"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."
We are over the halfway mark now with only two days of VBS remaining. Today we presented the gospel to every student. Some students indicated that they would like to talk with someone this week. Others students indicated that they wanted to trust Jesus. Tomorrow and Friday are the days we will use to follow up on the cards that were turned in today.
After VBS and lunch we returned to the two big projects we have: painting Pastor John and Echo's house and staining their deck. We also had a crew shampoo some of the carpet in the church building.
As I said before, we are halfway through the week now and I can see the crew is heading for the empty mark on the physical fuel tanks. We have worked hard, we have been at VBS early, and we have probably stayed up later at night than we should have. I believe that may be the way most of us live all the time: running on empty. Somewhere along the line we've bought in to the philosophy that being busy makes a person successful and . . . if you're really busy at doing Christian stuff then you're really spiritual. Busy does not make a person spiritual any more than sitting in a garage makes a person a car. It just makes you tired, and sometimes crabby, and irritable, and sometimes very unspiritual. Busy simply is not the answer! Write it down!
While reading Mark 2, Jesus seemed to have a hard time finding rest. He had just healed a paralyzed man who was lowered through a roof by four good friends and afterwards he was taking off for some time alone at the lake. Well, what happens next? The whole crowd followed him and Jesus found himself teaching again.
Another time Jesus healed a man's hand, ticked off the Pharisees (what's new?), and headed for the lake again . . . and a large crowd from Galilee followed him again. He absolutely could not get away! Even when Jesus went home a crowd followed him!
When Jesus was talking with the Pharisees he told them, "The Sabbath was made to benefit people, and not people to benefit the Sabbath" (Mark 2:27).
Thinking about the world today makes me ask, "When do people slow down any more?" Jesus wanted to slow down but had to work at it while today's society could easily do it but chooses instead to be extra busy. We are burning the candles at both ends and then we are surprised when the light is quickly gone.
Gordon McDonald said, "Sabbath means a deliberate acceptance of personal rest and tranquility within the individual life. Sabbath means a rest that brings peace into the private world." He also said, "We must accept this peace as a gift and take the time to receive it." Boom! . . . there's the answer, take the time!
In Mark 1:35, the Bible teaches us, "The next morning Jesus awoke long before daybreak and went out alone into the wilderness to pray." Jesus knew the value of take the time. He took the time often to be with the Father alone. He had to work at taking the time but it was so valuable to him that he made it happen. Read Mark chapters 1 and 2 and underline every time crowds surrounded and/or followed Jesus. He was busy, busy, busy. He also knew when to take the time . . . and he did.