Lessons Of A Lifetime

No Time To Eat
Or
Taking Time To Rest
Sunday June 28, 2020

Scripture To Consider:
“Then the apostles gathered to Jesus to tell Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. And Jesus said to them, ‘Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest awhile.’ For there were many coming and going, and they did have time to eat.”

“So, they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves. But the multitudes saw them departing and many knew Jesus and ran there on foot from all the cities. They arrived before them and came together to Jesus.”                                                                  Mark 6.30-33

Something To Consider:
The twelve disciples, also called apostles or the sent out ones, returned from their missionary endeavors excited. They began to tell Jesus all things, not just a few things, but all things they had done and taught. And His instructions to them were; “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest awhile.” These men were so excited about ministry they had not even taken time to eat. So, they departed to a deserted place by boat for a little rest and relaxation.

Jesus understands that work requires rest and rest enables more work. Many leaders have lived shortened lives because time was not sufficiently set aside for rest. Still others have wasted away their lives without giving any time to the work of God. Rest and work should never be separated. They are to be dependent on one another for balance in spiritual leadership.

According to Paul’s writing in Ephesians 4.11; “And He Himself [Jesus] gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers.” These are the varying offices of ministry Jesus established in the early church with the intention that these spiritual gifts would continue until the consummation, or end of the age.

But why are all these spiritual leadership gifts and offices to be still relevant for this 21st century generation church? Paul continued in verse 12 of Ephesians chapter 4, by stating; “For the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying [spiritually building up] of the body of Christ.”

And how long was this mandated example of ministry and leadership training to continue? According to verse 13 of Ephesians chapter 4, “Till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man [woman or young person], to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” In other words, these spiritual gifts and offices are to continue until the end of this earthly existence, according to the Word of God!

Something Else To Consider:
A time of getting away, such as a retreat, or vacation is refreshing. Once plans have been made a person begins to look forward with anticipation to an occasion to seek rest and revitalization. But these apostles were stopped short of their expected destination. For the multitudes came on foot ahead of them to the other side to meet Jesus. And once again demands were made of Him and His disciples.

At a time like this it is easy for a carnally minded leader or leader in training to become bitter or resentful. But trusting in God’s Spirit and not one’s self to supply the energy that life in leadership demands, is a lesson that must be learned. And so, for these disciples, their retreat was on hold. For them, they chose to minister to others in need!

And so for us, our eternal rest has been placed on hold as well. For now, there is heavenly work that must be done while living here on planet earth! Therefore, according to Paul writing to the church in Colossians chapter 4 and verse 17, Paul instructed; “Take heed to the ministry [spiritual ministry] you have received in the Lord, that you [and I] may fulfill it.”

In the King James Version of the bible, 2 Timothy 2.15 gives clear insight to all spiritual leaders and leaders in training by proclaiming, “Study to show yourself approved unto God [not man], a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing [rightly communicating] the Word of truth.”

Something More To Consider:
How do you and I respond to the demands of others, especially when we are in need of rest? Do we take advantage of the much-needed times of rest and retreat as we should? Or do we fear the thought of someone else taking our place? Do we concern ourselves with the thought of missed opportunities if we rest? Do we plan times of departing aside to pray daily? Do we make time to study and meditate on the life sustaining truth of God’s Word?

Do we realize that all work without rest is foolishness, and all rest without work is laziness? A good and faithful earthly mother or father watches over their children to make sure they have enough rest and enough food to eat. What makes us think our heavenly Father is any different?

Jesus, in sending out His disciples to minister in Luke 10.2, said to them; “The harvest [of souls] truly is great, but the laborers [workers who have studied to show themselves approved unto God] are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” And as spiritual leaders and leaders in training, we must be fully aware that the harvesting of souls is His harvest and not ours! Therefore, pray to be equipped through His Word and His Spirit.

A Few Final Words:
According to Jesus in a series of parables that He taught in Matthew chapter 13, there is a great and final harvest that is coming at the end of this age. “And after sending the multitude away Jesus’ disciples asked Him, saying, ‘Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.’  Jesus answered and said to them: “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man [Jesus]. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons [and daughters] of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons [and daughters] of the wicked one [the devil].”

Jesus continued, by stating; “The enemy who sowed them [the tare-like sons and daughters of the wicked one] is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels.” Where then do we fit into the above scenario? Would Jesus consider us good seeds of the kingdom of God? Or would Jesus be forced to see us as sons and daughters of the wicked one? It is our decision or lack thereof that makes that final decision!

After reading these words of warning spoken by Jesus, some spiritual leaders may think there is no time for rest. But, according to Jesus, it is His harvest! According to Jesus, He is the Lord of the harvest and not us. Should we be expected to do our part? Of course, that is why He has equipped some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers!

But, some leaders are famous for weighing in heavy on the work side of the scale and being a lightweight when it comes to maintaining the required rest a body needs. Departing from the fight for a while is a good and needful thing according to Jesus! And that is why we read in our Scripture to consider today, “So they departed to a deserted place in a boat by themselves.”

Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, thank You for Your faithful reminder that we are to maintain a healthy balance between both work and rest while serving you and others. In Him Always, Amen!

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