A little time with Jesus

A little time with Jesus

“I am always encouraging you to make time constantly for reading the Scriptures. Let no one say to me, ‘I am busy with court cases, I am involved in public business, I am a craftsman, I have a wife, I am feeding the children, I am a layman; it is not my duty to read the Scriptures.’”

When do you suppose those words first sounded forth from the pulpit? They seem like a commentary on present-day life in America, if you asked me. Perhaps it would surprise you to learn that they were first preached in the fourth century. These words are taken from a sermon by the famous preacher John Chrysostom. He wanted to encourage his congregation to stop being too busy to get busy reading God’s Word.

Apparently being “too busy” isn’t a problem that’s new to our world. But let’s be honest about our busy-ness. If we’re too busy to read the Scriptures, what we’re really saying is that we’re too busy for God. 

Now don’t get me wrong. We know that we are to serve God in every good vocation in which he’s placed us. We know that we’re carrying out works that are pleasing to God as, out of love for him, we love our spouse, care for our children, as we are diligent and honest employers and employees, as we seek to love our neighbor.

But if we let those good, God-pleasing vocations get in the way of a little bit of time with God’s Word, then we have things out of order. How will we be able to selflessly serve others if our hearts aren’t first burning with the selfless love Jesus showed us? How will we readily forgive if we aren’t first overwhelmed by the radical forgiveness God grants to us? How will we learn to keep life in perspective if we’ve lost sight of the hope that we are destined for eternal life because of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead?

Recall what the apostle John had to say about his gospel record of Jesus’ life and death and resurrection: “these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). They are written for us. Let’s get busy reading.