Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start #3359

Jump Start # 3359

Judges 8:4 “Then Gideon and the 300 men who were with him came to the Jordan and crossed over, weary yet pursuing.”

  Our verse today shows the judge Gideon in pursuit of the enemy of God’s people. Earlier in the chapter, the size of his army had been downsized dramatically. He started off with more than 30,000 troops. Those who were afraid were allowed to go home. Twenty-two thousand went home. Only ten thousand remained. That’s about 70%, or out of every ten, seven admitted to being afraid and returned home. Yet from that, 10,000, the number trickles down to 300, about 1% of what Gideon started off with.

  The passage states that they were weary yet pursuing. What a great description that is. Tried, yet going. Worn out, but still working. There is a passage in Mark that reveals Jesus and the disciples did not have time to eat. Busy. Always busy. The workaholic. The tireless preacher. The busy shepherd. Always someone to encourage. Always someone to have a conversation with. Always someone to teach. Always. As soon as the week ends, it all starts all over again. Another sermon. Another article. Another podcast. Another class. Like Gideon, weary yet pursuing.

  I offer some simple reminders for the tired Christian. Now, I have in mind those who are wearing themselves out in kingdom work. Not those who are tired, because they are staying up too late watching TV or those who pack too much into a vacation and they come home tired. I’m not talking about the guy who is working two jobs to pay off some debt. No. What I have in mind is the busy Christian who is always doing things for others. Another meal to take to someone. Another email, answering a question. Another “can we talk,” conversation. Another quarter of classes to teach. It is those who keep the church going. It is those who are fully engaged in the work of the kingdom. They are the constant teachers. They are the ones who fill in when no one else will. They the first to volunteer for VBS. They are the ones who stick around after everyone else has gone home. They pour their hearts into the service, making things right for everyone else.

  Reminders for tired Christians:

  First, don’t complain about others who are not busy. There is always that 80/20 factor in most organizations. Eighty percent of the work is done by twenty percent of the people. What are the other 80% of the people doing? Not much. They may complain, but they don’t roll up their sleeves. They are quick to see what ought to be done, but it won’t be done by them.

  When Gideon’s twenty thousand walked home, it must have been very discouraging for those who remained. More left than stayed. More lacked faith than had faith.

  The Revelation church of Sardis is described to us as being dead. Lifeless. Their deeds were not completed. However, there were a few that were walking correctly with the Lord. The faithful few. All one has to do is make that announcement that some volunteers are needed and immediately the audience looks down at their shoes. Not me. Too busy right now. Hope you get the help you need. Wish I could, but I can’t. Those words fill PTA meetings, little league meetings, office meetings and even, the call for help at church. Not me. Not now.

  Gideon’s men, tired and weary as they were, kept pursuing. Tired Christians realize that if they don’t, no one else will. God bless those diligent workers. They are found in every congregation. They keep the place clean. They make sure all the lights are on. They print all the material that the rest need for classes. The trash is picked up out of the parking lot. They greet the visitors and stick around and help those who have questions. Tired Christians are an example and a blessing. If they stopped doing what they are doing, the place would fall apart. God bless those with open eyes and big hearts.

  Second, it’s not wrong to take a break once in a while. You’ll probably never see that as a point in a sermon, but it’s true. God built in a day of rest and reflection for ancient Israel that we call the Sabbath. After creation, God rested. The Gospels show us that there were times when Jesus rested.  Psalms 46 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” There are times when the woodsman must stop and sharpen his axe. He will cut better and more if he does that. It’s important for the weary Christian to get some rest. It’s important for teachers and preachers to fill their buckets. Encouragers need to be encouraged once in a while.

  Third, remember your salvation is not measured by how much you do. If not careful, we walk right into the system of salvation by works when we think that way. We are saved by the grace of God. We must not think that we are better than others because of what we do. Jesus never compared the five talent man and the two talent man with each other. Every person needs to do what they can and give all the glory to the Lord.

  Fourth, realize that you cannot do everything nor fix everyone. When the disciples complained about the woman who anointed Jesus with costly perfume, the Lord defended her and said, “She has done what she could.” That’s all any of us can do, just what we can.

  Some will do more than we do. Don’t feel bad about that. Be thankful they are doing what they can. I know that I am a writing machine. That’s a gift God has given me. I don’t think less of those who don’t do that. Others are busy going overseas to teach and preach. That’s their talent and gift. Others are busy starting from scratch and building strong congregations. That’s their gift and talent. Some are busy teaching in prisons. Some crisscross this country preaching nearly every night of the week. That’s their gift and talent. Some are great at preaching. Others are better at teaching. Some are better one-on-one. No one can do it all.

  We can’t fix everything because some things are bigger than we are. We can’t fix everything because some people don’t want to change. We can’t fix everything because somethings are not our business. But find what you can do and then do it. If you can’t teach, then help the teacher.

  The tired Christian. Weary yet pursuing. That was Gideon’s three hundred. And, that’s us. Catch your breath, but get back into the fight. We need you. The kingdom needs you. You are a blessing. Heaven recognizes the good that you are doing.