Have you ever thought to yourself, “I am too busy; there’s not enough time in the day”? Or what about, “I simply cannot commit to one more thing”? Time is a valuable resource. We all find ourselves stretched by demands and challenged by the need to juggle the responsibilities of life. The urgent can easily crowd out the important.
- Who or what are the biggest time demands in your life?
Read The Word: Mark 1:29-45 (ESV)
29 And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
32 That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door. 34 And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, 37 and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” 38 And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” 39 And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.
40 And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” 42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. 43 And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once, 44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” 45 But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- How would you describe the activity level of Jesus’ day in verses 29-34?
- Jesus needed time to be alone with the Father (vs. 35). How did this relate to his decision to move on to other towns (vs. 38)? When you observe how Jesus managed the demands on his time, what insights do you gain that might help you manage the demands in your life?
- What change(s) do you need to make in order to spend regular time with God in the midst of your busy life?
- What did the leper want from Jesus (vs. 40)? What do you think his request shows about what he thought of Jesus? In what ways are you similar in your relationship to Jesus?
- Jesus sent the leper away to be declared clean by the social authority—the only way he could be accepted back into society. However, once he got what he wanted, the leper left Jesus and went his own way. How might that be similar to the way you treat God? How can you pursue God in times of need and in times of peace?
Respond to God
After the busiest recorded day in his ministry, Jesus purposefully took time to be alone with the Father. This time of devotion provided focused direction and the supernatural ability to demonstrate compassion to those in need. Time spent with God gives us purpose and the ability to resist urgent demands. God created time and desires to reveal himself to us.
- Spend time meditating on God as the author, creator, and sustainer of time.
- Thank him for opportunities to minister to others in need.
- Ask God to lead your schedule and to provide direction on how to manage the time that he gives.