Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Lesson 25: Looking For God’s Solutions - Part 1 of 2

Brief 4-to-5 Minute Teaching Lesson

Why? and What is the Purpose? in My Life SERIES

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Lesson 25 of the Discipleship Making process.

I left you last time with this question, “How often should you take a break from work (either in general or ministry)?”

When the disciples return from their first preaching tour, Jesus instructs them to get in a boat and go away by themselves for a little rest and relaxation . . . to some quiet place.

Read: Matthew 14:13, Mark 6:30-32, and Luke 9:10

New ministry lessons are in store for the disciples. During their missionary journeys the disciples had been focused on the commands that Jesus gave them about going into the harvest field. Now they are confronted with doing ministry in a spontaneous setting.

Let’s begin by saying that God is not a taskmaster. He doesn’t drive His people hard. Jesus recognized His disciple’s need for rest and relaxation and commanded them to take some. Many people involved in church ministries actually burn themselves out because they won’t take a break.

Their failure usually is related to an issue of pride. It might be because they believe the ministry that God has given them can’t do without them for a minute (self importance). Or there is no one else to do the work (God has failed to provide). Or perhaps, they are only pleasing to God when they are doing the work of the ministry (God is a taskmaster).

God does not condone laziness (ex. Proverbs 6:6, 6:9-11, 13:4, 15:19, 19:24, 21:25, 24:30-34, Matthew 25:26, 2 Thessalonians 3:10), but He also doesn’t want His people to be workaholics either. That is why He made so many occasions in the Bible that required them to rest:
And those were just the required rest periods!

The point of the lesson is to rest as God intended.

In part 2 of this lesson, we will find Jesus’ instruction, to His disciples, to go away for a little rest and relaxation, instead, attracted a crowd, which had just followed a day filled with casting out demons, healing people and performing signs and wonders. It is in this new impromptu setting that we find Jesus’ next lesson in the discipleship process.

With that, allow me to leave you with this question to consider, along with a little homework assignment until my next posting:

How does it make you feel when you realize that you have special gifts to contribute to the world’s needs?

. . . and the homework assignment . . .

Take a break from your work, both in ministry and within your secular jobs, as God has instructed you, His disciple/child.

Until next time . . . Godspeed!

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