“KEEPING BUSY?” By Pastor YAU
Text: Matthew 11:28-30 December 5, 2010.
1) Words of a writer: Julie Link wrote in a devotional booklet the following: “People who are trying to be friendly sometimes ask, “Are you keeping busy?” The question seems harmless, but in my mind it carries a subtle message. Beneath the surface of words is a test of personal value. If I can’t rattle off a list of things I am busy of, I feel as if I am admitting that I am not worth much.”
2) Words of our Lord: But God doesn’t determine our value by how busy we are. He doesn’t calculate our worth by how much we have accomplished in this world and he doesn’t reward us for our living on the edge of exhaustion. In response to repeated requests of miracles to promote his popularity, Jesus condemned the spiritual poverty of the busy cities of Korazin and Bethsaida. Then he offered a way of relief: “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily laden and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28)
WORLDLY MEANING ON KEEPING BUSY (KB):
1) KB means you are important: In this world, we are taught to believe that important people are busy people and there are some good reasons to it. Most important people are very busy people. So, when we see busy people, we kind of automatically believe that they are important people and everyone loves to be believed that they are important people.
2) KB means you carry responsibilities: We are also taught to believe that people who carry many responsibilities are busy people. These are busy people because they need to supervise, handle, manage and make decision of many things. This people are closely associated with important people. So, being busy implies being responsible for many things.
3) KB means high position/power: We are also taught to believe that those who are in high positions with power are busy people because they hold the position and power to make decisions for many things that affect many others. So, we believe that the busier a person is the higher position he may occupy or the more power he may have. So, being very busy also implies being in high position with power.
4) KB means being successful: This may be the most common belief we hold about busy people: he/she must be successful in what he does to be busy and everyone loves to be deem as being successful in whatever he/she does. So when we credit someone as a “very busy” person, we imply that he is “very successful” in what he is doing.
BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES ON KEEPING BUSY:
1) Keeping busy is biblical: First of all, our God is a busy God. All through the Bible, God portrays himself as a busy, diligent God who works all the time in all things in all parts of the universe. All the great characters in the Bible are hard working people, diligent in what God entrusted them to do. Jesus was certainly a diligent man in doing his assignments from the Father. The Proverbs has so much to say about being diligent at work. All the disciple and believers in the New Testament were very hard working in spreading the gospel. When Jesus gave the Great Commission, he certainly expected us to carry it out diligently.
2) Keeping busy is productive: In the parable of the true vine and the branches in John 15:1-8, Jesus portrayed God as a gardener who cut and pruned the branches in order to produce more fruit and by doing that the branches, or believers, glorify the Father. In the parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus wanted us to know that being faithful to his trust and be diligent in our responsibility will be rewarded but being wicked and lazy will lose God’s rewards. Again, in the parable of the Fruitless Fig Tree in Luke 13:6-9, Jesus conveys the message that the Master looks for a fruitful tree. If a tree is not fruitful, it risks being cut down because there is no reason for the tree to use up the soil and not bearing any fruit as it should.
3) Keeping busy in serving God: After explaining the gospel of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ in Romans 1-11, Paul turned his attention to the early Christians. The first item in his exhortation is to present the body, our life, as a living sacrifice to God that is a reasonable service. (12:1) In encouraging believers to serve God in various gifts, Paul says we are “not to be slothful in (God’s) business but fervent in the spirit and keep serving the Lord.” (12:11, KJV) Keeping busy must be focus in the service of God, in building His Kingdom, in leading souls to Jesus and in serving God and people. Keeping busy for personal and selfish purpose has no position in the pursuit of spiritual growth and bearing fruits for God.
4) Keeping busy in loving God: In the second chapter of the Book of Revelation, Jesus recognized the diligence and hard work of the Ephesian Church. He also recognized their intolerance of the wicked men and the false teachers and their perseverance in hardship. But He also held that church accountable of one thing: They had forsaken their first love to the Lord. With all the good and diligent work, the Ephesian Church supposed to deserve praises. But they were rebuked for falling behind in their love for the Lord. We all need to be busy in doing God’s work and be diligent to discharging our duties in his service. But we need to do all these with the first and foremost that we love God.
STEPS TO BALANCE YOUR BUSY LIFE: (Matt. 11:28-30)
1) Come and seek help from Jesus: “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy burdened.” (11:28) Jesus calls on all the busy people who are slaves of hectic life to come to him. He understands our problems, burdens and stressful life. Jesus is God who has great compassion toward our life under pressure. If you want to be relieved from weary and burden, the first step you need to take is to come to him and seek his advice and wisdom to set you free.
2) Come and receive rest from Jesus: “And I will give you rest.” (11:28b) Jesus did not just call the busy people to him, he did not just understand their stress, burden and stress, but he also offers wisdom and plans to all who will seek his advice to conquer their hectic life. Jesus is very good in giving peace and rest to weary and stressful busy people. Every time when he greeted his people when they were in deep stress, he gave the peace. Don’t try to buy books, learn secrets from human beings or any other way trying to get relief from your busy life. Jesus has the best way to help you regain your focus of life in peace.
3) Come and learn secrets from Jesus: “Take my joke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul.” (11:29)Here we have a few secrets to help us handle our busy life: a) Take the yoke of Jesus, not the joke of this world. Taking a joke means following the lead. Christians should follow the lead of Jesus instead of the lead of the world. b) Learn his attitude of being gentle and humble. This is about our attitude of life toward our self, to others and to all things in this world such as job, success, wealth, fame and power. Being gentle and humble is the key to resist or eliminate most of the burdens and stress of life. 3) True rest and peace is in the soul, not in the body. When our souls are restful in peace with God, self and the world, everything else will fall in places.
4) Come and see it for yourself: “For my joke is easy and my burden is light.” (11:30) Everyone understands the soothing feeling of the words “easy” and “light.” In fact, all of us are looking forward to live our life that way some day. You don’t have to wait until you are retired to enjoy easy life with little burden. You can have both now if you come to Jesus, believe in his wisdom and follow his attitude about life. Don’t wait for another day to receive all these from Jesus. Do it today.
1) Keeping busy is life: You don’t have to be any VIP or CEO to be very busy. In today’s life, everyone is busy, quite busy or very busy in many areas of life. You can be busy as a student, a paper work clerk, a teacher, a programmer or in any other of job, you are busy all the time. So, no one should feel pressured to or complain about life.
2) Setting priority of life: With all the demands of your time and attention, you need to set priority of life and distribute your time, energy and attention in proportion to your priority. There are things that are more important than others like health, family and spiritual development that should be on the top of your list. Set them right and stick to your plan so you won’t get lost on the way or left important things undone.
3) You shouldn’t be too busy: One thing you MUST do in your busy schedule is the time to seek God. Seeking God to forgive your sins, to give you right direction of your life, to be the Lord of your future and Savior of your soul. All that you are busy with here in earth will come to a full stop of their value. You need to plan for your future after this life. Be wise to seek God today and start your life in a new and better way.