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 Post Post subject: Devotions - Wednesday, October 10th, 2007
Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:53 am 
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Daily reading: Romans 16

Good morning my friends,

From the long list of names that are included in this final chapter of Romans it is obvious that people meant a lot to Paul. That seems like a silly statement. Paul was a minister, of course people meant a lot to him. They were the objects of God's affections and the ones to whom God had sent Paul. Obvious perhaps, but it is not always true for those of us who
minister full time.

It is hard and seems to get harder to prevent "ministry" from taking over. It is no secret that I struggle with busyness. It is terrible and a thing of shame for me. For younger men it may be a sign of importance but for me it is a thing of shame because busyness destroys our focus on what is
important; people. My busyness has a lot to do with clerical duties; a lot of things that take me away from people.

In my first church I made people my priority. If something did not work as a tool in my ministry to people I wanted nothing to do with it. I spent 30 our more hours a week in the homes of the people and it is there that I got to know them dearly. It was funny but if my wife sensed that the administration things were overwhelming me she would subtly suggest I go visit a few people. After numerous cups of tea and a couple of insistent bowls of soup I would return home having focused again upon my purpose.

If this is true, that people remain the priority, why has the Lord insisted on putting me in places where there is always "busyness"? Director of the national youth ministry (including camps); large churches with "paper routes"; "serving table" ministries; and now a school. All of these things have huge parts of "busyness" associated with them. The answer seems too obvious to even go on about now. Paul too would have had his "busyness". He was administering a large area of churches that he felt responsible for. He wrote letters, sent off dispatches, received reports, responded and so on. The fact is "busyness" is part of the ministry of people. Wherever we have people we will have busyness because people generate busyness.

So, what is the lesson? Learn to keep the focus on what is important while doing what is also necessary. Jesus wanted to put the enemy to flight and to preach the good news of the Kingdom of God, however, he was surrounded by a suffering humanity. His compassionate heart responded and e spent much time in healing. Yet, he did not lose his focus of purpose. We need to learn and in learning if we begin to lose the focus we need to immerse ourselves in it again. This is true for our focus on the objects of God's affections and it is true for our motivation. Sometimes we lose our focus because we have lost our motivation which is Jesus Christ. The only solution to this is to immerse ourselves in him again and again until we feel that love re-establish itself in our heart again.

Some of you are heading into dark times where the enemy loves to get your focus off your motivation and onto him or even worse onto yourself. As this happens you become crippled in your mind and your heart. You may not feel you have a choice but you do. Just as I must decide to immerse myself in the objects of God's affection you must immerse yourself in your motivation. There is no substitute for real time with Jesus. Remember this:

"I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil." (Romans 16:17-19)

Paul was warning about people but we can also take equal warning against things, activities and thoughts that have the same affect on us. Remember our Father's enemy is always active, trying to find anything that will separate us from our Father. Take Paul's warning to heart; "Keep away from them". But it is not good enough to keep away. You must also fill your life with Jesus. Open yourself to him today and allow his love to re-establish all things in your heart.

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Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:27 am 
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grins bigly. Grins are contagious, you know! =D

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Thanks for that very good message! :yes:


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