It’s time to pick back up our study of Luke. I’m going to pick up where we left off, as I feel the Lord has laid some specific things on my heart. One of the things I love most about reading the Bible, is that it truly is a Living Word. Each time I meditate in it, the Lord finds a way to speak something to my heart. I hope you’ll join me in finding that time to be with the Lord so He may speak to your heart as well.
Lesson Two: Faith at Work
Text: Luke Chapters 4 and 5 (click here to read now)
My Personal Thoughts:
Last year I read the book “Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World“ by Joanna Weaver. One chapter I find myself reflecting on frequently is titled “Balancing Work and Worship“. Some of the notes I took as I read the chapter were…
- Love for God first, love for others second. Worship and Service. One flows from the other and back again. It is a picture of a balanced, Christ-like life.
- God wants us doing both, loving Him, loving others. Service is love. Worship is love. It will never be enough to only do one or the other, both is required by God’s commandment.
- Balance is found in the flow of our life. Each day may not reflect equal work and worship time, however, over time they equal up and balance each other out.
In this section of Luke, I see Jesus working. Serving. His work is active, intentional, and purposeful. He is teaching, calling, traveling, and healing. In chapter four we see a “healing spree” take place starting in Capernaum at the synagogue and continuing at Simon’s home. We read “When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them.” (Luke 4:40 NIV84)
Jesus was working. Serving. Loving others.
Sometimes I think we get lost in the command to love others. I know I have.
We feel we don’t volunteer enough of our time, enough of our finances, or enough of our homes. We start seeking various ways we can love others, and over-commit ourselves to loving others. Instead of love it turns into a “to-do” list, a score card, and we find ourselves serving others with a underlying foul mood and critical spirit. We lose the love. We lose the heart of service. In trying to love others we begin to alienate others, judge others, and suddenly we are trying to serve without love and beating our heads against the wall as to why it isn’t working.
As a homemaker, I too frequently forget the call to love others starts at home. My husband, my son, are the “others” that are directly in my path each and every day. On a busy week I can beat myself up “I didn’t do enough to love others” because I didn’t leave home enough. The Lord is helping me see His call to love others starts here and spreads outward.
Loving others is service. It’s work. It means caring about their needs first. Thinking about how to best help them. It uses energy and effort. Time and thought. It is work physically, emotionally, and mentally. Jesus knows this. He knows the work that serving others involves because He came to serve. He came to serve others with absolutely everything He had to offer. He knows the effort and toll such work can take on us, especially when we find ourselves in a season of “marathon loving”.
Which is versus like this one grab my eyes.
At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place. ~Luke 4:42a
As a people person, words such as “solitary” and “lonely” have never appealed to me. Not until I realized just how precious they are with God. Not until I’ve found myself on the brink of collapse because of spiritual exhaustion. It’s more than the tired sweaty end to a workout or the brain dead feeling after a two hour math test. It’s that feeling deep down, even deeper than your bones, that you just can’t take another step, or another breath, without falling on your knees and crying out to God.
In my personal walk, I’ve come to realize this type of exhaustion comes when I forget the importance of finding a lonely place. A place to worship the Savior. To lean on the Holy Spirit and use His strength to breath in His Word, His Healing, His Resting place. Jesus knew the importance of finding the solitary place, the lonely place, and praying. Worshiping the Father. Talking with the Father. Loving the Father.
How precious those moments must have been. God and Son were in perfect community together, for all time. For Jesus to be here, working, serving, Loving others, how precious and sacred those moments alone with God must have been for Him.
Some days it’s not long before I already begin to feel drained. A testy teenager. An over-tired husband. A disagreement with a friend. A change in my routine. The longer I go without finding a solitary place, the less I’m able to work with the intentional purpose to love others.
Sometimes the work load will be great. It will require an “all-nighter”. When the sun rises, will I rush to go to bed, or will I take a moment to find the lonely place and withdrawal to worship my Lord? Will I turn to the world to give me rest, through games, TV, or YouTube? Or will I find the solitary place to rest my spirit? To Love God first, so that through Him, I can Love Others to His Glory?
My Personal Application:
Loving others is work. Loving others is a command that starts with my family, and branches out to all the world. Christ served people with intentional purpose, to give Glory to God. I want to serve and love others with that same purpose. To do so, I need to withdrawal to the quiet place. My spirit will only find rest in God, not in the world. If I give up my precious moments to be with God for the distractions of the world, I will lose those moments to worship and Love God first. To be renewed and restored in spirit. Which will result in losing the ability to truly Love others. Loving God and Loving Others. The lonely place is vital to find.
Next Week’s Post will be a though reflection on Luke chapter 6.
In Love & Faith,