing the most. I'm giving everything I have, yet despite the fact that I've done so much good, I still feel like you don't care. You don't care about me. If you did, God, I wouldn't be living in this kind of situation. I wouldn't be wrestling with this kind of difficulty.

I wouldn't be facing this kind of hardship, God. My parents would not have split up. I would not have lost my job. I wouldn't have found that my friends bailed on me because of a conviction I stuck to. God, my reputation wouldn't be up in flames because I decided not to compromise but to hold fast to you and to your Word. God, I'm doing good, yet everything is falling down around me. God, I feel cold. My faith is faint. I feel indifferent. I'm apathetic. Don't you care about me? I've done good."

If that's you here tonight, he says to you the same thing he says to Martha. He says, "Martha, Martha…" That's not a response that's laced with impatience. He's not frustrated with her. He's not asking her to get over herself, to get back on board. He's looking at her and saying, "Hey, I see you. I love you, but the difference between you and your sister is she sees me rightly."

What do I mean by that? Martha is asking a question Mary already knows the answer to. "Do you not care?" Mary knows he does. That's why she's sitting at his feet. She knows, "This is no normal teacher. This is not some ordinary rabbi. This isn't just a good, miracle-making man. That's not who this guy is. This guy is the Messiah. He's the Son of God. He's the Savior sent to seek the lost. He's the one who has come, the hero of heaven, to purchase us out of our sin and take us back home with him again."

That's why she's sitting at his feet. That's why she's trying to stay close. That's why she's hanging on every word. She knows, "This man cares about me. He wouldn't be sitting here otherwise." Friend, if you're here and you feel like the Lord doesn't care, Jesus Christ is the embodiment, the personification, the epitome of God's love and care and commitment to you. He came, knowing full well you can do no amount of good to earn the smile of God, to merit heaven's favor, to unlock those pearly gates and walk in fully accepted.

You can't do anything. There's no amount of good you could heap up, yet because he loves you, he sent his only Son, the one who could do all good and fulfill everything we could not apart from him, that we might be not only known by him but near to him, not just today, not just tomorrow, not just the day after, but for all eternity. This is the gospel. This is the one thing: to know him and to be near to him. Do you get that? That's good news! That's worthy of us putting our hands together.

He looks at us and says, "Hey, in your frustration, in your striving, in your straining, stop. No more. Sit down. Be still. Don't be hurried any longer. Stay a while. Trust me. I am making all things new, and that includes you. I will save you from your sin, and I will take you to where it is I'm going if you only believe in me."

The reason we know it is we know Jesus was never endangered by distraction. The greater the distraction the greater the danger. Jesus was never once distracted. He was fully devoted to you and me. As he walked through this world, he endured every kind and all manner of unfitting oppression, God of heaven become Son of Man, heaven's glories left and human flesh put on. He endured the indignity of that because he was devoted to you and me.

But he didn't just remain devoted. He understood the importance of posture in the sense that he was submitted to God all his life long. He kept himself under heaven's gaze and within God's will. Not that we can depart from it, but that he would move forward through it willingly. Not only did he endure a posture of submission to God in life, but he embraced a posture of submission to God in death. He hung himself upon a Roman execution rack, not guilty of anything, having done no wrong whatsoever.

He put himself there because it's where you and I deserve to be instead. In his death, he absorbed all the consequence of our sin. You know that was your future apart from Jesus Christ, right? Your future was one of eternal separation and condemnation. Your future, my future, was everlasting and unfettered distance from God, yet he gave it all to bring us home, to put us close, because he grasped the necessity of nearness. He would do anything to be close by. He would do whatever it took to draw us in.

My fear with this kind of talk is that some of us would hear it and think to ourselves, "I know that already. I'm registering. I'm tracking. Thanks for telling me something I've already heard before." Yet if that is you, this should not fall deaf upon us; it should fall afresh. It should feel new, and it should feel just as good as the first time. If you're a believer in Jesus Christ, this is what we have staked our eternity on. This is what it's all about.

Your life is not about your job. It's not about your achievements. It's not about the differences you'll make in the watching world. It's not about those things. It's not about your reputation. It's not about your acceptance amongst your coworkers. It is about him. All things will rust, decay, and fade away, but he stands forever, and the people he has come to save can live forever with him too.

What good are you trying to do? If you know our King, the only right good is to know him, be near him, and bring others alongside. If you're here and don't know Jesus… You're hearing this talk, and it's like, "Man, I feel okay. I'm stressed out sometimes. I'm anxious at the office, but who isn't? It's the life of a young adult. You unpacked all of those stats for us at the beginning, and it told all of us… Yeah, this is hard, but I'm not unnerved by it. I don't see the need for this guy."

Friend, this is so honest, but I tell it to you because I love you. The reason you need this is because apart from Jesus, you are under the wrath of God. You cannot do good enough on your own. You cannot measure up to heaven's standard, and distance is all you'll ever know. You need to know, though, that God so loves you he came to bring you back. He would absorb all of the consequence of our sin, that we might receive the free gift of eternal life. Man, I want it for you.

So, what do we do from here? We're going to sing a little bit, and down front we're going to have our sidewalk team. They're going to be available to pray with you if you so wish. I pray that you would take them up on the offer, that you wouldn't just sit here tonight and contemplate the convictions you feel but you would take action on them, you would move in response.

For some of you, it's not conviction you need to respond to. Instead, it's simply abiding with Jesus. It's sitting where you are and receiving his goodness, stilling yourself and coming close again. Whatever it is, though, as we step back into worship, I pray we would respond according to what the Spirit is leading in, because if you're here, he has a plan for you. Let me pray for us.

God, this is so simple a message. It's not hard, it's not profound, it's not complicated, it's not sophisticated, yet it is absolutely urgent. Every one of us is here not by happenstance but here because you have a purpose in us tonight, God. You have a reason for bringing us here this evening. You have a word for us in this Scripture from this message. I pray, God, that we would have eyes to see before we have feet to follow, for it is in seeing you that we see everything else rightly as a result.

As we see all else in the light of your glory and goodness, then it compels we move, it compels we take action, it compels we take ground, but, God, let us not move before we first see you. God, have your way. Move amongst us. Touch us in such a way that it transcends any ability I bring or we, as a team, have to offer. Do it, God, for your glory and for the good you came to give. It's in Christ's name we pray, amen.