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Bible Order: Amos 1–9
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Too Busy To Think

2 Corinthians 5:11–6:13

Many years ago, as a bachelor, I took a vacation to Australia.  It was a time for adventure and in that spirit I signed up to tandem sky-dive.  This is a thrill seeking opportunity where you don’t have to know how to sky-dive.  You simple get in a harness, get connected to a trained professional who has the parachute, and let him do all the work.  The jump had been postponed several times over a number of days due to high winds and I finally thought it just wasn’t meant to be.  As I was packing my bag in preparation for my return home, I got the call.  They told me the wind was just right and they could squeeze my jump in before my flight for home.  I quickly rushed to the air field where they threw me a coverall and shoved me in front of a TV that played my instructions for the jump.  I watched screen as I zipped up my coverall and the guys put a harness on me.  We then jogged to the little airplane where I was quickly given some final instructions and got on-board.

It was one of those small “Piper Cub” kind of planes but it had only one seat; for the pilot.  There were four of us all told, me, the pilot, a cameraman, and the guy with the parachute to whom I would be attached.  It had been a whirlwind up to this point.   I don’t think that from the phone call to the takeoff more than thirty minutes had passed.  As I sat in that plane waiting for it to circle up to our jump altitude I finally had a moment to think.  I noticed that the door on the right side of the airplane was missing.  I noticed that the pilot had a firm grip on the controls; that the cameraman had his parachute; and that the guy to whom I would shortly be connected had his.  At that moment the plane banked to the right and I felt the tug of gravity pull me towards the open door.  It was then that I realized I had nothing to hold on to, and no parachute should I tumble out the door.  I started to get nervous.

Not wanting the gravity of what I was about to do overwhelm me I forced myself to think of other things.  It had been easy to ignore what was about to happen while I was busy but now the idea of it started to make a bit queasy.  Over the drone of the engine, and the rushing of the wind through the open door, I quickly started up a shouted conversation with the guys around me.  I joked and laughed and worked hard to ignore my approaching plunged.

The moment came, it was time to step out of the plane.  Things got busy again.  I got connected to the sky-diver as the cameraman got in the door way.  I was asked if I was ready and at my affirmative reply the cameraman stepped out the door and disappeared from view.  The guy I was attached to was a good deal taller than me and it was rather awkward to crab our way over to the door.  As I looked out the door I saw that the cameraman was actually standing on the wheel of the airplane. Together, with our left foot still in the airplane, my tandem buddy and I reached our right legs out the door until our feet came to rest on the wheel; our hands reached out and grabbed the strut under the wing.

All of a sudden the cameraman stepped off the wheel and was gone.  As instructed, when the sky-diver told me to let go, I took my hands off the strut and my feet off the airplane and wheel.  For a moment I hung from my harness, supported completely by the sky-diver who still had hold of the airplane.  So far so good; but then the craziest thing happened.  The sky-diver let go of the airplane.  We started to fall away from the plane.  Without thinking my hands suddenly, reflexively, reached out, jerking open and closed, clutching at the airplane that was quickly flying away.

Jumping out of an airplane is scary.  That split second where my hands instinctively reached out to grab the airplane was a real moment.  You see, if at any point along the way I had given myself time to really think about where I was headed I probably would have made a different choice.  I kept myself from facing that moment of decision by keeping myself busy.  The Lost do the exact same thing when it comes to being reconciled to God.  They keep their lives as busy as possible in a frantic attempt to keep from asking themselves one crucial question “where am I headed”?

Hell is scary and the only way you go there is by not thinking about it.  God has sent the world a message of salvation, of reconciliation, but they are too busy to hear it.  That is why He has sent you and me as His ambassadors.  He intends for us to gently and lovingly get their attention so they can hear His message.  Here is how Paul explains this:

2 Corinthians 5:18-20 ESV

“[18] All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; [19] that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. [20] Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

Do you understand that God has entrusted to you His message of reconciliation?  Do you understand that you are an ambassador for Christ?  Do you understand that God is making His appeal to the Lost through you?  This is not a meaningless job.  It is an important job.  It is a challenging job.  If, however, we are going to break through the busyness of the Lost and deliver the message, we are going to have to break through our own busyness.

Brothers, why don’t you share the Gospel more frequently?  When was the last time you shared the Gospel?  Are you prepared even now to share the Gospel?  Why not?  Is it because you are too busy?  Are you busy running hither and yon, living your life for yourself and your family?  Guys, we do have to eat; we do have to provide for our families; but do you not know that as a follower of Christ you no longer live for yourself?  Paul sums this fact up for us in today’s passage.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 ESV

“[14] For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; [15] and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”

As a Christian you no longer live for yourself; you live for Christ.  All of your rushing around is keeping you too busy to ask a question you know needs an answer – what would Jesus have you do?  He has already answered this question.  You know the answer.  He said “go and make disciples of all nations”.  Are you doing this?  Stop for a moment.  Catch your breath.  Ask yourself the important questions and start living the answers.

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

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