I was recently talking to you pastor who said he wanted to quit. So I asked him to draw a pie chart of what he does every week. He had been a pastor for a year and wanted to quite every day. So I asked if he practiced Sabbath. [silence]
There are lots of concepts and truths that we would intellectually agree with, but we are made anxious by deep subterranean forces in our bones that drive us. We “believe” one thing but then do something else.
John 6 tells the story of Jesus giving expectations but the crowd thinning because they think they can’t do it. Sometimes the crowd thins. What would Jesus say to modern church growth experts that say if you do A then B then C, then there will be growth and numbers? Sometimes the crowd thins, and people leave, even ones who are close to you.
Luke 21 tells the story of the poor widow that gave “more” out of her poverty than what the rich gave. What we naturally think is an important measurement may not be how God measures things.
You are a living Eucharist. How can we break ourselves open and pour ourselves out, so that the people around us might experience God? The Eucharist is a sacred and holy thing. You surrender your agenda when you serve. But when you exploit the Eucharist and break it down and rank it, you destroy it.
In John 5:19, Jesus says, “the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing.” His work comes from a grounded, centered, calm place where He only has a few things to do, and He sets out to do it. He is not distracted. He is not stressed. There is a difference between something that is hard and difficult and something that is a burden. God will not give you a burden you can’t carry.
In Exodus 20, the first 9 commandments are external and measurable, but the last commandment about coveting is not externally observable. The “tenth” is considered a reward. Meaning if you follow the first 9 rules then you won’t have a problem with the 10th rule because you won’t want anyone else’s life.
If you have a burden of feeling like you have not accomplished enough, God wants to set you free from that. Jesus wants you to simply enjoy the place that you are at and the work that is in front of you.
Is there any way in your ministry, that you have neglected to take care of yourself? You need to love your neighbor as yourself. You need to take care of yourself so that you can be energized. Which day do you take care of yourself, so that you can give during the other six days of the week?
Does your spouse get your very best, or does your spouse get what is left over from the church? Do your kids get your very best, or do they get the scraps? Our children pick up on what really matters to us without us saying a word.
If it is not going well at home, it will not go well at church. Jesus invites us into a peaceful, calm place in the center of his love.
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