Saturday, May 27, 2017

Daily reading assignment: Luke 5-6

There are numerous spiritual truths found in today’s Bible reading assignment that are so profound books alone, indeed, whole libraries could not contain the vast riches of wisdom found in today’s verses.  To summarize the whole found in Luke 5-6 is well beyond this pastor’s ability; however, that is my task as we continue to read through God’s Word this year.

Christ calls His first disciples in Luke 5 and we find Simon Peter, “James, and John, the sons of Zebedee” leaving their fishing nets to “catch men” (Luke 5:10-11).  Of those three we read, “when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him” (Luke 5:11).  Can you imagine Peter, James and John attempting to follow Jesus dragging behind them their fishing nets and boats?  You see, there are no half-hearted followers of Jesus and those He calls to “catch men” are required to forsake all.

I invite you to also consider another trait in the LORD’s conduct; the times He comes apart from His public ministry for solitude, prayer and rest.  We read, “He withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed” (Luke 5:16).  We find the same in Luke 6:12, “And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.”

On a personal note, one of two extremes afflicts the 21st century pastoral ministry: Pastors who are spiritually indolent, mentally lazy, and physically undisciplined; and pastors who “work themselves to death”, taking little time for rest, solitude, prayer and study.

Looking back over 38 years of ministry, I confess I am guilty of the latter and many of my peers are the same.  The daily grind of ministry and the tacit expectations of a congregation coupled with a lack of rest, solitude, prayer and personal enrichment in the scriptures invariably leads to a tired, broken and uninspired pastor.

Pastor friend, the yoke of ministry is heavy and if you are waiting for the deacons or church to encourage you to get some rest, you are going to wait a long time!  I exhort you as I exhort myself; follow Jesus’ example, find a quiet place, pray and rest.

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith