Summary: How chaotic is your life? Are you running around every day between jobs and kids and activities? Do you wish you had quiet time with the Lord, and wonder why you never seem to get it? Then this message is for you!
Text Galatians 1:11-24
Title: Give your busy schedule a break with Jesus.
Rev. Douglas W. Koehler
Bethlehem Lutheran Church
How chaotic is your life? Are you running around every day between jobs and kids and activities? Do you wish you had quiet time with the Lord, and wonder why you never seem to get it? Consider this: No matter how tired you may be, your exhaustion is justified, as can be proven by simple arithmetic which I am glad to say is not my own. Now math is not my strong suit, but I think this equation is right on the money. The U.S has a population of 200 million. Of these souls, 72 million are over seventy years old, leaving 128 million to do the work as they hopefully are able to retire. When you subtract the 75 million people under the age of twenty-one, you get 53 million. There are also 24 million employed by the Federal Government, which leaves 29 million to do the local work. The 12 million in the Armed Forces leaves only 17 million to do the local work. When you subtract from this the 15,765,000 who are in state and city offices and 520,000 in hospitals, mental institutions and similar places, the work force is reduced to 715,000. Fine, but 462,000 are on the streets leaving only 253,000 to do the work. There are 252,998 people in jail, leaving –you guessed it-just two people, you and me. And I’m getting tired.
When Saul had the authority to bind and harm the Lord’s saints. He thought he was doing the Lord’s will. He was busy doing something but it sure was not the Lord’s Will. I am sure he prayed to God when he went to Synagogue. I am sure he worked overtime, because what he was doing was in his mind of great importance. But then something happened to him, (and we know what that something was). God turned Saul, a butcher of men, into Paul a speaker of the Gospel. Something happened to this man that caused him to have an entirely new perspective on what being busy for the Lord is all about.
Paul’s life was going to be as chaotic as chaotic could get. The man would be a non-stop machine promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He walked all over the known world preaching and teaching. His life was busy, and it got busier day by day. And even when he was in jail, Paul’s work never stopped. He kept on praying and teaching even while he was in chains. Talk about someone obsessed with their work! Talk about someone who probably never got a day off in his career and you will be talking about Paul.
Now most of you here today have not been called to serve full time in the ministry. And yet I know that a good lot of you try your hand at adding the work of ministry to your already busy schedules. Others here today just are happy to say they had enough time to go to work, take care of chores at home, eat and actually get some sleep. Like Saint Paul, you are also very busy, doing what is important to you….. So where and when do you get the time to rest in the Lord? Where and when do have time to rest with the Lord? And before you answer, don’t say Sunday!
What I am talking about is the kind of rest in and with the Lord that will restore your spirit and your strength. What I am talking about is ALONE TIME with Jesus. It is the kind of rest that we are called to have in Christ. It is the type of rest that moves you to dive into the Bible or prayer even on days when you don’t feel like doing anything but sleep. And it is the type of rest that every Christian needs if they are to have an active and participatory faith.
Sometimes we fool ourselves with our blind wisdom that says, “Hey I spent time with God on Sunday, at worship so that is my rest time with Him and its enough.” Or “I read a paragraph of the Bible today while I was waiting in line, so that was my rest time with God.” Those are good arguments but only if you would also say, “I had a one minute lunch today so I am good for the rest of the week.” Or for those of you who ever studied for a test, tell me if this makes sense, “I read one paragraph in my book, so I am now prepared for the exam.” See how those things don’t make sense? Well neither does the little time we might spend with God nor the excuses we give when we don’t make any time with Him.