When I checked back on Janna’s blog…there were quite a number of comments left by readers. I was saddened but not surprised to see a number of people didn’t find it disconcerting that Pastors may use sermons from other Pastors in order to save time. Saving time seemed to be the biggest justification for this practice.
I stand in awe and I’m amazed. Folks…we’re talking that each of us as individuals (especially as Pastors who are leading the body of Christ) has the opportunity to dig in, read and study the very word of God. Do you get it? The Creator of the universe gave us a vital, powerful message that He wants to share with each of us. We can know Him through His word. And we want to save time?
Today we have Pastors that want to “save time” from studying the word of God? They want the cliff notes version of the Bible? Or maybe the Reader’s Digest version?
Think about the person whom you love most in the whole entire world. The person for whom you would die if need be. Do you think you’d be thinking of clever things so that you wouldn’t have to spend too much time with them? Talking, listening or just being together? Or would you treasure each and every moment you get to spend with the wonderful person?
"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?" He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.’ "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live." – Luke 10:26-28
How exactly does seeking to spend less time in the word of God demonstrate that we love God?
Was Jesus Christ thinking about saving time when hung on the cross? Or was he thinking how much He loves us…so much so that He was willing to endure excruciating pain, suffering and humiliation. The rejection and separation from God the Father because He bore our sins so that we might be saved? Do you think Jesus is thinking about how He can save time and not work so hard or is He preparing a place for us in heaven where we will dwell with Him for eternity?
“In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." – John 14:2-4
Maybe instead we ought to approach it a little different. How about thinking what we can cut out of our schedule so that we might be able to spend more time with God in His word, in prayer and in fellowship with other believers?
When we get to heaven…and look back our life…do you think we’ll regret the opportunities that we missed to spend time with God and serving His kingdom here on earth? Or will we be thinking about the TV show that we missed and who won the latest contest?
Are we going through life with an eternal perspective…or a temporal perspective?
Tell me…can you imagine the Apostle Peter hitting John up for a copy of his latest sermon? “Hey John, what’s that…is that your message you preached last Sunday? Do you mind if I get a copy. I’ve got a busy week ahead and I’d like to save some time.”
The Apostles, Paul and the early followers of Jesus Christ had a burning passion and desire to preach and teach the word of God. Of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. These men lived with Jesus for three years as He went around performing miracles and changing lives. They saw an innocent man crucified on the cross…and three days later He is raised from the dead. What they saw transformed them from men who scattered when their leader was taken to be crucified into men who where willing to go to their own brutal deaths because of their faith. They had a burning passionate desire for God.
What about you? Is your flame burning bright and lighting up the world around you…or is it flickering and ready to be extinguished in the slightest breeze?