The Grace Paced Life: Pace (2)
Thinking about the river at the Great Sand Dunes national Park and how it flows and stops.
Today I am going to briefly summarize where we’ve been:
We first looked at the idea of chosen busyness, and how the best choices are going to be the ones that lead us to the feet of Jesus. We then looked at unchosen busyness and how Jesus meets us in that and bears our burdens with us.
We then began to look at the graces the Lord gives us to live tho lives:
First is rest. 2. Priorities 3. Work (or a proper view of it) 4. Relationships.
Today, we are going to consider that amidst our striving to live the grace paced life, there are going to be different paces that we are to flow at.
When to Slow Down
When to Slow Down
The first is the idea of maturity.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
Have you ever stopped to think about that illustration for a second and considered the timing. He is like a tree! How long does that tree take to sprout up and become a tree…a tree whose leaf doesn’t whither that yields fruit?
Apples - 2 to 4. Avocados - 7 to 18 years.
until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God.
Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.” Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “ ‘ “You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.” For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. “Hear then the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ” He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.” All these things Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed, he said nothing to them without a parable. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world.” Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. “Have you understood all these things?” They said to him, “Yes.” And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” And when Jesus had finished these parables, he went away from there, and coming to his hometown he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.
Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
Illustration: When I was young, I wanted to be 6-6 and thick. I ate tuna and peanut butter, but I didn’t. Or at least, I didn’t at the pace that I wanted to!
I go to the arboretum, and you know what I’ve discovered?
“Maturinty cannot be hurried, programmed, or tinkered with. there are no sterioids available for growing up in Christ more quickly. Impatient shortcuts land us in the dead ends of immaturity.” Eugene Peterson Practicing Resurrection.
We must understand that maturity means we must rest in the fact that He is growing us!
It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.
Now, we must also not forget to eat and sleep!
Rest in the fact that He will do what He says He will do.
Eat His Word - (eat the scroll…get it?)
This is what I’ve learned to call the long view of ministry. We need to be patient with each other. We’re going to mess up.
Parenting - It will take time for your children to produce fruit. Bear with them!
In your personal life it takes time. Sin patterns and addictions in my own life that took decades to work out of me.
When to Speed Up
When to Speed Up
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
We talked about this verse a couple of weeks ago…and as I thought about this I realized that there is a sense of urgency in the Bible. Certain things take a renewed sense of vigor…to continue on without haste would be foolish at the least, and detested by God at worst.
Here, it seems to indicate a haste - whatever you do…now!
Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.
Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.
I don’t believe this is talking about busyness, but a a quickened pace…not slumber. Eternity is closer than we think. This is a Kingdom call to battle against sin and darkness and the flesh immediately. In real time.
Paul here is talking about those who are unmarried…he actually encourages singleness so that people aren’t divided in their faith because the time in this life has grown short and they need to focus on eternal things…and it is easier to do that as a singer person.
This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none,
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.
so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.