Thursday, April 29, 2010

Matthew 14:23

Matthew 14:23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. (KJV)
(NIV) After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountsinside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.

When I was still teaching school everyday, I used to think, when I retire I'll be able to do all the things I want to do for God. I'll be able to volunteer at the soup kitchen, go to places during the day to help people, attend events like the Fall Festival of Music, substitute at nearby schools, clean my house more regularly, prepare my Sunday School lessons more thoroughly and most importantly start every day with a quiet time of devotion with God.

Our verse for this week from Matthew 14:23, tells the importance that Jesus placed on spending time alone with God. Jesus needed time with His Father to be refreshed and uplifted. If Jesus needed it, we certainly need it even more. Psalm 46:10 tells us to "Be still, and know that I am God:..." I also noticed in several passages that when Jesus performed a healing, he came away from the crowd to do it. He left the busyness to be with only a few for the healing. (Mark 5:40; Mark 7:3 and Mark 8:23)

Jesus found it important to spend time alone with God away from his busy schedule. I wanted to do that. When I was teaching I was always pressed for time and had trouble getting everything done. Well, guess what? Three months after I retired, my first grandchild was born. My son and daughter-in-law struggled with how to care for this child and needed my help. Isn't God's timing perfect? I also took on a part time job that same month and began to do some substitute teaching. I think I volunteered at the soup kitchen five or six times that summer right after retiring, but have only volunteered once since then. Now I have two grandchildren and both are in school. I volunteer my help to their schools about once a week. My house always seems to need cleaning. I don't think I'll ever have everything in its place. I usually work on my Sunday School lesson a little before Saturday evening, but I don't always get to it early in the week. My life is very busy - sometimes I think it is even busier since I retired.

I try to make time for my devotions every morning, but if I need to be out early, I find that I often move it to later in the day or it might not even get done until the next day or even later. Jesus sought His Father regularly - probably several times each day. We certainly should seek him at least daily. Do you have a time set aside for communing with your Heavenly Father every day? If it is not a priority, it certainly should be for both you and me. We need to separate ourselves from the busyness of life to find spiritual nourishment from our Heavenly Father. I almost have come to the conclusion that Satan uses this busyness in our life to distract us from being with God daily as we should. Let's call on God's power to defeat Satan and the tricks he uses to distract us from serving and worshiping our Lord and Saviour.

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