Let's be honest--this autumn has been a tumultuous season in the U.S. to say the least. Every time we turn on our TVs, radios, or devices we are faced with a barrage of both positive and negative political messages. Then, as soon as we login to our preferred social media network, we are tempted to scroll through innumerable opinion posts from our friends and family members.
It can get overwhelming. We are so constantly presented with distractions and temptations that we can easily lose sight of the beauty of the Gospel. How can we get that sight back?
Although it may seem like the perfect "Sunday-School" cliché answer, the best way to regain our sight of the beauty of the Gospel is by diving into Scripture.
In my own day-to-day routine, I do my best to read Scripture each morning shortly after a shower and breakfast. I find that time to be the most quiet portion of my day, with the least amount of distractions vying for my attention. However, with that pesky little phone sitting next to me on the couch, I am always just a single "notification" away from wrecking my devotional time.
As soon as I check one notification, I click on an interesting post. Then, I find a related article to read. Then, I click again. And again. And again. Scrolling, scrolling, scrolling--then it's 7am and I must leave my apartment to go to work!
After several mornings like this, it's easy for me to forget about spending time with God altogether. I slip further into the bad habit of forgetfulness, and I slowly but surely lose my affection and heart-of-worship for Jesus. There's just too many distractions. Have you ever felt similarly?
When the Holy Spirit grabs ahold of me and reminds me that life absolutely is not about the next notification, I feel most drawn to passages in Scripture that clearly and simply articulate the beauty of the Gospel. Romans 5:1-11 is a great example:
"Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation."
Now that is the Good News, friends. After diving into a passage like this, meditating and chewing on each sentence, my soul is utterly refreshed. My mind is drawn affectionately towards Jesus Christ, being reminded of the power and simplicity of His passionate love for us. The distractions fade in comparison to the everlasting forgiveness, mercy, and care from our God.
Today, instead of scrolling and clicking through one more politically charged post, take a few minutes to open up your Bible and get back to the Gospel. Find a passage like this one, close the door, and read for the joy of it. I assure you, it will be worth your while!
-written by Chase Cotten, Media Director @ IDES