Monday, February 22, 2016

Devotion 2.22.16

Christ says something interesting in Mark 6 as he invites his disciples to "rest."  "Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while." (v 31)  A desolate place?  We are near the Sea of Galilee in this passage, so "desolate" may not be a barren desert.  Yet it is hardly a place that is inviting with the description Christ gives us.

Yet where do we go for rest?  In the invitation, Christ is asking us to join him in a barren place, which tells us that we are to be alone with Christ.  "Come away by yourselves."  Christ's era clearly had none of the technology and other distractions we have today, but Christ's invitation also clearly tells his disciples, and us, to come away by ourselves to be with him.

We know David was in the desert running from Saul for three years before he became king, and as Eugene Peterson writes, those three years clearly sharpened him to become the king of Israel.  Christ was taken by the Spirit to the desert to be tempted, alone, before he began his ministry.  Paul withdrew to the desert to learn from Christ prior to ministering to the Gentiles.

Where do you go to be with the Christ?  Where do you go to ask the Spirit for strength?  Where is that "desolate" place where you go to sharpen your faith?  Sometimes the most unlikely places are those places where Christ beckons us to come and be with him.  Pray that our hearts are open to the Spirit when the invitation comes.

Hope Men's Ministry

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