cwkennedy

Weekday devotionals for Christians

It wasn’t Immorality, Back-sliding, or Rebellion.

(52)  For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.

As I want to stick with my main thought, I want to ask you a question:  What caused the disciples’ heart to be hardened?  Was it Immorality?  Was it from being backslidden?  Was it rebellion?  What was it?  The answer to the questions is found here:

(41)  And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. 

The answer was from serving others.  What?!!!!  Their hearts were hardened from serving?  I will say that serving is not bad, neither is doing the Lord’s work bad either.  The hard hearts came from the weariness of serving.  If you have ever served to the point of weariness, you will understand where I am going. 

Our hearts can become hardened when are wearied from anything, especially serving.  This is why it is very important to make sure that you are not serving so much that you miss out on the main thing.  Well……..what is it?  The main thing is Jesus!  While I may not know the answer to a lot of things, I do know that much weariness can lead to a lot of bad outcomes.  I have seen it so many times in others and myself in the ministry.  Full-time paid ministry workers and volunteer workers are both effected by this. 

We run the risk of losing sight of Jesus when we do not balance our serving with resting.  No, I am not going to tell you to stop serving…LOL.  What we need to be aware of is the need for balance in the ministry.  I have seen so many great workers get burned out or become hardened because of the weariness that serving brings.  Serving is great;  we should always be willing to serve the Lord when He presents the need, but we also need to understand that we should be balanced in our service for the Lord.  I will address this in more detail in the next devotional.  I will also attempt to share with you what each Christian should do in maintaining a balanced work load while still keeping the main thing, the main thing.

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July 28, 2017 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

It’s Hard Work Feeding All of Those People!

Mark 6:42-44, 49-52

(42)  And they did all eat, and were filled.

(43)  And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.

(44)  And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.

(49)  But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:

(50)  For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.

(51)  And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.

(52)  For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.

Here we have 12 disciples that are worn out!  Why? What happened to make them worn out?  They just finished helping serve food to 5,000 men, besides women and children.  Jesus soon after constrained the men to get in a ship and cross the sea.  I believe Jesus wanted to test their faith by sending them alone.  As we examine this story, I want to encourage many of you who are active and faithful workers for the Lord.  We will see and learn some valuable lessons from the 12 men who walked the closest to Jesus.

I want to start out by saying serving is a wonderful and Christ-honoring thing for a Christian.  Those of you who serve and are faithful are a tremendous blessing to the work of the ministry and the cause of Christ!  Thank God for those who faithfully serve for Jesus! 

I do want to give you a warning though; when you serve, you WILL get tired and weary!  This is the by-product of serving.  It is a part of the sacrifice that the servers endure when they serve.  The service that you provide is more appreciated because there is a degree of suffering (sometimes great, sometimes small) that takes place.  One of the blessings of the server is that they are taking the difficulty from the one they are serving and putting it on themselves.  When a waiter at a restaurant takes your order, brings your drinks and food, and then makes sure that your needs are taken care of; they are doing that for you so that you do not have to do it.  The cook back in the kitchen, prepares and cooks your food to order so that you do not have to.  That is part of their service.  While I just stated the obvious, I did so to lay the foundation of the sacrifice of the server.

I will end today with this: Thank you for your service for the Lord!  Many times a “Thank You” is not said or expressed properly.  A lot of times, the “tip” does not equal the level of service one receives.  As a parent, the gratitude we receive rarely equals the sacrifice level that our children received.  I am not being unkind to the kiddos, just merely stating a reality.  BTW, I didn’t realize the level of sacrifice that went into parenting until I became a parent. 

I think the absence of a proper gratitude, to a small degree, adds to the sacrifice of the server.  So, when you “work your fingers to the bone” and it seems that no one really cares, know this that Jesus notices and He cares!

 Matthew 25:37-40

(37)  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

(38)  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

(39)  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

(40)  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

One of the things that helps me in my service, is to remember that at the very least, I am doing it for the Lord.  This helps me because I know that my service is an investment into receiving rewards in Heaven.

July 26, 2017 Posted by | Devotional | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments