Jump Start # 2838
Titus 3:13 “Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing.”
I just love the language of our verse today. You run across little gems like this throughout the Bible. “Speed Zenas the lawyer…on his way.” Other versions express this as: “Diligently help Zenas,” or, “Help Zenas the lawyer.” Speed him on his way. We’d say, “Get going.”
This is something every parent deals with, often, every day. The little ones can sure be slow about getting about what needs to be done. Hurry up. Let’s go. Or, in the language of our verse, “speed” him on his way. Sunday mornings can be pure chaos. Looking for shoes, getting everyone loaded up, and then someone has to go to the bathroom. Oh, I remember those days. Speeding them up sure is hard.
There were real reasons why Paul needed to put some fire under Zenas to get him going. There were seasons to travel. Paul’s trip to Rome illustrates that. Sailing at the wrong time can be disastrous. Churches were needing leaders and teachers. Like a city without walls, many of those young congregations were vulnerable to error and they needed help and they needed it right now. Speed Zenas on his way.
Now, here are some thoughts for us:
First, the lack of speed can be perceived as doing nothing. On the outside, some may think nothing is being done, but what isn’t known is all the conversations, meetings and studies that the shepherds have regarding that issue. I’ve had people say, “Why aren’t the elders doing anything about this?” Thinking that there was a lack of speed on their part. But, for months and months, they have been working and working on things that the rest of the congregation never realized or saw.
Second, problems do not solve themselves. This is true in life and this is true spiritually. A leaky roof, an engine problem in your car, just doesn’t go away and it doesn’t improve. And, by putting things off, little things can become so complicated and so major that all our efforts and energy are poured that direction. Spiritually, some like putting off making a decision and a commitment to the Lord. Saul of Tarsus was told, “Why do you delay?” That same person, would later write the Corinthians, “Today is the day of salvation.” Putting things off, the ole’ procrastination, is such an easy place to get to, but it allows too many little things to become big things. We may not want to have that “Come to Jesus” talk with a teen, or our mate, or a member in the congregation. We dread it, so we kick that can down the road. We put it off. And, by the time we are ready to talk, they no longer are wanting to listen. Paul’s words, “as we have opportunity, let us do good…” That opportunity doesn’t always fit well with our schedule. And, by the time our schedule is ready, that door of opportunity has closed and that ship has sailed.
Speed Zenas on his way!
Third, the lazy bone seems to be a very common part of many folks. It is interesting how often the apostles would use expressions such as “be diligent,” to emphasize the importance of getting about the most important things. Priorities can sure get out of order sometimes. We allow life to push the valuable spiritual needs to the background of our hearts. The sluggard or slothful person doesn’t get good praise in the book of Proverbs. Too lazy to take of his place, and the weeds take over. Too lazy to take care of our homes and hearts and sin takes over. Those little ones grow fast. Life moves fast. A man in his 40’s, thinks someday as he nears retirement, he’d like to do more for the congregation. He’d like to teach more. He’d like to serve as one of the shepherds. But, that lazy bone takes over and the next thing he knows, he is retired and he hasn’t put in the time to know God’s word and he hasn’t demonstrated the qualities of godly leadership that he could have all along. He has simply not developed as he should have and now, when he wants to, he is not ready.
It’s easy for a preacher to be lazy. But in time it will show. Rather than hitting the books, he’s doing other things. Rather than working hard, he’s taking things easy.
Speed Zenas on his way!
A wonderful little expression takes us to so many great spiritual lessons. Speed Zenas on his way.