Month: June 2012

Worth While Waste of Time

“But Jesus responded to them, “My Father is still working, and I am working also.”

– John 5:17

Time is money, so they say. I suppose in business that saying works just fine but society seems to tell us that its principals should be applied in every aspect of our life. We shouldn’t mossy about, wasting our time or other peoples time. That’s why we have fast fast-food and high-speed internet. We don’t need to go to a store anymore, we can order our things on-line and have it delivered to our door step. Sure, some of it derives out of requiring more convenience to get more done but it really makes for an impersonal way of life. Although, you would think, that in the interest of time, we would see more “full-service” gas stations, right? I suspect that convenience of life has mainly been done away with because of something more sinister. It became to invasive and opened opportunity for things like conversations. When the lie of “time is money” enters into a relationship it stems from a direct lack of concern for something (or someone) other than yourself. It is a lie, that comes from the enemy of our soul that says, “I don’t need other people and they don’t need me.”

A very interesting event recorded in the gospel of John, 4:1-26, captures this lesson well. Jesus feeling that it is time to leave Judea, decided to return to Galilee. Rather than taking the more direct shorter route, He chose to go through Samaria. Now, for a Jew, Samaria is a place to be avoided at all cost because the people there were considered unclean by Jewish standards, to say the least. I like the old KJV of John 4:4 that says, “And he (Jesus) must needs go through Samaria.” The translation of that particular verse while grammatically unappealing, really emphasizes Jesus’ deep need to be inconvenienced. Most of us are familiar with the events that soon unfolded. Jesus, meeting a woman of Samaria at a well, fulfills her most deepest need of receiving “living water.” A need that this poor wayward woman would never have received  had Jesus (and his disciples) not been inconvenienced by traveling through Samaria,

Just the other day I was abundantly blessed to have spent quality fellowship time with a good friend and brother in Christ. The evening was supposed to have started out with a men’s bible study; a group of six men. One person was unable to attend because he and his wife just had a baby, two guys were leaving for an extended vacation and one was terribly ill needing rest. As the day worn on, it became more apparent that the easy, convenient thing to do would be to cancel. I am so very glad we didn’t. My dear friend came and ate supper with us last night. Latter that evening, we laughed, shared stories, prayed for our church family- our brothers in Christ and left each others company feeling the manifest presence of a living God; King Jesus, loving us through what the world would call the inconvenience of wasting each others time.

It can be said by the world around us that it is a waste of time to gathering together in a Sunday morning service, to care about others. Even my own childhood upbringing taught me to mind my own business. Yet Christ shows us that it is never, ever a waste of time to patiently pray to the Lord.  Nor is it ever an empty sacrifice to lay down a surrendered heart or lift hands of adoration to Heaven in worship of a Holy Savior.

So often we stare at our watches, taping a foot waiting impatiently for the service to end, for the traffic light to change, for the work whistle to blow and for our days to end. When our time becomes more valuable than another persons needs, or we think that we ourselves no longer matter to others, we miss out on the precious opportunity of meeting and receiving “living waters” from the God of the Universe.  My friend who came to visit us yesterday, told me I was worth it, that my family was worth his time. Jesus, showed the Samaritan women at the well that her life, was worth it; that her need was worth his time and love. It is easy to busy ourselves with things that have no real eternal value. It’s ironic that those things we fill our time with really are a waste of our time and the things that inconvenience us somehow through the miraculous orchestration of the Holy Spirit breathe life into us.

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How many times in the course of a day do we look at things- people even, and decide they are a waste of our time? Where is it that you “must needs  go” today? Who is God calling you to be inconvenienced for today? Do you think your worth God’s time? Well you are! Trade the lies and your inconvenience for the love of the One who holds time in the palm of His hand!

e.perry

Worship In The Beginning

“(20) You see, all of creation has collapsed into emptines, not by its own choosing, but by God’s. Still He placed within it a deep and abiding hope (21) that creation would one day be liberated from its slavery to corruption and experience the glorious freedom of the children of God. (22) For we know that all creation groans in unison with birthing pains up until now.” -Romans 8:20-22 The Voice

We must worship God out of a deep yearning of gratitude and a fathomless longing to be restored in relationship to our Heavenly Father, as it was intended to be in the beginning.

In the book of Genesis, Gods word reveals how ferocious and powerfully the world was formed. Light flashed into being, separated from darkness, a vast expanse formed separating the waters above from the waters below- evening gave way to morning and on and on it goes. Then the crowning jewel of God’s creation; He reaches down, breathes life into dust and creates a human, with a living soul made in the image the Triune God. While seeing that all He created was good, He still was not satisfied that man was alone. He needed a companion and so He fashioned woman, Eve, out of the rib of Adam, the first man.

Such a divine picture. One that no Hollywood big budget film could ever come close to reproducing. No master artist could even begin to brush the colors of creations origins onto a canvas. Yet in all its resplendent beauty, there came the suspicion that God was not good. Thus the forbidden fruit was eaten and sin entered into the world. Leaving our Creator no choice, because of the sin now separating  His precious son and daughter from Him, we were cursed along with all of creation. Fortunately for us the story didn’t end there. The Eternal One, God the Father continued out His plan of redemption, foreshadowing the coming of the Messiah, Jesus the Anointed One, the Christ-man to be one of us and take our death and the penalty for our sin to the cross. The high price now paid in full once and for all, overcoming death itself, Jesus then inscribes the final judgement upon the enemy of our soul; to be cast into darkness, eternal isolation and anguish.

Earlier this week I was blessed to share the beginning of Gods creation story out of Genesis with my children. You could see the wonder in their eyes as I read it aloud. They were trying to picture it in their minds, trying to grasp the imagery. It provoked a thought; do I approach God in the same way? Do I come to him in awe, wonder and rapture at the thought of who He is? As if I were Adam, opening my new eyes for the first time to see my loving creators smiling down at me? Our children’s innocent joy can teach us a great deal about worship.

Tonight my family and I were blessed to be able to see Act-1 of a ballet, that told the story of creation through dance. We went to support a dear friend. The dancers beautifully represented nature and animals as they moved in wonderful expression of the creation of all things. While we couldn’t stay for Act-2 of the ballet production, I am told it deals with the fall and the eventual redemption of man and all of creation. Seeing the characters reminded me again, that the act of God creating, of speaking into existence the universe itself, was no small task to disremember.

Jesus himself, at his enterence into Jeruselam rebuked the religous leaders who shouted at Jesus to silence his followers. Jesus  said to them, “Listen- if they were silent, the very rocks would start to shout!” (Luke 19:40) and how fitting it would have been. Creation itself knows how far it has fallen from the Garden. It’s so easy to go through the motions in a “church service” on a Sunday morning forgetting the dust where we came from. Yet, God’s love and redemption through Jesus implore us to stop and “remember what it was like before we fell” (Rev 2:5) to return to “first love” when we once walked with Him in the Garden.

How do you express wonder and awe to the God that created you? What do your folded arms across your chest during a prayer or worship service tell you about your relationship with One who spread His arms wide for you? No matter where you are or what your day consists of; let your mind and imagination reach out, as though you were a child again, to the inception of creation that was made for us to walk through with our Heavenly Father. Worship God today in that knowledge, in awe and wonder! Join with all of creation and cry out in worship to our Liberating King, Jesus!