Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Jesus Said No

As we prepare to enter the new year, many resolutions will be made. Some people will vow to lose weight, some will join a gym, and some will promise to read their Bible daily and on and on. In our hurried world today, I imagine many will promise to not be so busy. I'm challenging you to be busy in the new year––not a resolution but a way of life. Did I hear you gasp at my suggestion?

Let's take a look at how Jesus spent His time. Do you think He sipped lemonade on a hammock daily? Or do you think He was busy?

Mark 1:21-35 is an account of a day in the life of Jesus. He began by preaching in the synagogue and while He was preaching He drove out evil spirits of a man possessed by them. Afterward, he went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew where He healed Simon's mother-in-law of a fever. Didn't He have a full day? I'd think He was exhausted from the day's activities and ready for a nice dinner, a bath in the river, and a time of relaxation. I would be.

I've had Sundays that resembled Jesus' Sabbath in a few ways. While in the States last summer, we always tried to avoid a very filled Saturday and then Sunday double meetings, lunches and Sunday night services also. But, sometimes it was unavoidable. So then what? Look at Jesus' Sabbath.

After His long day of preaching, healing, traveling and driving out demons, did He rest?  Mark 1:32 says, "That evening after the sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases." It must have taken Him hours to do all those things. I'm sure He went to bed exhausted and weary that night. Oh, but look what He does the next morning.

Mark 1:35 "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed." After an exhausting day, you'd think He would have slept in a bit and had a leisurely breakfast. But no, He got up while it was still dark. He must have had a short night's sleep. But he still got up early to pray. He went to talk to God the Father. He took time to be with God. There is the secret of a busy life––taking time to be with God. Look what happens next.

Mark 1:36-37 "Simon and his companions went to look for Him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: Everyone is looking for you!" They were anxious but how did Jesus reply?

Mark 1:38 "Let's go somewhere else--to the villages nearby––so I can preach there also. That is why I have come." Another lesson from Jesus about our schedules. He said, "No." Sometimes we have to say no. But, He only said no after He prayed. After praying, Jesus knew what to do next. He wasn't swayed by those around Him who told Him what to do next because He knew what God wanted Him to do––why He had come––His purpose!

So be busy about the Father's work. Jesus was! We are all or should be, workers for Him, fulfilling our purpose. We will be tired, even exhausted in the work––Jesus was! Let's be like Jesus. After His exhausting day He rested, prayed, and then went on to the next thing on His schedule––the thing God wanted Him to do. When doing God's work, we are blessed to be busy!

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