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The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” – Mark 6:30-31
When a person is involved in ministry there seems to be no stopping place. There is always something else which needs to be done and there is never enough help. And besides that, ministry is so fulfilling it can almost become addictive. This devotional addresses the issue of rest.
Jesus realized this when his disciples returned from their short missionary journey into their homeland. They had healed the sick and cast out demons as they proclaimed the message of the kingdom. They were excited about all that had happened and came to give Jesus a report. But he could tell they were getting tired.
Their reputation was growing along with the popularity of Jesus among the people and everywhere they went people were constantly coming and going. In fact, Jesus observed that they were giving so much attention to the people around them that they hadn’t even taken the time to eat or rest.
Then Jesus gave an order which gives insight to the principle of rest in ministry. He saw the tiredness in his disciples and he knew that prolonged physical tiredness leads to emotional and spiritual weariness and he called them away to rest.
Jesus knew that their effect in the kingdom would be limited if they were tired and weary so he called his disciples aside to rest. There are pastors and ministry leaders that have left serving in the ministry because they have grown too weary; they had given so much there was nothing left to give.
We are not called to kill ourselves for Christ, we are called to live for him. If we aren’t conscious of our need for rest and respite we will work ourselves into a place where we are ineffective in the kingdom, with our family and with other relationships.
Prayer: Lord, give me the wisdom to know when it's time to stop and give me the grace to allow you to give me rest. In Jesus name. Amen.
Principle: We are not called to kill ourselves for Christ, we are called to live for him. If we aren’t conscious of our need for rest and respite we will work ourselves into a place where we are ineffective in the kingdom, with our family and with other relationships.
Affirmation: I will follow the example given us by Christ and set aside times for rest and refreshing so that I will not become weary in doing the work of the kingdom.
Reflection: The greatest cause of "burn out" is not the task but the way a person goes about the task. Question: How does a person eat an elephant? Answer: One bite at a time. How does a person complete a great task? By doing one small task at a time. Think about it.
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