I have run this one before in several places and several times. I think it is a good reminder for this Lord’s Day
It’s almost an epidemic in our society today that we are all so busy we can hardly keep track of ourselves; we literally seem to meet ourselves coming and going. The list of things we are busy doing seems endless: work, home, entertainment, television, sports and so on and so on. Many studies have shown that this business is usually not healthy for us; we all need down time where we are not just doing.
Christians are not different; they are subject to the same issue of simply being too busy with the things of life. Our lives are so cluttered we just no longer have time for the things of God. Yet we are clearly commanded by the Bible that our priority is to be the things of God and not the things of the world. The Bible teaches us that we cannot both love God and love the world:
James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
The Bible also teaches us that the things we put our lives into are a reflection of the things in our hearts. We put the emphasis on the things we truly love:
Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Despite this clear teaching, the “Christian” community is overrun with professing Christians who are simply too busy with other things to have even a little time left for the things of God. What are some of the things we fail to do that really we should be doing? This list is not in order of importance, by the way; all of these things matter greatly.
#1 is going to Church. If one looks around on any given Sunday morning, it is simply amazing the number of Church members who are missing in action. Many folks come a time or two a month, or on special occasions, and honestly seem to think they have somehow done God a wonderful honor by being there. Has anyone ever wondered why Sunday preaching is the most attended time of the week? What about Sunday School, or Sunday night or Wednesday night services? They are important also. Scripture is clear what God’s expectation of us in this matter is:
Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
#2 is study and time spent with the Bible, the Word of God. For so many, the only time they actually open their Bibles is when they come to preaching on Sunday morning; if they don’t do that, they may never open them. Yet we are clearly directed to read and study as believers:
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
#3 is witnessing to others and reaching out to a lost world. Studies have been conducted about the issue of Christians witnessing to others and the results are uniformly disturbing; most show that around 95% of professing Christians have never told anyone about Jesus Christ. There are many reasons why this is true, but one of them is certainly that we simply do not take the time to do it. It takes time from a busy day to tell another person about Jesus; it takes time from a busy evening to knock on the neighbor doors and invite them to church; the list goes on and on.
#4 is fellowshipping and providing comfort and assistance to and with other believers. It is God’s wish that we surround ourselves with other believers. He clearly does not want us to build the primary relationships in our lives with non believers. The following is probably the best guidance in the Bible concering who we are to fellowship with, or not fellowship with:
2 Corinthians 6:14-17 14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
In addition to not fellowshipping with other believers, we simply do not take the time to aid and assist other believers who may be in need. Do we check on the sick? Do we go visit them? Do we check on suddenly missing church members to see why they are suddenly missing? Do we provide physical assistance to fellow believers who may be unable to help themselves for some reason? The Bible shows time and time again that this is what we should do.
The above list is far from all inclusive. In fact, we could simply sum it up by asking the question: What does God want from us? The answer is everything! These two verses sum up nicely what God expects from His saved people:
Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
1 Corinthians 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
We really cannot argue the point that God has expectations of believers, and that most of us(including me I might add) fail to meet them on a daily basis. We have many reasons we come up with to justify our actions, or in reality our inaction.
“God wants me to be happy and enjoy my life!” That is almost a true statement. God does love us and He wants our joy to be complete; however, our happiness for its own sake is not His objective. God created us to love and worship Him; that is His primary desire. God wants us to be happy not by pursuing the things of the world, but by striving to seek and execute His will for our lives. An earlier article addresses this issue, read it Here
“I can worship God just as well in my boat as I can in Church” No, you cannot. You might think briefly about God as you pull in a fish or bait the hook; however your primary objective out there would never be worshiping God, but catching fish. You can no more effectively worship God in fishing boat than you can effectively fish in a Church building. God wants our undivided attention, not just the leftovers.
“I need time with my family” Of course, we all do. God created the family as His chosen tool and organization for serving Him.
Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Service to the Lord does not get in the way of quality family time; it is the best way of all to have quality family time!
“My children need sports and extracurricular activities to develop and learn about life” That may be true to a certain extent; however, our children also need to come to know Jesus Christ to escape the penalty of their sins, which is an eternity separated from God. If we deny them that opportunity because we are “too busy,” we may ensure their success in the world, but doom their eternity.
The question asked in the title of this article is “What if Jesus Had Been Too Busy for the Cross?”. Let’s look briefly at what would have been, if Jesus had simply opted not to die on that Cross because He had better things to do that day.
We would be doomed to pay the penalty for our sin. We all profess to understand that Jesus paid the price we owed for our sin. That price is death, and He paid it so we do not have to. Without His sacrifice, we would all get exactly what we deserve, which is eternal separation from God in Hell.
We would not have access in a personal way to God the Father. At the moment Jesus died, the Temple veil was rent, symbolizing that we could personally bring our petitions and needs before God. We no longer needed a Priest to present our issues to God.
Jesus would not be coming back to get us someday. If Jesus had not died that day on the cross, He would not have ascended to Heaven to sit at the right hand of God. If He had not done that, then He would not be coming back. If He did not come back, then we and the world would be doomed to exist always just as we do now. He is coming back someday to take us to be with the Father forever. We will all be resurrected into our new bodies, and the Heavens and the Earth will all be made new as well. That can only happen if Jesus comes back, which can only happen if He left which in turn can only happen if He died that day on the Cross.
The following poem sums up the thoughts of this article quite nicely, and I will close with it. It was written by Donna Laster in 1999 and appeared on the Angelfire.com Christian Poetry website:
Too Busy for Jesus
The dream became clearer as I tossed around in my sleep.
The Lord was calling my name over and over, so loud and deep.
The voice surrounded my bedroom, I stared within.
He said, “This is Jesus, my friend, where have you been?”
He said, “My dear brethren, what have you done today,
to walk in my footsteps and try not to stray?
Not once have you been humble on your knees in prayer.
Son, you must shine my light and show others you care.”
I saw you yesterday, only glancing at the man on the road.
He was having car trouble and needed to be towed.
You said, “I can’t stop or I will surely be late,
someone will help him soon, he’ll just have to wait.”
“One of your workers has been sick and almost died.
This lady is a widow and food for five she must buy.
You have plenty and you’re never hungry when you go to bed.
Why are you so greedy and trying to get ahead?
“What if I had been too busy to die on the cross?
You would never walk the streets of gold, your soul would be lost.
What if I had been too busy to hear you that day,
when you asked forgiveness and earnestly prayed?”
I awoke from my deep slumber and my heart felt content.
I thanked the Lord on my knees, for the message He had sent.
So many times, I take for granted the small things He has given to me.
Without the Lord in my life each day, I am blind and cannot see.
Copyright © 1999 by Donna Laster