Posted by: mikenicholsblog | January 5, 2011

pace and priority

When is the next holiday?! It may just be me, but the first week of the New Year is already moving at a fast pace. Between eating properly, working out, attending meetings, phone calls and a myriad of other events, I can already feel myself needing a holiday to recuperate. You may be feeling the same way. As I have been reading the book of Matthew this week, I’ve wondered about the pace that Christ must have kept. From my perception, the demands on Christ far exceeded what any of us will encounter this year. Yet His pace reflected what was important, and His days were directed toward others.

A quick read through Matthew (a book that bridges us from the Old Testament to the New) shows the demands on Christ. He was healing the sick, feeding the five thousand, teaching, calming a storm, debating the Sabbath, telling parables, feeding the four thousand, walking on the water, etc…. And I think I’m busy and need to recuperate! Sure He was God, but He walked among mankind and gave us undeniable examples of how to live in our world. When the disciples wanted to send the five thousand away, Jesus made sure they were fed. In scene after scene throughout Matthew we find the needs of people being a priority to Jesus. It is too easy for me (and maybe you) to focus on my needs rather than to reflect the love of Christ to others.

Some key thoughts have grabbed my attention this week in looking at Christ. His life was a battle just like ours. He was attacked by Satan, and gained victory through quoting God’s Word. So can I! He showed compassion to others, even when it may have been taxing physically. So can I! He spent time with the Father and prayed. So can I! Now, I would like to be able to heal, walk on water, calm the storm and multiply the loaves and fishes, but that’s not for us. However, just to model how He defeated Satan, cared for others and effectively communicated with the Father are undeniable examples of how we can live with distinction this year. The question is: how highly do we value these attributes?

In the familiar passage in Matthew on “taking up our cross and following Christ”, the following words of Christ give us an undeniable perspective.

Matthew 10:38-39 (MSG)
If you don’t go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don’t deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.

When my first concern is myself (and it often is), others lose and I certainly don’t communicate well with the Father. But when I (and you) forget about ourselves and look to Him, things change. Christ was all about others … and the world was changed. When you and I live outward, the Lord will use us for change. Forgetting about ourselves and looking to Him is admittedly not easy, but the results will be undeniable. As the demands of this year heat up, remember that others need you, and Christ will guide you. And I really don’t need another holiday yet!


Responses

  1. Love it! Thanks so much! My hubby is in the army it’s a really hard situation on both of us & for our kids please pray 4 us & this devotions really help I forward it to him he says the same

    • Monique,

      We are glad you are reading. If you give me your husband’s email address, I would love to send him a note. I will pray for you.

      MIke


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