Friday, May 30th, 2014
Christian Pitfalls (Part 6)
Then He said to him, 'A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, 'Come, for all things are now ready.' But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.' And another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.' Still another said, 'I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.' So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.' And the servant said, 'Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.' Then the master said to the servant, 'Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.'
Luke 14:16-24 (NKJV)
If too much business leads to professional burnout, then too much busyness leads to spiritual burnout: a fire far worse. Busyness is one of Satan's most cleverly disguised pitfalls. Christians dive into it willingly, only to swim in ceaseless circles--and wonder why they stay so tired.
I was such a swimmer. When I came up for air, I complained: 'Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself?' (Luke 10:40). I was a Martha: exhausted, grouchy and distracted from 'What is better' (Luke 10:42)--Namely, Jesus.
Among democratic nations, Americans are the busiest people on earth: longer hours, more days, double incomes, extra jobs, great houses, more possessions and many hobbies. Consider the result: ceaseless activity--as opposed to ceaseless prayer. We must slow down.
Our Boss says, 'Be still and know that I am God' (Psalm 46:10). Our Boss speaks in 'A still small Voice' (1 Kings 19:12). If we're running around in constant sound, we'll miss His cue.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: every day in every way--stop, look and listen. Your Director's guidance is essential. Without it, every performance is pointless: 'In vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be' (Psalm 39:6).
Consider two Parables: The Great Supper and The Rich Man and Lazarus.* They show what can happen when we get too busy. The Parable of the Good Samaritan shows church leaders can be guilty, too.*
So don't be a player too busy to help the played-out. Don't be a member of the Loveless Church: full of works but empty of God.**
'You have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place' (Revelation 2:4-5).
Our first love must be God.*** Our first works must be His works: 'I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me... Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me' (Matthew 25:35-36,40).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: media has upped the game. Through the magnification of your witness, God's work will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.
To Be Continued...
* Parable of the Great Supper: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+14%3A15-24&version=NKJV
* Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+16:19-31
* Parable of the Good Samaritan: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+10%3A25-37
** The Loveless Church: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+2%3A1-7&version=NKJV
*** ' 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great Commandment. And the Second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two Commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets' (Matthew 22:37-40).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Christian Pitfalls series.