Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 18, 2017
By Tripp Prince
But now more than ever the word about Jesus spread abroad; many crowds would gather to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. But he would withdraw to deserted places and pray. Luke 5:15-16
By temperament, I am an introverted person. While I enjoy being with people and sharing life with those I love, social time depletes my batteries and I have to find intentional time to recharge and refresh. I know many people like me, yet many others who are the exact opposite. Too much down time or time alone and some people will go mad! Being with others is for them a constant source of energy and refreshment.
While most of us tend towards one of these temperaments, I’m slowly learning that faithfulness to the way of Jesus requires of us both an active engagement with the world and an intentional retreat into intimate times of prayer and reflection.
Jesus came that we might have life to the fullest (John 10:10). As such, in his earthly ministry, he was constantly engaged with the world around him- present to the sickness and disease of those he met, the arrogance and pride of the religious establishment, and the need for redemption and renewal of the entire creation. And yet, as we see here in Luke 5, as news of his active ministry began to spread and people were increasingly drawn to him, Jesus withdrew into times of solitude and peaceful attentiveness to his heavenly father. As we are being renewed into his likeness, we must look to this example and go and do likewise.
If you are, like me, wired as an introvert, times of personal prayer and devotion may come more naturally to you. I believe the witness of Jesus challenges us to not stay exclusively in this private place but we must let this prayerful devotion lead us into intentional service and mission. We are filled with the life of God and his love not simply for ourselves but so that we can share God’s love with the world around us!
Likewise, if you are constantly on the go, even if it is in active service to Christ and his Church, the challenge to you today is to follow Jesus’ example and slow down. Take time to breathe and simply be present to God’s presence in your life. A life of service that isn’t fueled by the Spirit’s empowering presence will ultimately leave you burned out, weary, and fatigued.
When we look to Jesus we learn afresh what it means to be fully present to God’s work in our hearts and souls, as well as the ways that reforming work is inviting us into a life of mission and service in God’s kingdom!
PrayerFather, help me learn the rhythms of your grace so that my active and contemplative lives may be held in a healthy balance.
ApplicationDo you tend towards one extreme or the other? This week how can you grow in the area you don’t gravitate towards naturally, either serving others more actively or seeking the Lord in quiet solitude?
Related ReadingPsalm 62:1; Isaiah 32:18; Romans 12:11
Post/Tweet todayTake time to breathe and simply be present to God’s presence in your life. #WisdomHunters #findingbalance
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