The Last Stretch

As we turn the corner and enter into this last stretch toward the end of the year, I am reminded that this life is a long distance race and not a short sprint.  We get caught up in the busyness, the rush and the mayhem of this time of the year and miss out on so much.  We are holding on by our fingernails for the end of the year when we can take a break, or some may be able to.  But for what?  To do it all over again next year?  Perhaps let us pause for a time of reflection, and examine our lives and relationships?

I wonder what the Father thinks as He watches us scurry around so busy and perhaps missing out on the ‘real’ life that is taking place right in front of our eyes.  The real relationships that perhaps we are neglecting.  Children are writing exams, there are year-end functions a plenty and we are getting the place of turkey, tinsel and presents.  But what I am seeing and feeling, especially as I watch people’s lives around me, is that we are overstretched, financially burdened, nerves are frayed and patience is a commodity that is in very short supply. 

We push so hard to get to everything and keep our life styles afloat that we begin to treat people around us, people that are close to us, with disdain and as commodities.  Are we are missing our Father’s bigger picture for our lives. Money can buy us a house, trust me at cannot buy a home.  Money can but medicines, but it sure cannot buy health.  Money can buy people around you, but it cannot buy authentic friendships and relationships.  Money can buy possessions and things but it most definitely cannot buy true peace and contentment.

I am reading a book at the moment by Bill Hybels and I love the title “To busy not to pray” Are you too busy to pray? You know my conviction is, that you are too busy not to!  The Father beckons us to come aside, and as we take the time to reflect on Who He is, take a moment and think of His prayer; “Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy Kingdom come and thy will be done” 

Perhaps as we reflect on these words, we will come to a place of slowing down and realize that He has a master-plan for our lives and if we take the time to stop, collaborate and listen (As Vanilla Ice put it so many year ago), we will come to that place of peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control, contentment, and purpose.  We will have warm and loving relationship with the Father, with ourselves, our spouses, our families and our friends.  Because trust me when real life happens, your relationship with the Father and the relationships with real people are the things that will carry you through! 

 

Just reflecting…

Euangelion

One of the terms most often used in the New Testament to describe the Christian message is the Greek word “Euangelion”, which means “Good news.” The English word evangelism is derived from that and simply means “Sharing the Good News.”

As Christians, we have something to share with others, this “Euangelion”, or Good News, and not because we are different but precisely because we are no different.  Our concerns and struggles are the same as other peoples’; the difference being that in the midst of struggle Jesus is present with us every step of the way.

When we understand this, and take it as a model for evangelism, it may very well be costly.  But it really will be good news—for Christians as well as for those who are not yet following Christ.

We do, however, have a responsibility in terms of our lifestyles.  The World Council of Churches document Mission and Evangelism says it well: “God leaves us free to choose how to share our faith but our options are never neutral—every methodology either illustrates or betrays the gospel we announce”.

So what does our lifestyle reflect?  Our lives and methodology should reflect that we are committed to the Kingdom.  The Kingdom should permeate our whole lives, our work, our homes and our play.  And if this is the case, this kingdom commitment works its way out in terms of the substance of all of our lives and ministries. 

 

This commitment includes the basic practices of NT Christianity; Praying with others; Laying hands on them; Operating in the gifts; Witnessing; Serving the poor; Intercession, etc. all the while pointing to Jesus.  So what needs to change in your life, ministry, work and recreation?  Time to make some changes? As Louie Giglio put it!  “Life is short; God is big; Take the next step”.

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