Mark 5-6, Psalm 98
My work hours have not decreased as I've gotten older. My average work week is 70 hours, with one out of six weeks being 110 hours. Many will ask me how I have time to fit in my reading and writing. As I've learned over time that He is my strength, He is my power, He is my wisdom, the question is really how can I not spend time with Him. I'm now on vacation in Italy, but vacations are not time spent away from Him, simply by altering what I do each day and what time that I get up, vacation time is some of the best times that I get to spend with Him. It all comes down to each of us making a decision on how we choose to spend our day. Do we make all of our plans first, then figure out what we can do to shove Him in, or do we consider our alone time with Him, without distractions essential to our walk.
After Jesus sent the twelve out to the towns we see them return to Jesus in Mark 6:30-32, "Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. And He said to them, "Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest awhile." For there were many coming and going , and they did not even have time to eat. So they departed to a deserted place in a boat by themselves." After feeding the 5000, we read in 6:46, "And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray." Jesus, the Son of God, deemed it necessary to get alone with the Father, yet how often do we make excuses as to why we can't. People will state a multitude of reasons as to why they can't: not enough time in the day, I get too tired by the end of the day, I need my sleep, I can't get away from my family and get any quiet time. We make a serious mistake when making these excuses, God doesn't need us, we need Him. His Word is not haphazard, everything is in His Word in the particular order for a reason. Just looking at the miracles in chapter 5, we see in Mark 5:1-20, that Jesus has power over demons, in 5:25-34, He has power over disease, and in 5:22-24, 35-43, He has power over death. This is the power that we need in our daily lives.
What can be so important in our day than to spend time with Him who has power over all things. We can get up earlier, or go to bed later. At lunch we can remove ourselves and find a quiet place. We need this time for our walk. The amazing thing is that as we continue in His Word, if approached with fear and trembling and openness to the Holy Spirit, we will receive fresh insight daily. Realize there is so much more that could have been written, but the Holy Spirit knew what we all needed and gave these portions and in this order and in this proportion to each writer of Scripture. John concludes his gospel in John 21:25, "And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen." Whenever I share with someone who was raised in a religion, went to church, but never really opened the Bible I recommend that even if familiar with a certain passage, pretend that they are reading or hearing it for the first time so that they can learn from it. The same holds true for all of us who are committed to going through the entirety of God's Word each year. Knowing that He is always listening, always there for us, always available to assist us, again, how can we choose not to spend time with Him. Many of our struggles are because we choose to do it alone, Rambo style, rather than to submit to His authority in every area in our life. In Romans 8:35-39, we read that beautiful promise that nothing in all creation, "shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord". Remembering this daily, should encourage all of us to center our daily lives around Him not everything else.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: