Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Exhausting Toll...

When I think of all the stuff that many in so called religious "hierarchy" have to contend with—among likeminded people and in themselves—yikes!

It would probably make my head swim.

The Pharisee's envy of Christ's growing effective ministry back in the day is still a very curious thing to take a look at.

We'd all be wise to avoid comparisons and jealousy.

Now to the typical bystanders at that time, everything must have seemed pretty thrilling, exciting, invigorating, or perhaps even somewhat glamorous. I can almost hear the sounds of rejoicing and jubilation. The large crowds kept gathering. There was a demand, a hunger, a spiritual thirst. Yup, it was all there!

Scriptural deliverance plus. Lives being changed forever!

Oodles of needs are met, real wonders are worked, and publicity spreading just like a California brush fire.

I love how the common people were taught in a way that they could easily understand. The cookies oughta be placed on the lower shelves where us children can reach them.

Fame follows. The mockers and the curious show up, and then there's some physical and emotional stress added into the mix. 

Pressure!

If Christ gets swarmed, he won't be able to deliver the groceries if you will ..as well as He'd like to. Hey guys, grab a boat just in case (that's my free translation)! Nothing will be allowed to hinder!

Some had honest questions.

Deep feelings of concern for all—it was there. And the fishing-team was getting trained to minister.

As word continues to get out, this only tends to draw the masses more—people who respond in ever-increasing numbers. Wow!

And this invariably attracts the attention of those further away in distance, which are also searching for truth, for life, for love, for answers, and for hope!

Fulfillment, significance, meaning in this brief life. Can we have this?

Some simply needed a miracle for their families.

And who doesn't want to get near a Person that will appropriately address their needs ..with POWER?

Here's how the Bible describes this situation, "But Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea. And a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and beyond the Jordan; and those from Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they heard how many things He was doing, came to Him. So He told His disciples that a small boat should be kept ready for Him because of the multitude, lest they should crush Him. For He healed many, so that as many as had afflictions pressed about Him to touch Him. And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw Him, fell down before Him and cried out, saying, 'You are the Son of God.' But He sternly warned them that they should not make Him known. And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him. Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons" (Mk. 3:7-15 nkjv).

Can you imagine the broad range of expectations? Some of em very reasonable and some far from realistic or good.

Enter: the religious leaders.

As many in the crowd became overjoyed, there were undoubtedly others who began to feel devalued, neglected, overlooked and then frustrated. Oftentimes with crowds there are spot-light-craving individuals who feel insignificant and semi-ignored.

Feelings of disappointment begin to fester and go way beyond what's even normal.

In the midst of all the growth that was happening, the sinister enemy-adversary slips into the scene. And what does he do? You know how he likes to cause confusion and problems. He likes to add-in interruptions and distractions—anything to keep people from gazing at, and hearing from Christ, their ultimate Solution.. anything to try and impede the powerful work and anointing of the Holy Spirit!

Even in our day at times, Mr Lu-Cifer with his creepy minions will prompt insidious attacks on those who lead. And as imposing forces collide in battle after unseen battle, the pressures will of course intensify unto critical mass. CLASH!

No worries, the highest authority, Christ, and those on His team will come out to be the victors! It's a prayer and trust kinda thang.

In spite of all the darkness and strangeness of this world's system, people by the droves continue to be drawn towards the practical truth of God's Word. Perhaps you too need a new brand beginning in the Word of Life—a new birth experience?

Do you fell the need for some solitude, for some rest—inner rest—some incredible peace and purpose? Hey, what would prevent you from coming to Jesus right now on His terms.. just as you are, but at the same time with a willingness to repent and be changed by Him?

That's what it's going to take.

You know deep down inside that God does have a non-scary plan to use you for His purposes. He wants to make you a blessing for other people who hurt and have needs. Why don't you try talkin' with Him about all this in your own words. He'll hear you and take it to heart.

Mark Twain once said, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away.. catch the trade winds in your sails." What an adventure lies ahead for you! If you only knew! I never ever regret giving my life to Him. And Christ is waiting with open arms. He has so much cool stuff (understatement) to show you.

It's fun when you're getting through to people who matter! Your heart always wants to give out so much more to help, yet your body says "Hey there, you should have taken a break like an hour ago!" Some moments you run out—SO DONE—but then the Spirit rushes in with torrents of living water flowing to give you a second wind if you will. Who of us has experienced this like our Savior has? Not me, but we can all taste of this life.

"Be steadfast... in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain." ~1 Corinthians 15:58

Failure is not defeat unless you just quit. Christian, if you don't quit, you can't lose.

"Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart" ~Galatians 6:9
 
"The service that we give to Christ, if steadfast we will be,
Is sure to reap a rich reward that someday we will see." ~Sper

At times, the toll of an effective evangelism and equipping ministry is none other than spelled out in two words: physical exhaustion. Jesus Christ, who was one hundred percent man and one hundred percent God got tired, but He can show us how to deal with this type of exhaustion.
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