Lenten Devotion by Elder Ed Martin

Devotion on Eagerness

4-14-2014

The scene takes place in a small suburban Nazareth strip mall in suite 7A, right in between North Star-bucks and Shepard’s Pro Shop. A young man from Bethlehem sets up shop to fulfill his mission to help people and serve others like His Father always wanted. Fully equipped with the latest Baptizer 5,000 Jacuzzi he was ready to go, all he needed was some lost souls to wander in and find him. If only he had taken the marketing class offered at NCC (Nazareth Community College) last semester.

            Does that story sound familiar? No? That is because it didn’t happen that way. Jesus didn’t set up shop and wait for sinners to come find him, rather he set out on a road trip to end all road trips. When the journey was finished the relationship between God and man was restored. What lessons or examples can we learn from Jesus regarding his service and his eagerness to fulfill his mission? I think we need to seek ways to serve others, keeping our eyes open for opportunities that might otherwise go unnoticed. Look at Matthew 8 vs. 14 and 15; When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her….”No one had to ask him to help, he was eager to help her. Matthew 9 vs. 35 tells us that Jesus went through all of the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.” He is all about restoring health and relationships to the Father.

            At times we become complacent in our walk. We are content to cruise through our hectic lives glad that at the moment things seem to be going relatively trouble free. In my experience with cancer I found it very easy to focus on myself to the exclusion of all others. While my treatment was important, it wasn’t the only battle that needed to be fought. I discovered much later that my cancer had impacted every member of my family, each with their own struggle surrounding it.

            Jesus doesn’t want bench warmers he needs servants willing to follow his example by taking the time to notice those who are hurting, seeking out those in need of assistance. He is looking for eagerness, a trait that makes it impossible to remain on the sidelines. This is not an easy thing, because most of us by our fallen human nature tend to resist helping others until asked. We may be afraid of offending them, or of time commitments that may be required to help someone out, or maybe financial burdens that might be involved in the process. Just remember Jesus’ example, he was willing to go anywhere, say anything, or pay any price to serve those he loved. It all adds up to the cross. Are we willing to leave our comfort zone, take up our cross and follow in His footsteps?

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