Immediately!

As part of my Lenten discipline, I’ve started a slow and prayerful reading of the book of Mark.  Lent is always a good time to reflect upon the life of Christ, and Mark is the shortest gospel.

What stands out for me in the first chapter is one word — immediately.  The Spirit “immediately” drove Jesus into the wilderness;  Jesus “immediately” called James and John;  He “immediately entered the synagogue;  He healed the leper who was made clean “immediately.”

Get the point?  There was a sense of urgency about the ministry of Jesus.  The God part of His nature probably knew that His time was limited.  He had certain things to accomplish, and He couldn’t fool around.  The tasks He had been assigned were important and He had to see that they were done “immediately.”

You and I should have this same sense of urgency, but often we don’t.  We forget that our time on earth is short — the Bible says:

“Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” James 4:14

So why aren’t we studying God’s Word — immediately?  Why don’t we witness to our friends and neighbors –immediately?  Why don’t we get started on that new ministry –immediately?  Why don’t we make time to pray –immediately? (I’m not only asking you these questions, I’m asking myself).

Instead, we fool ourselves into thinking we are too busy with the daily routines of life to make time for the work God calls us to do.  We will get to that tomorrow, next week, or next year, when “things” have calmed down.  The problem is, they rarely do, and we allow the expedient to take priority over what’s truly important.

If we honestly want to follow the example of Jesus, we won’t put off the things of God. Do them immediately. There is no better time than today.

“” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”2 Corinthians 6:2

What Is Your Work?

George Body (1840–1911) was an English canon of Durham.  I came across this quote in my devotional reading and really liked it, because it reminded me of the story of the little boy with his loaves and fishes, as well as Mary’s response to the angel who told her of her pregnancy.  Nothing is impossible when we turn our gifts and our lives over to God.

“Say not you cannot gladden, elevate, and set free;  that you have nothing of the grace of influence;  that all you have to give is at the most only common bread and water.  Give yourself to your Lord for the service of men with what you have.  Cannot He change water into wine?  Cannot He make stammering words to be instinct with saving power?  Cannot He change trembling efforts to help into deeds of strength?  Cannot He still, as of old, enable you in all your personal poverty ‘to make many rich?’  God has need of thee for the service of thy fellow men.  He has a work for thee to do.  To find out what it is, and then to do it, is at once thy supremist duty and thy highest wisdom.  ‘Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it.'”