God always multiplies back to us whatever we give Him, and by giving Him our time at the start of each day there will be dividends that we will receive as a result of that investment.
George Mueller said regarding the importance of prayer in his ministry:
“I get more accomplished in 4 hours that is preceded with One Hour of Prayer, than I ever would have accomplished in the 5 hours without the prayer!”
As Christians, we also need to learn how to follow Jesus’ example and intersperse rest periods in our very busy schedules.
Supper for Five Thousand
30-31 The apostles then rendezvoused with Jesus and reported on all that they had done and taught. Jesus said, “Come off by yourselves; let’s take a break and get a little rest.”
For there was constant coming and going. They didn’t even have time to eat.
32 So they got in the boat and went off to a remote place by themselves.
(vv. 30-32) When the disciples had returned from their mission, Jesus took them away to rest.
Doing God’s work is very important, but Jesus recognized that to do it effectively we need periodic rest and renewal.
Jesus Needed Rest and So Do We!
Learning to set boundaries around our time.
As we study the Bible, we find Jesus Himself setting boundaries around His time.
“That day when evening came, Jesus said to His disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took Him along, just as He was, in the boat.
There were also other boats with Him.
A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.
Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.
The disciples woke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?’
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He then said to His disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’”
Here’s what is so great about this passage:
Jesus sees that there is work to be done. He sees the crowd. He knows people need to be healed, demons need to be cast out, and lessons need to be taught.
But He still tells His disciples to get in the boat, and once there, He falls asleep.
Yes, the needs of the people are urgent, and their requests (or cries) for healing must have been compelling, but Jesus knows that He needs to stop and rest.
If even Jesus needs to stop and rest in the midst of a chaotic world, with all of the important things He has to do, don’t you think we need rest too?
I think we need to follow Jesus’ example and set boundaries on our time, in order to live lives full of what we were meant to do, not what we think we’re supposed to do.
God’s pattern in the Bible is one day in seven for rest, where we take at least one day out every week and give it to God.
We need to follow Jesus’ example and schedule our work, but also schedule our R & R periods.
We need to have balance in our lives, and so we need to learn, not only how to work hard, but we also need to learn how to play hard too, as we see that Jesus did with His disciples, in Mark 6:31.
Sunday, July 3
The Winning Walk
by Dr Ed Young
SOLITUDE AND REPLENISHMENT
Some people never really rest. They are so busy with the activities of life that they appear to be a blur: always on the way to somewhere; never slowing down.
Jesus did not have that problem. He purposely sought solitude for spiritual replenishment.
He seemed to know just how important such times were for “re-charging” His spiritual battery, and He took advantage of them at every opportunity.
What about you? How long has it been since you were quiet and still in the presence of God, with no agenda other than a desire to sit at His feet?
Many view solitude as a negative prospect, and are alone only if, and when, it is absolutely necessary.
But solitude rightly pursued and experienced energizes our interaction with others, and nurtures our soul.
When Iowans Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey became the parents of septuplets (that’s seven babies, folks!) they were exponentially overwhelmed with the responsibilities faced by every new mom and dad.
Seven to rock, seven to feed, seven to change, seven to bathe and cuddle and hold…what a challenge!
But this young, Christian couple said, while they appreciated the outpouring of help they received, they looked forward to the time they could be “alone” with their young family for an entire evening.
Once, after bringing the babies home, this husband and wife reported that they got in their car, drove to a nearby grain silo, parked behind it, and cried and prayed together.
They instinctively knew that stepping out of the fray for a few stolen moments away would strengthen them for the task at hand.
All of us have demands on our time and become weary of life’s grind.
Time alone with God without phones, pagers, prayer partners, portable cd players or other human or technological distractions, is critical for allowing His Spirit to fill us.
In solitude, we can receive from God His life-giving breath, emerging with renewed sensitivity and compassion for others, and intensified love for Him.
This is true replenishment from the source of all strength and truth.
And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest awhile.”
Come join the Adventure!