A question often asked of full-time ministry workers is “what happens during the week?” or “what happens when you’re not traveling?” Even though a ministry job isn’t a clean 9-5 (which few jobs are), it’s still filled with the same thing that most jobs are filled with…work.
We are constantly trying to get better at equipping/helping to multiply disciples throughout the nations. Our days are filled with communicating, planning, and executing strategies to fulfill the vision as well as all the administration of running an organization. We also have the added bonus of raising our full-time ministry support which is a full-time role in itself. With all of these things, our days tend to fill up pretty quickly…sound familiar? Chances are that you could rattle off a list of work activities that keep you more than busy. The question for you and I isn’t, “what do you do?” but should rather be, “why are you doing it?” or better, “who are you doing it for?”
It’s easy to become so busy with work and life that following Jesus becomes an “if I get around to it” thing. Hebrews 2:1 says, “…pay even more attention to what we have heard (the gospel), so that we will not drift away.” This is a great reminder to not become tired and neglect following Jesus. So how do we not become exhausted in a world that’s so busy?
The answer (found in the next chapters of Hebrews) is to rest in Jesus.
Hebrews 3:12-13 “Watch out, brothers, so that there won’t be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart that departs from the living God. But encourage each other daily…”
Hebrews 4:2 “For we also have received the good news just as they did; but the message they heard did not benefit them, since they were not united with those who heard it in faith.”
Hebrews 4:10-12 “For the person who has entered His rest has rested from his own works, just as God did from His. 11Let us then make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience. 12For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart.“
The answer for entering into Jesus’ rest that Hebrews gives is to encourage each other daily (how often do I encourage believers to follow Jesus with everything?), unite with those in the faith (am I willing to look past small differences to unite around taking the name of Jesus to the ends of the earth?), and let God’s Word judge my thoughts and ideas (how often do I let God’s Word speak into my life?).
Here is a quick story that drives this home for me.
A few days ago, Abigail and I went to visit a previous neighbor that was recently diagnosed with bone cancer. It had been a busy day and I was already a little worn out. Our hope was that we could encourage him as he faces some difficult circumstances. We were met with a man who was resting in Jesus even in the midst of some pretty gloomy odds. He talked at length about how he was grateful for us, our ministry, and our visit. He spoke of different churches and ministries he has worked with and what the Lord had done through his life. He prayed for us. Finally, he shared of a small victory with the neighbor that used to live between our two houses when we were neighbors. She had been pretty openly against me sharing Jesus with her and I had backed down. He, on the other hand, was always compelled by God’s Word and Spirit to share truth with her over many years. Instead of me encouraging him, this sweet brother encouraged and pushed me to remember to rest in Jesus and abide in HIM.
It’s not as much what we do as who we do it for.
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