Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Action-Cluster of Life (church bulletin cover)

There are certain behaviours that are meant to go together like action-clusters. Action-clusters are like atoms—separate the components of them to your own peril. Split an atom and there’s trouble. Break up an action-cluster, and your life loses its potency. As I read Jesus’ story of the man who built his house on a rock, I see an action-cluster containing three key activities: pursuing, listening to and obeying Jesus. Jesus said, “I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice.” (Luke 6:47).

I can’t help but think that so often I major on one or even two of those things, and not often enough on all three. I may find myself coming to Jesus and enjoying His presence in times of worship, but not do much listening amidst the familiar songs and my hasty prayers, let alone obey what I would’ve heard if I’d been listening more carefully. Or, I may find myself able to hear Jesus as I cruise through my day too busy to come to Him for a devotional time, but in that busyness, fail to obey whatever I heard Him say! Or, I may be so busy doing things I once heard Jesus asking of me that I’ve switched off listening any longer, and have even stopped coming to Him because of how busy I feel doing what I’m doing for Him!

The variations of all the ways I can smash this action-cluster begin to feel so complicated when Jesus made things so clear in Luke 6:46-49. He simply wants us to come to Him (spend time in His presence), hear His words (be quiet enough to listen), and obey His words (do what I hear God saying). Simple. Come, listen and obey. An action-cluster that represents the building blocks of our spiritual lives. That’s all Jesus asks of those who want their lives to be able to stand up amidst the winds and storms that come our way. And it works, because of course, the One we’re coming to, hearing and obeying is the Lord of the winds and the storms! Who else would we rather turn to?

So as we look to the season ahead of us, let’s not allow ourselves to become so busy with the activities of this world that we’re unable to regularly come to Jesus, hear His words of life and put them into practice!

© 2008 by Ken Peters

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