Thought for the Day: These words come shortly after this morning’s sermon text. I doubt the last line is entirely accurate as I’m sure there were others who put the business of Jesus ahead of their own. Yet don’t you think Paul was trying to make a point, trying to convey his appreciation and admiration for Timothy. I can think of many compliments I’d be honored to receive, but this one might be right there at the top. Paul gets to the heart of the matter with these honest words, for the human soul is constantly grappling with whose business is it going to do. And as human beings, we have become exceptional at confusing our own business with the business of Jesus, making it easy to justify giving our business priority. I got into a tense conversation with someone by email who had read one of my blog posts and wanted to disagree. I invited him to tell me who Jesus was to him, and he went directly to the scriptures and quoted four Old Testament passages about the anger of God and heroic violence. Those words came from the Bible, but I was really interested in Jesus – you know, the guy who continually said, “You’ve heard it said, but I say unto you…” The Old Testament is still very important, and there is a lot of amazing examples of grace and mercy, but don’t you think that starting with the Gospels (the stories of Jesus) would be a good place to learn business of Jesus Christ?
Prayer: Continue to put before me, O Merciful God, the life and teachings of Jesus. I know there will be discomfort, and moments when I’ll want to go look elsewhere. Help keep me centered, especially in the challenging moments, for it is there that I need to wrestle most with the Jesus-life. Amen.
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