Devotional for Friday January 12th

Good Morning Everyone,


Our theme for this month: “Balance”


Our Bible verse for today: “He said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31 (NIV)


Our thought for today: “Just push pause.”


Last night I was sitting in my recliner in the living room. I had a fire going in the fireplace, some soft jazz playing in the background, and I spent a couple of hours reading a good book. It was quiet and relaxing. That’s one of my favorite ways to spend an evening. I rarely watch television. My idea of an evening well-spent is what I just described.


As I sit here this morning thinking about how relaxing that kind of an evening is for me, it brings to mind some other times when I also experienced a great sense of peace and relaxation. Many years ago I spent a few days by myself at a Christian camp in the San Bernardino Mountains in Southern California. The name of the camp is Forest Home and it’s the same place where as a young man Billy Graham surrendered his life to God for evangelistic ministry. I sat in the same little chapel in the woods where Billy sat decades earlier when he came to that decision. I was alone. It was quiet, peaceful, very relaxing, and there was a great sense of the presence of God there with me. I vividly remember it to this day.


Another time that stands out in my mind was a couple of years ago here in Crossville, TN. It was a nice summer day, I was at the home of some friends out in the country, and we just sat out back drinking iced tea and talking for a couple of hours. There was a cool breeze blowing, I had nothing to do and nowhere to go, and we just sat and talked. It was enjoyable and very relaxing. I know there doesn’t seem to be anything special about that scene (except that I don’t do enough of it), but it stands out in my mind as a particularly enjoyable and relaxing time.


We all need times when we push the pause button of life and just chill for a while. Unfortunately in our fast-paced world many of us don’t allow ourselves enough of those times. It’s not that the opportunities aren’t there, they are. The problem is that we make excuses about being too busy, or having to do this or that or some other thing instead, and we simply do not stop and rest when we should.


In Mark 6:31 we read about one of the times when Jesus called a time-out and pressed the pause button for Himself and His followers. They all went off to a quiet place to just rest and relax for a while. It wasn’t the only time they did this and those times are recorded in the Bible for a reason. They’re there as an example for us. If those people needed to do it then so do we.


Today is Friday and the weekend is upon us. Do you have plans to push pause and relax for a while? I do, and I hope you do too.


God Bless,

Pastor Jim

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