It’s not Inconvenient! It is theft of a treasure, your treasure.
Devotional thought for the weekend:
16 He replied to him, “A man gave a great dinner to which he invited many. 17 When the time for the dinner came, he dispatched his servant to say to those invited, ‘Come, everything is now ready.’ 18 But one by one, they all began to excuse themselves. The first said to him, ‘I have purchased a field and must go to examine it; I ask you, consider me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have purchased five yoke of oxen and am on my way to evaluate them; I ask you, consider me excused.’ 20 And another said, ‘I have just married a woman, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 The servant went and reported this to his master. Then the master of the house in a rage commanded his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in here the poor and the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ 22 The servant reported, ‘Sir, your orders have been carried out and still there is room.’ 23 The master then ordered the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedgerows and make people come in that my home may be filled. 24 For, I tell you, none of those men who were invited will taste my dinner.’ ” Luke 14:16-24 NABRE
3 So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus himself and then delivered to us by those who heard him speak? Hebrews 2:2-3 (NLT)
I’ve got to work! I’ve got responsibilities! I’ve got family obligations! (Though what obligation a newlywed has to his wife… or wait – nevermind!)
Following Christ doesn’t have a simple agenda. It can’t be planned out a month in advance. There are times it means that after a hard day’s work, you spend the night helping a neighbor, or helping (with love) to that obstinate, pain in the ass relative.
There will be long days, days where plans are changed, days where things are moved around. Days where our devotions may not happen when we want. There might even be a day when we have to miss church, not to go to a ball game, but to help a hurting person.
The temptation is just to skip it that day, to pick up tomorrow what we should have done today, and just push it all back a day. Been there, done that. One year – my read through the Bible – which should have gone November 1 to October 31st, well – I gave up mid-February as I was already a month behind! Guilt and shame set in, because I wasn’t giving God the proper response He deserved. I wasn’t a good disciple, and I wondered if I was so weak, why would people follow me as a pastor?
But I didn’t understand discipleship – and I didn’t really understand the purpose of devotional time, and that misunderstanding gave me the ability to set it aside, to declare it inconvenient. An inconvenience somehow excused the necessity, because the ministry was more important than devotions, or work projects were, or family and family…uhm… obligations.
I realized sometime in that year that I missed the reading, and the liturgy I entered into every morning. I realized I didn’t “do” devotions to prove that I was devoted to God! (Sometimes we do it to prove to Him, and sometimes just to prove it to ourselves.) I can’t prove my devotion, and too be honest, as long as was my motivation, I would falter and fail.
Devotional time is not about proving our devotion as if providing us improved us. I need my devotional time – because it proves His devotion to me. I need to know that, I need to know the love that won’t let me go, I need to be convinced that I can run to His arms, depending on a mercy that promises to forgive my sin, and cleanse me from the sin of a world that could crush me.
This is my time with my Father, to hear of His love, His mercy, His desire to rescue me from the brokenness of my life.
And so, if life made me miss, I get back and make it up, savoring the little steps I take with Him, as He points out a little more of the height, the depth. The width and breadth of His love for me, and for my people, and for the community of humanity.
I need this time, which comes all together as I write a blog, or a sermon, or just worship and pray. I desperately need it, so much so I can’t count it inconvenient to miss, I consider it theft, and do what I can to get what God would give me back….
You too need a time like this, not just to read, not just to pray, but to realize the blessing of God; that is in your life. No, that is your life.
Start simple – and as you begin to be in awe – add a little more….. and become hungry to know more and more of this Lord of life.
For this is His mercy… the mercy we sinners cry out for…
Posted on September 3, 2016, in Devotions, Poeima and tagged Abiding in Christ, apostolate, devotions, Exploring God's love, Medication, prayer, Private time, The Bible, The Way. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.