FROM THE PASTOR:
“3 Finally, be strong in the Lord
and in the strength of His might.
Apostle Paul, Eph 6:10
Perhaps you have heard the story of two men who were chopping wood. They both had a large pile of wood to chop through. The first man worked steadily all day, while the other would take occasional breaks to sit and rest. While resting the second man called to his friend to join him and even promised, “I can help you.” The first man would reply, “I’ve got too much work that I must get done,” and he kept chopping. At the end of the day the first man was shocked to see that his friend, who had taken regular rest breaks, had chopped a lot more wood. He asked, “How did that happen?” and of course, the second man replied, “every time I stopped to rest, I sharpened my ax.”
While this story is perhaps familiar, are you putting the principle into action in the most important area of life? By this I mean, your relationship to Christ and living in this world knowing that you are a Child of God. I’m not writing about things that you have to do to earn God’s love, or works that you have to do to please God. Salvation and redemption are God’s free gift to all who receive it. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Eph2:8,9 The very next verse is what I am writing about, it addresses why you are here at this time and not in heaven with the Lord; “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Eph2:10
Walking in what God has prepared us to do means living with purpose and thankfulness until He calls us home. In order to do this we need to take time to rest and to be strengthened in the Lord. We need to intentionally make time to be renewed by His Word, and to be refreshed through prayer and fellowship with our sisters and brothers in Christ. These should not be things that we abandon when we get busy. If we abandon fellowship with God and His people – and we are not receiving direction from the Word of God – we will quickly be trapped by an exhausting pattern of labor that will soon be meaningless.
Solomon, who accomplished an incredible amount of lasting work in his lifetime knew this, and he wrote it down for us, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” Psalm 127:1 Jesus was clearer, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
This call to rest in the Lord is becoming increasingly foreign to people in our society. It seems like more and more things are added to people lives to the point that busyness becomes the mind numbing norm…. Don’t let busyness separate you from being renewed in Christ. Satan would love for everyone to chase after 16 hour days, 7 days a week, pursuing things and activities that can distract us for a time, but ultimately do not satisfy and cannot nourish. We are seeing the fallout of these priorities in the lives of all ages, particularly the youth and young adults of this generation.
If your schedule has become too hectic I urge you to consider cutting something out of your schedule, something that will not matter in eternity. And while enjoying these beautiful summer months, carve out time to worship with your church family to rest in the Lord and be sharpened at the same time. You are a Child of God, and you are created to live for eternity. Join your family as we grow up together. Amen
Peace to you in Christ,
Pastor Steve Lundblom