Part 6 of 23 in the extended series "Belonging to Him," which takes an in-depth look at the Gospel through the lens of personal relationship. Jesus came to restore us to relationship with God by dying on the cross. He opened the door for us to belong by experiencing aloneness throughout his life and in his death, aloneness even from God. But while belonging to God absolutely starts with the cross, the spirit of the cross should never leave us. We too must take up our own cross with a spirit of sacrifice that infuses every part of our lives. In this way we will model the life Jesus lived, and we will, like Jesus, better identify with others in their aloneness when inviting them to belong (sermon recorded in 2018).
(John shares his next spiritual meditation based on thoughts from his upcoming book: UNTO LIFE: Reflections on Both the Journey and the Destination.) What is the secret to contentment? This is an age-old question. Many of us have made important decisions based on our pursuit of happiness. But it so often feels like a mirage, an illusion, where our fulfillment is always just out of reach. Some have given up on careers, relationships, even life itself, because the've never discovered the answer or experienced the happiness they've always desired. There is an answer to this question, but it's not one we may immediately like or accept. What's the secret to contentment? Here's a hint: It's to give up what you've wanted most in life to live for what you most deeply need.