Devotional for Monday July 27th

Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Fresh wind, fresh fire”
Our Bible verse for today: “Then children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, ‘Leave the children alone, and don’t try to keep them from coming to me, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ After placing his hands on them, he went on from there.” Matthew 19:13-15 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Are you too serious?”
Many years ago, I used to work with a Christian man who was a real joy to be around. He was always upbeat and positive. He laughed easily and often, and he appeared for all the world to be carefree. Of course, he wasn’t completely carefree. He had problems and challenges in life just like the rest of us. For one thing, the environment we worked in was fast-paced and stressful and sometimes a little toxic. Also, the man’s wife had health problems which occupied a good deal of his time and attention outside of work. He also had a son who as a young adult was struggling with life issues. So, the man had his share of challenges and concerns in life but still, he had a bright and sunny disposition and he was a joy to be around.
Jesus was like that. Despite what was going on around Him he didn’t get into panics, nor did He give the appearance of being especially weighed down by events. Instead, He seemed to take things in stride. Matthew 19:13-15 is a case-in-point. At that phase in His earthly ministry Jesus was nearing the end. Events were accelerating, conflicts with the Pharisees were becoming more frequent, pressure was mounting, and everything was coming to a head. He was getting closer and closer to Jerusalem and to the cross, and He knew it. But here we see Him in this scene relaxed, unperturbed, and sitting with the little children.
Oswald Chambers once wrote, “The Christianity of Jesus Christ refuses to be careworn.” In other words, the more we learn to be like Jesus the less we will allow the cares of life to weigh us down and to have a negative impact on our disposition. That doesn’t mean that we ignore the things that are going on around us or that we dismiss them as being unimportant. Jesus was very aware, and He was very engaged. But He kept it all in perspective. He lived above the fray and He didn’t let any of it bother Him too much.
Here we find one of the keys to approaching life like my friend did, and like Jesus did – take a step back from it all and refuse to let it weigh you down or to steal your joy. You can be aware and engaged without being despondent and negative.
Many of us today are a little too serious for our own good. We’ve had to deal with too many tough issues all at once, and it has gone on for too long. I encourage you to consider if perhaps you have become just a little too serious, a little too preoccupied with events. We would all probably benefit from a little time sitting in a mud puddle with a toddler making mud pies. If Jesus could relax a little and take it all in stride, we probably should too.  
God Bless,
Pastor Jim   
Copyright © 2020 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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