Daily Spirit & Word: 781: Don’t Get Sidetracked.
Staying On Track With Jesus
Over the summer we visited lot’s of historical sites, one was the Bluebell Railway. We took a trip on an old steam-train and it was awesome. So many childhood memories flooded back into my mind, things I thought I’d forgotten. Just the smell of the smoke evoked memories of the old railways in Edinburgh and day-trips to Kinghorn and Burnt Island in the 1960s and of course the Forth Railway Bridge.
On the Bluebell line, trains would sit and wait on a sidetrack whilst another train passed, we observed the old fashioned way they changed the tracks by hand, pulling a lever. It got me to thinking about our relationship with Jesus, and how when something happens it is so easy to get sidetracked in our walk with Him.
Getting sidetracked is so easy. As you begin a lifetime of following Jesus, it is important to understand that whatever you do for Him will only be a reflection of the relationship you have with Him. If you want to do great things just like Jesus’ Disciples and the Apostles, and I’m sure you do, then you need to have a great relationship with Jesus like they did. If you want to have a ministry for Jesus that is strong, your relationship with Jesus must be strong.
Getting back on track is just as easy: Jesus is only a prayer away.
Acts 3:1 (NIV) “One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon…”
After Pentecost, full of the Holy Spirit, the Apostles maintained a daily routine of prayer. They were keeping close to Jesus by gathering for worship and prayer.
Oswald Chambers was a man others recognized as being abandoned to God. He was a Scottish itinerant preacher and Bible college founder. In his early forties he died far away from home in Egypt of a ruptured appendix while ministering to the troops during WWI. His meditations on the Christian life collected in the daily devotional classic “My Utmost for His Highest” have enriched generations of Christians. He deeply understood the essential nature of maintaining a close relationship with Jesus.
J.C.Ryle an Anglican Evangelical Bishop. Knew about Daily Prayer and wrote some of the most powerful books to keep you close to Jesus. I read through a portion of his works every single day whilst at Theological College. It was a tough time, because I had to read so much garbage from liberal theologians and ordained men who didn’t know Jesus personally, but this sound man of God kept me on track with my own walk with Jesus.
Selwyn Hughes: Wrote “Everyday With Jesus”. I got into reading those little daily devotionals when I was a very young Christian in the 1980s, and I can testify they kept me going on track with Jesus. Every day I’d pick up my Bible and the little booklet and read, pray, praise the Lord. Soon I realised it’s much more than reading, but listening and talking with Jesus.
How you serve Jesus is simply an overflow of your time with Jesus.
So my friends, the main thing about Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationship we maintain with Jesus, and the character, power and zeal you’ll have is a by-product of that relationship. That is all God asks us to look after, and it is the one thing that is being continually besieged by all the things that will try and get us sidetracked.
You’ll see, because it’s easy to justify not spending quality time with Jesus, but you’ll also see that not spending time with Him will be equally evident.
STAYING ON TRACK:
The most important thing you will ever do as a Christian is: SPEND TIME WITH JESUS DAILY.
It’s a KINGDOM PRINCIPLE, PRECEPT and PRACTICE.
Your own responsibility in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ to maintain your own personal relationship with the KING. Why? Because nobody else can do it for you. The best question you can ask your brother or sister in Christ is this, “How’s your walk with Jesus?” or “Are you meeting with Jesus every day?” Nothing else really matters, because what we do for Jesus will be shown by how close we are to Him.
I’ve met many Christians who’re struggling with basic things, I’ve counselled so many, but when we take a closer look at how they are spending time with Jesus daily, we’ve found that’s the one thing they’re not maintaining, so problems come. We’ll avoid so much heartache and troubles if we just keep closer to Jesus. He’ll warn us when things are coming our way. He knows the future. He knows the past. He knows everything. You have the privilege of coming to the sourse of the best NEWS you’ll ever hear every day.
But more than that; Jesus wants to talk with you too. He’s waiting for you every day. When you get up and go to Jesus, He’s waiting for you.
How’s your walk and time with Jesus going?
Living for Jesus flows out of your relationship with Jesus.
WARNING: We often get it the other way around.
Notice that the “with Jesus” is the basis of the “for Jesus.”
So often we Christians get so caught up in what we are trying to do for Jesus that we totally overlook the source of power for anything we can do for Jesus, which comes out of who we have become by spending time with Jesus.
I’ve made the mistake so many times of forgetting Jesus. It’s as if we’re serving the LORD but forgetting to involve Him in what we’re doing. Never forget it is Jesus you are living for and serving.
YBH: Yes but HOW?
How do you spend time with Jesus?
It’s not about “Saying Prayers”… “Reading a BOOK” … etc…
If you’ve ever been in a significant relationship, then you’ll know that the strength of your feelings of love, devotion, care and concern are dependent upon how close you feel towards that other person. So many times I’ve heard from couples, “We’ve just drifted apart emotionally”… It’s so true. We stop caring. We stop being concerned about them. We begin to live for ourselves. If that’s true in our earthly relationships, then it’s also true in our Spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ. You’ll notice over time that you just don’t care if you don’t spend time. A wake-up call is coming your way if you’re living your Christian life like that.
So you’ll stake everything on maintaining the most important relationship you’ll ever have in life; the one with Jesus Christ.
Make and Keep A TIME with Jesus:
Acts 3:1 (NIV) “One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon.”
Here’s how many Christians do it:
Fix A TIME that’s right for you: I do it first thing every morning. And so did many of the powerful men of God in the past, but I’m aware that might not be the best time for everyone. But FIX a TIME to be with Jesus every day. Don’t let anything push that time with Jesus out of the way. Treat it like an appointment with the Queen or President or Prime Minister. It’s your appointment with the KING of Kings.
Pray, Read God’s Word, Pray, Praise, Sing, Pray, Listen, Meditate upon what you’ve just read; Pray in the Scriptures, Ask Jesus questions about what you’ve just read. Worship and sings songs based upon what you’ve just been reading in God’s Word. Use YouTube and Google to search out songs related to your Bible theme. (The JOY of the LORD is my strength). Read about the Saints who’ve gone before you and how they got on FIRE for Jesus, but more importantly, how they maintained that fire and stayed on-track with Jesus.
Keep a prayer / devotional journal: Write things down. It’s amazing how Jesus brings you back to a prayer you’ve written and shows you how He’s answered it.
As you spend time with Jesus you will be able to do so much for Jesus.
It’s amazing what you can learn from a trip on an old fashioned steam train, I’ll never forget my trip on the Bluebell Railway and what it taught me about staying on track with Jesus.
Have an awesome week my friends.
BTW: by-the-way, we’ve got our Monthly Prayer Meeting tonight at 7.30pm in St Luke’s Church: I’ll be sharing more about the MOST IMPORTANT THING in Christianity. Be blessed in Jesus.