Todays Reading: Mark 3
Autumn is here. The official beginning of one of the most enjoyable seasons is upon us. The mornings are cool, the afternoons are warm, and the evenings are cool. The smell of pumpkin, cinnamon, apples, and nutmeg are in our offices, kitchens, and houses. The school outings and sports activities are starting. Our favorite football teams are playing each week. The beginnings of school clubs and fundraisers are underway. We are busy planning and preparing for school pictures, homecomings, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Our lives have gone from easy laid back summer days to exciting and autumn adventure days overnight. From the readings, lets see how Jesus balanced the busyness of his seasons.
Mark 3: 7-18
7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea 8 and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him. 9 And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, 10 for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him. 11 And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.”12 And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.
13 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. 14 And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach 15 and have authority to cast out demons. 16 He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder);18 Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot,[b] 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
This passage in Mark 3, show Jesus is in the midst of active preaching and healing, but in during this time, he actually takes out some meaningful time to stop and reflect on the journey. Like us in our daily Autumn life, Jesus is busy with meaningful and necessary work but he intentionally takes time to pause and take notice of the true value of each day. In the passage Jesus is creating a commission and a legacy with this apostles. He is acknowledging that even when it seems that everything and everyone needs his time, he is taking time to do the required actions to increase the kingdom. As we read through Mark 3, let us take time to set aside some time to increase the kingdom: 1.) Set aside time to pray; 2.) Set aside time to reflect; 3.) Take time to plan.
- Take time to pray daily. Praying with God daily should be like a causal conversation. It is the communication with God that allows your relationship to grow. The prayer doesn’t have to be long or intricate, it just has to be sincere. God desires a relationship with you, not a dissertation of your hopes and fears. He knows all these things and just wants to interact with you. Some simple prayers are the Lord’s Prayer, Children hymns, or even just mediating on the name Jesus. I have used these many times in my life and continue to use them to connect with God.
- Take time to reflect. Reflection is a process in which you remember the times throughout your life that God has been there or not. Sometimes, we feel that God is not there and is absent in our lives. During the hardest times in our lives we can feel the essence of God or feel deserted by him. In all these times He is in the midst of all of our joys and sorrows, but we are not aware of his presence. It is similar to the times we are in our rooms as children and the door is shut and we are crying and our parents are on the other side of the door. God is here with us and cares for us. As we reflect on the day, week, month, or year, let’s try to see God’s hand in the midst of the joy and sorrows.
- Take time to plan. My wife is an excellent planner. She has ideas and plans for several months at a time. I am able to plan for the next couple of days or weeks. This is an area that I need to grow. I need to be able to set aside time and be intentional about specific areas in our lives and execute them. God has many blessings in store for us, but we must take time to submit to his will and have a sketch of how to further his kingdom.
When Jesus took his apostles to the mountain he: 1.) Took time to pray for the decision that he was making. 2.) He took time to reflect on the qualities and strengths that these twelve individuals had and how they would expand the kingdom. 3.) He had a plan of how these twelve would impact the formation and expansion of the kingdom. With this example, how can we take time out of this busy schedule to spend intentionally with God.