Sunday, May 20, 2012

Balance in Life-- A Challenge Well Met

So, what do you have to do today? My young adult children gave me a belated birthday gift last week… The new iPad.

It was one of those gifts that filled a desire that I would get one “when I grew up”. 
I really liked that gift. I immediately wondered which of the many thousands of apps I needed to make this gift most useful. I got the Bible, EGW books, and then I focused on my to-do list. 
I downloaded gTasks HD for 99 cents, and went to work. I now know exactly how many things to get done – 

72 as of today.

Overwhelming? Not for me. There is comfort in knowing ALL that I have to get done. But is it all? Here’s what I learned today as I put aside the iPad and my list of tasks.

"The Lord answered, 'Martha, Martha, you are fretting and fussing about so many things; but one thing is necessary. The part that Mary has chosen is best; and it shall not be taken away from her.'" Luke 10:41, 42, N.E.B.

The "one thing" that Martha needed was a calm, devotional spirit, a deeper anxiety for knowledge concerning the future, immortal life, and the graces necessary for spiritual advancement


She needed less anxiety for the things which pass away, and more for those things which endure forever. Jesus would teach His children to seize every opportunity of gaining that knowledge which will make them wise unto salvation. 
The cause of Christ needs careful, energetic workers. There is a wide field for the Marthas, with their zeal in active religious work. But let them first sit with Mary at the feet of Jesus. Let diligence, promptness, and energy be sanctified by the grace of Christ; then the life will be an unconquerable power for good.  {CC 304.3}

Points for pondering:
  1. The more tasks we have to do, the greater the potential for anxiety to get it all done. We are overwhelmed by work.
  2. The urgent (perceived or real) tends to eclipse the important. Crisis trumps priority.
  3. There is a tendency for us task oriented folks to focus on the leaves and not the tree. Work supersedes mission.
  4. There is a need for the power of sanctified work. A blend of diligence and the grace of Christ.
So I conclude that I need to be:
  1. Committed to sit at the feet of Jesus. Get into His word for the purpose of a grace filled life.
  2. Committed to diligence, promptness and energy in all that I put my hands to do (by others request or my initiation).
He balances us. Will you commit to a blended sanctified work life today? I am. It beats being “careful and troubled about many things”.
Edwin



Sunday, May 13, 2012

Loss or Gain?


I see two demoniacs with a terrified legion within standing before the Lord of glory disguised as a common Man. The demons are bound to Christ’s will, and they know it; so they come up with a suggestion. I can see their suspense as they wait for Christ’s response.
“Go.”
That legion doesn’t wait for a second bidding. They go alright, hurrying to accomplish their work of destruction before Christ stops them. But Christ has no intention of stopping them. The demons work their plan, and apparently, their plan works.
Drowned pigs wash back to shore- pigs that were their owner’s wealth, success, and retirement plan. I see the owner himself looking in angry terror at the unpretentious, but frighteningly powerful Jesus. “Are you the one that allowed this? Why on earth did you permit demons to destroy my herd? Please, oh please leave.” 
Ouch.
How is it that hateful demons and the loving Jesus could ever agree on an event?? 
Two major differences, the first being motives. The demons want loss; Christ wants to break the spell of infatuation with worldly things. The demons wanted to prevent the people from hearing the Gospel; Christ wanted to turn their attention to the Gospel. The demons wanted the people to remain locked in darkness; Christ wanted the people to enjoy light, life and peace eternally.  

The second difference is this: Satan’s goal was short term, whereas Christ’s goal was long term. In other words, Let’s make these people hate Jesus, right here, right now. Let’s chase Jesus from these shores. Let’s prevent Him from teaching these people! versus, I’ll break the spell of the world and catch these souls’ attention. I’ll leave them a witness and when I come back, their hearts will be fertile soil for the seed of the Gospel. I’ll be able to bless them, etc. And guess who’s plan succeeded? That would be Jesus’ plan. 
Moral of the story? Next time you stand on the shores of experience and watch the bloated corpses of your earthly dreams wash up dead around your feet; next time you glance at Jesus and are tempted to think, Were You the One that allowed this? What gives with giving demons the go ahead?  -- In that moment remember that “whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: nothing shall be put to it, nor anything taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before Him.” Eccl. 3:14
What the devil means to be a loss and discouragement to us, Christ means for our eternal gain and happiness. The devil cannot really hurt us, for Christ has already calculated the story all the way to the end and has abundant blessing waiting there. Don’t let the dead pigs distract you. 


I know by experience.
“He has made everything beautiful in His time.” Really, He has. “Wait, I say, on the Lord.” 
  
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