Friday, March 26, 2010

Building margin in your life

Luke 5:12-16: “And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, ‘Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.’ 13 Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’ Immediately the leprosy left him. 14 And He charged him to tell no one, ‘But go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as a testimony to them, just as Moses commanded.’ 15 However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. 16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.”

Jesus is the perfect representation for us. We are Christians or “Christ followers” and how we should act and behave is the same way as Jesus portrayed. He is our gold standard that we should strive to live like. He is perfect in all He does, and we being sinful can only try to emulate his attitudes and actions. This is not a copout by any means; a disciple of Christ means that we are to discipline ourselves to work hard in achieving the principles He has laid down. Jesus felt the stresses and the pressures of a busy life. The one thing that Jesus did often that we fail to do is to build margin in His life.

The scriptures says, “So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” There are two important concepts that are seen here, solitude, and prayer. Jesus would practice solitude, the art of getting away by yourself, slipping away to a quiet place to be with God. The need to be with God was the draw; it was not to find some inner peace of strength, for peace does not come from oneself but rather the source, God. The act of getting alone is to be able to turn down the volume of life, so we can hear God. Our lives can be so chock full of stuff that we forget to listen. The scripture says that even though God can speak to us through the violent wind, He often times speaks to us through the gentle nudging of the Holy Spirit, through the still small voice. It is only when we get alone, in our quiet place, that we can hear God clearly.

This scripture said not only did He get alone often, but also that He prayed. Jesus is our model; His life is the one we should copy, so if Jesus often prayed then we need to pray too. Prayer is simple communication with God. It is just talking to Him. Telling God how much you appreciate Him, thanking him for your blessings, confessing the areas where you mess up, asking Him to help the needs of people around you and yourself, and surrendering you stubborn will to Him. Prayer is a conversation, simply talking to Him. Do not make it “religious”, but rather make it personal. He is your Heavenly Father, so talk to Him as you would your father.
Jesus did these two disciplines often. They were a common, ordinary part of His ministry. If they we a part of His ministry, should they not be a part of ours? Get alone with God and like a dry sponge, soak up His glorious presence, and be healed from the busyness of life. Speak to Him often in prayer, and gain the strength you need to make it through the storms of life.

Tomorrows Readings:
Old Testament: Josh 19-20 New Testament Luke 5:17-39

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