Reflections with Calvin and Hobbes: First Things First

Dear friends,

Well another week has come and gone and I have fallen behind in my blogging! We have settled nicely into the fast pace of life on the west coast, and time is just flying by.

Calvin & Hobbes - Miller Time

This past weekend I had the joyful privilege and blessing of being able to minister the Word at Horizon Church. It felt so good to be back in the pulpit! Instead of my regular weekly reflections, today I am going to share with you the outline from my message, with the hope that it will challenge and inspire you to put first things first in your life. We will pick up our regular Weekly Reflections next week!

more

MORE: ONE THING:

(Chris Jordan – Horizon Church)

INTRO TO TOPIC: Last week, Pastor Craig kicked off our new series:

  • “More: What if less actually gave you more?”
  • Jesus said: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10).
  • The enemy wants to steal your time, your energy, your hope, peace and joy.
  • What if we could stop that? That’s what this series is all about!
  • ILLUSTRATION: Yesterday, Liza and I went to Save On More. I noticed there were two prices in the store for many items, but to get the lower price, you had to have a “More” Rewards card. I got the card, and now I get the rewards every time I shop there!
  • Do you want to experience MORE – the abundant life Jesus has promised you?
  • Abundant = Greek perissos – superabundance, excessive, overflowing, more than enough, extraordinary, more than sufficient. Who wants that kind of life? Let’s PRAY.

INTRO TO SPEAKER:

  • For ten years, we were the youth pastors here at Bible Fellowship / Horizon Church.
  • The Lord’s call: For the past ten years, Liza and I were the lead pastors in Beausejour.
  • We’ve been through a very challenging season, and needed a rest from pastoral ministry.
  • Now = guidance counsellor at RCA; Caleb @ PLBC; Tori @ BU; Austin & Hannah @ RCA. Liza and I are leading RCA mission trip to Costa Rica, and are glad to be HOME.

QUOTE: “A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.” Charles Spurgeon.

Bible Falling Apart

  • Did you bring your Bibles today? I love the Bible! PREACH.
  • The B.I.B.L.E: Wisdom, guidance, freedom, hope and transformation.

BIBLE STORY:

1 Afterward Moses and Aaron went in and told Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.’ ” 2 And Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, nor will I let Israel go.” 3 So they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please, let us go three days’ journey into the desert and sacrifice to the Lord our God, lest He fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.” 4 Then the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people from their work? Get back to your labor.” (Exodus 5:1-4, NKJV).

  • Shadows and types (symbolism) in the Old Testament: Egypt is a type of the world, Pharaoh a type of the devil, Moses and type of Jesus, and the Israelites are a type of us.
  • Jesus has set us free from slavery so that we can worship God and experience His love!
  • But the devil wants to steal, kill and destroy, and keep us from the MORE life.

5 And Pharaoh said, “Look, the people of the land are many now, and you make them rest from their labor!” 6 So the same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their officers, saying, 7 “You shall no longer give the people straw to make brick as before. Let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8 And you shall lay on them the quota of bricks which they made before. You shall not reduce it. For they are idle; therefore they cry out, saying, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.” (Exodus 5:5-8).

  • God wanted His people to worship Him and experience His rest and freedom.
  • But Pharaoh didn’t want them listening to the voice of God, so look what he did:

“Let more work be laid on the men, that they may labor in it, and let them not regard false words.” (Exodus 5:9).

  • Pharaoh called God’s voice “false words” and wanted to keep the people so busy so that they couldn’t hear the Word of the Lord.
  • The devil does the same thing today – he tries to keep us so busy that we don’t have time to pray, or read our Bibles, or go to church, or worship God.
  • Someone described B.U.S.Y. once as: Being Under Satan’s Yoke.

STORY: I know what it’s like to get too busy, even doing good things in the church. When I was youth pastor here, I thought it was godly to be busy. I was the youth pastor, Christian Education director, I taught two classes in the Bible College, did chapels and taught in the school. And I never took a day off. I thought I was being saintly! “No rest for the righteous!” No, the expression is, “No rest for the wicked.” God gives his beloved rest!

QUOTE: “Tragically, precious little in this hurried and hassled age promotes such intimacy. We have become a body of people who look more like a herd of cattle on a stampede than a flock of God beside green pastures and still waters.” (Charles Swindoll, Intimacy with the Almighty).

KEY SCRIPTURE:

  • “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10).
  • “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God.” (The Message).
  • If we want to experience the abundant life of Jesus, we need to rest.

MEDITATE ON THESE WORDS FROM JESUS:

25 “If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. 26 Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds. 27 “Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? 28 All this time and money wasted on fashion – do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, 29 but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. 30 “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers – most of which are never even seen – don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? 31 What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. 32 People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. 33 Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. 34 “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” (Matthew 6:25-34, The Message).

CLOSING STORY:

38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” 41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42).

  • Which one are you in this story?
  • Martha was busy doing many things, and she was distracted, worried and troubled.
  • Mary was doing one thing – sitting at the feet of Jesus – and she was at peace.

THE BIG IDEA: The devil wants to keep us so busy that we don’t have time to experience the abundant life, rest and peace that Jesus offers to us.

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU’RE TOO BUSY?

  • Take a look at your schedule. Are you always running from one event to the next?
  • Take a look at your heart. Are you distracted, worried and troubled all the time?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: What can we do to change this?

  • What is ONE THING you can say no to or cut from your schedule?
  • First things first: Prioritize time with Jesus (prayer and Bible reading) FIRST.
  • PERSONAL STORY: After I shower in the morning, while my kids are getting ready for school, I use that time to do my Bible reading at the kitchen table. But YOU need to find a time and a place that works for you.

CLOSING CHALLENGE: (Matthew 10:28, The Message).

Jesus said: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.”

My Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/

 

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About Chris Jordan

Husband. Father. Author. Pastor. Guidance Counsellor. High School Teacher. Follower of Jesus. And I enjoy a good cup of coffee!
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