Before You Go

Sorry these reflections have been sporadic or nonexistent the last few weeks. Been out pocket with revivals and Asbury’s BaseCamp. Should be back in the saddle now!

One of the things I love about each of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) is that they each have a different emphasis and purpose they are trying to accomplish. I often put it that Matthew, Mark, and Luke are answering the questions of who, what, when, and where of Jesus’ life and ministry. John is answering the question of why.

But within that, each gospel is showing us something about Jesus life, death, and resurrection so that we have a full picture of who Jesus is. In Mark’s gospel, for instance, we are always getting a picture of Jesus on the move, always going, doing, serving, full of action.

That’s why today’s text is so important. Listen to what it says in Mark 1:34-39:

And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.

jesus-prayingWe see Jesus going. We see Him healing. We see Him going out to preach. We see Him doing a lot. But, notice what happens in the middle before He goes out to “do.”

We see Him withdraw. And pray. Before He goes about His tasks, His purpose, His calling, He stops. He finds time. And He prays.

When I talk about the prayer life of Jesus, I always remind folks of this. Jesus wasn’t just another man. He was God Himself, in the flesh. God from God, light from light. And, so, Jesus, even though He was God, makes time to pray to His father. To seek His father’s face. To have communion with the Father.

Before He went to go, He stopped to pray.

How much more should we? How much more should we seek our Father’s face? How much more should we stop and pray? How much more should we take this moment. And stop. And pray.

So, before you start this day, before you start these tasks, before you get so busy, stop. Pause.

And pray. For, without the prayer, our going won’t really even matter much. If we accomplish anything today, may that something be prayer.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones

Be Nice

The way most letters in the New Testament end is very practical. The letters, by the way, are the books that follow the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and Acts. The letters were written by Paul and other leaders in the early church. And were literally what they say they were – letters.

The letters are generally concerned with some issue going on in that local church, or with teaching correct belief.

But nearly every letter ends with just some plain, practical advice for the people. Today, as we draw near to the end of the letter to the Hebrews, we see more of that.

Listen to the advice we are given today in chapter 13:1-3:

Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.

We are told to love. Show hospitality. Remember those in prison and are forgotten about.

In short, we are told, be nice.

Today, in your life, just be nice. Be nice to people. Smile. Be kind. Don’t fuss. Be nice.

Lots of stuff can be hard. But sometimes the easiest thing to do can also be the most important thing.

Today, God may not be calling you to move to a far away country. He may not be calling you to enter the full-time ministry. He may not be calling you to teach or lead.

But, He calling each of us, you and me, to this simple, and true advice.

Be nice.

Show His love to others by being nice. In that, we show how important others are to God, and to us.

And, believe it or not, when we are nice to others, we actually feel better ourselves.

So, today, be nice.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.