I have never been much for reading directions.
“C’mon…I don’t have enough time to waste it on reading things. I need to get after the task at hand.”
If you can relate to what I just wrote, then I am guessing you can also relate to needing to redo a thing or two along the way. You can probably also understand the concept of a task taking more time than it should have because you put the “thing-a-ma-jig” in the place where the “doo-dad” was supposed to go. Or how about at the conclusion of putting together that DIY piece of furniture you wonder why they included so much extra hardware.
It is not difficult for me to admit that this is a fault of mine. But I need to also express an appreciation for a positive attribute that is often on the flipside of this shortcoming. I love and have immense appreciation for people that are executors. These people just get it done! When they see something that needs attention – they are on it. When they commit to doing something – it is now off my mind. I absolutely love working with executors.
This week’s message will be about being executors in God’s Kingdom, but to become an executor in God’s Kingdom we need to spend time “learning from and listening to” the ruler of the Kingdom. [Luke 10.38-42] It is necessary for us to “read the directions” or spend time in God’s Word and with His people growing as disciples. None of us is strong enough or wise enough to go out and execute without God’s provisions of insight and power.
Jesus was very clear in His teaching that there is an internal transformation that needs to take place before our actions will bear the full power of God’s Kingdom. On my own I will either try to impress others for my own glory or I will be crushed by the burdens of the world. Jesus invites us to come to Him to be strengthened and then to go into the world in His power. In the busyness of life and its’ demands Jesus spoke to Martha about the absolute necessity of spending time in His’ presence like her sister Mary was:
So let’s be about the one thing that is needed – Jesus! Out of that kingdom work will flow quite naturally.
Why did you do that?
What were you trying to accomplish?
I know that is what you said but do you think your actions match your words?
We all go through life making decisions that set the trajectory of our lives. There are certain things we enjoy that others may not and there are things we avoid because they just don’t get the job done for us. This can show up in our decisions about the jobs we have, our hobbies, our budgets and our calendars just to name a few. Do you have any dissonance in your life?
In my case for instance, I feel great after I get some exercise but I am ridiculously inconsistent about making it a priority. Now, I could try to convince you that “I just don’t have time” but I am well aware that when I take time to exercise I will not only be more productive but I will also have a sense of balance or peace that helps me to enjoy my life a little easier. There is nothing to be celebrated when our culture exalts lives that have “no time” to do the things that need to be done like some exercise, or even more importantly serving others and showing the ones we say matter that they truly do matter.
It is fairly easy for me to admit my shortcomings regarding exercise because it really doesn’t come across as a glaring character flaw. But if I confess that there are times that I am selfish with my time, my resources and my life in general you might think – well, that is a problem. You would be right! And I am confessing to you that I have failed miserably at times in my life when it comes to living my life for others. I tell you this not so I can get it off my chest but so that we “can encourage each other toward good works.” Let’s follow Jesus since that is what we say we want to be about.
Then the obvious questions become – HOW did Jesus live? What mattered to Him? What was the nature of Jesus’ ministry?
A section of our text for this week tells us what Jesus was about and the nature of His ministry. We see his response to John the Baptizer’s followers when they asked if Jesus was the One – the Messiah.
“Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”
The nature of Jesus ministry was to care for others. He came to give His life to others. He did this daily through his words and actions. Then He also did it once and for all on the Cross. We are invited to have the “nature of our ministry /life” to be like Jesus’. That we would give our lives in worship to our God and from that we reach into the lives of those around us that need to be loved and cared for. We do this because we can and because it is a must if we claim to be trying to follow Jesus.
Jesus lived all His days with clarity because He knew who He was and what He was about. His completed ministry has the capacity to pass that clarity on to us. Do we want it?
Pastor Nick Mundis